Find this clubby basement restaurant - down a less than salubrious-looking alley opposite Centre Point - and accessed via a spiral staircase. However, it serves some of London's best Chinese and Pan Asian food.
Once in, the dimly-lit dining room is opulent, with a slight smell of incense, and bird cage decorations and floral chrysanthemum displays. Illumination being concentrated on low lights focusing on each table, making each its own little stage.
Like its newer sibling, Yauatcha, dim sum is excellent here, but only a sub-item (try the 'Crispy Duck and Water Chestnut Puff' - served at lunch time only.
The main menu offers the likes of 'Wild Venison Satay Roll'; 'A single Scallop in Black Bean Sauce' or 'Fried Turnip Cake with Chinese Chive Buds' among the starters.
For main courses perhaps try 'Braised Whole Abalone'; 'Pi Pa Duck' and 'Braised Belly Pork with Cloud Ears' are all winners among the main courses. More recognisable dishes (at least to British tastes) such as 'Lemon Chicken' are also offered. Some of the specialities - such as 'Peking Duck with Beluga Caviar' need 24 hours notice.
Desserts, offer a complete change of style, and some are surprisingly Westernised - perhaps 'Pandan Soufflé' or 'Fennel Crème Brulée with Gin Jelly, Grapefruit and a Sesame Tuile' - but are not really the reason for a visit.
While standards are high - all this comes at a cost. But for a special occasion, worth it.
- Food Style: Chinese
- Lunch: all week, 12.00-15.00 (Sun 12.00-23.30); set L Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00; from £30 (2 courses), £33 (3 courses); mains about £20 to £61 – plus Dim Sum; set L Sun £58
- Dinner: Dinner: all week, 18.00-23.30; set D from £38 to £128; mains about £20 to £61
- Seats: 200
- Wine: a large and interesting wine list, kicks off in the high £20's. and offers about a dozen by the glass
- Children's portions: No
- Wheelchair access: Yes, including lavatory - but first you have to negotiate the spiral staircase!
- Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road Underground
- Directions: See the map on this page - or take exit 2 from the underground station, then 1st left, then 1st right
- Closed: 25th Dec
- Air conditioned