Jen Cafe – Chinatown

Reviewed on September 19th, 2016 by Dina

Jen Cafe is a casual eatery of the no fuss kind of a place. The star attraction of this cafe has to be the handmade dumplings. These can be seen being made in the front of the shop and in the shop window.

Two portions of the vegetarian dumplings were ordered. One portion was steamed and the other was fried. The fried dumplings were only fried on one side which made them not at all greasy. It gave a nice contrast to the texture. Both sets of dumplings were so tasty and even the outer pastry was good. The filling seemed to be a mix of mushrooms, vermicelli and other vegetables.

One set of dumplings were brought out in a bowl and the other on a small plate. The two portions satisfied the dumpling craving. There was even dumplings left over that we had to take away.

Originally, there had been some confusion with our order. The staff brought out Beijing dumplings. But my friend noticed that they may not be vegetarian. The staff were informed and they swiftly brought out our correct dishes. The service was fast.

Jen Cafe is a really popular and busy cafe. The green tables and benches in this small corner cafe were constantly being filled up with diners. There are lots of options on the menu including rice and noodle dishes, barbecued meats, soups, sandwiches, pearl drinks, crushed ice fruit drinks and a variety of teas. The soya milk drink was of the sweetened kind with ice.

In the heart of Chinatown, Jen Cafe is definitely the place to go for its signature handmade dumplings.

Jen Cafe, 4-8 Newport Place, London, WC2H 7JP

Rating: ★★★★☆

Jen Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Royal China – Bayswater

Reviewed on December 4th, 2014 by Dina

Sundays are a great time to see friends over a spot of brunch. This time it was brunch with a difference – a dim sum one!

Royal China is a popular place and luckily as we had got there before noon, we didn’t have to queue. But by the time we left, there was a long line of people waiting for a table.

A dark interior with decorated marble walls, coloured soft lighting and many round tables made up the restaurant area. There was a bar adjacent to the waiting area at the front of the restaurant.

It was nice not to have to decide which dishes to order as friends placed the order for the food selection. Bamboo baskets of steamed dumplings, buns, noodle dishes and dipping sauces graced our table.

Royal China EntranceRoyal ChinaRoyal China InteriorRoyal China DumplingsRoyal China Cheung FunRoyal China Roast Pork BunsRoyal China Braised NoodlesRoyal China Turnip CakeRoyal China Egg Tarts

Fluffy white buns were filled with the sweet char sui roast pork. The fried dough cheung fun were topped with sesame seeds. The crispy interior of the fried dough was encased by the soft white outer layer. It was not until after the meal that we realised that the sauce that had come with it had not been tried.

Big flat black Chinese mushrooms topped the braised thin noodles. The sauce was flavoursome. The noodles came with some cooked greens on the side. Other dishes were turnip cake and also tasty prawn and chive dumplings.

The staff and service were wonderful at Royal China. They were professional and efficient, swiftly cleaning away empty plates throughout the meal.

It had to be tea to go with the dim sum brunch. It was served by the pot and was refilled when asked.

To end the meal on a sweet note, baked egg tarts were had. A creamy egg custard filling in a soft light pastry was delightful.

Royal China had a wonderful buzz about the place and a great atmosphere. The dim sum was absolutely perfect, all fresh and tasty. A good start to the Sunday with lovely chats amongst friends and all set for an afternoon at the park!

Royal China, 13 Queensway, London, W2 4QJ

Rating: ★★★★★

Royal China on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

Yo Yo Bar & Restaurant – Shipley

Reviewed on July 29th, 2014 by Dina

Asian fusion cuisine can be a bit of a hit or miss situation. But Yo Yo had nothing at all to worry about with the taste and quality of their food.

As Yo Yo is a bar and restaurant, the restaurant area is on the raised level which overlooks the bar area. The dining area is spacious and has high backed chairs, wooden tables and a beige and brown decor.

Soup and fried delights were the start of this family feast! The Tom Yam Soup had the perfect balance of sweet, sour and tangy flavours. Sliced carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, mange tout and spring onions were the vegetables in this clear soup.

The Vegetarian Combo was a good variety of items which included dim sum, samosas, tempura and salad. The vegetable tempura were aubergine slices, peppers and courgette. They were all really tasty; not just the vegetables but also the batter. Filo pastry filled with spiced vegetables were the samosas. The dim sum were pan fried and stuffed generously with the vegetable filling. The dipping sauces were mint yogurt raita and tempura sauce. All of the starters dishes were satisfying and had a good flavour to them.

Yo Yo Tom Yam SoupYo Yo Yo Yo Vegetable ComboYo Yo Massaman CurryYo Yo Stir Fried Vegetable MedleyYo Yo Thai Red CurryYo Yo Baked Lemon CheesecakeYo Yo Ice Cream SurpriseYo Yo Sticky Toffee PuddingYo Yo InteriorYo Yo Interior 2Yo Yo Bar Area

Thai influenced dishes were chosen for the mains. Even though the Yo Yo menu did not give the option for the curries to be vegetarian, the staff were more than happy to make them without the meat.

The Massaman curry had big cubes of tofu, potatoes, onion, cauliflower, mushrooms and carrots. The creamy coconut curry had a richness to it and the tastes of the tamarind and ginger came through.

The Vegetable Thai Red Curry was slightly lighter and was made with similar vegetables to the Massaman curry. Instead of tofu and potatoes though, this curry had broccoli and peppers. Both of the curries were mild and were served with jasmine rice. A medley of colourful stir fried vegetables were also had as side dish.

The portion size of the food at Yo Yo is fairly big. But there is always room for dessert! Our selection included the hot pudding of the day, baked lemon cheesecake and the ice cream surprise.

Sweet sticky toffee pudding with custard is a classic hot pudding. This particular one had to be a personal favourite out of the desserts. It was sweet, sticky, rich and delicious; everything that is expected from such a pudding. It was the first time that I had baked cheesecake and it was not as nice as a normal cheesecake. The lemon cheesecake was tangy but the texture was slightly dense for my liking. The ice cream surprise was served in a sundae glass with scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. It was topped with chocolate sauce and a wafer.

The Yo Yo staff were lovely, friendly and gave good service. Even though the kitchen was soon to close, they gave us time to decide on our order and also gave us a chance for dessert.

Yo Yo is a great place to go to for some variety to your meal selection. From starters, to mains right through to dessert, you won’t be disappointed. The only problem you may have is what to choose from the different Asian dishes!

Yo Yo, Rosse Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3SW

Rating: ★★★★☆

Yo Yo Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon