Beijing Dumpling

23 Lisle Street, London, WC2H 7BA, United Kingdom

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This restaurant, related to the nearby Imperial City, opened in 2011 in Lisle Street, which runs just north of Leicester Square in London’s Chinatown. In the window at the front a pair of chefs prepare dumplings, a gentle reminder that the dim sum is made on the premises rather than bought in and reheated. The décor is otherwise unremarkable, with bare tables and an overflow dining area downstairs.

As the name suggests, the restaurant serves dim sum, but there is in fact a full Cantonese menu available. On this visit I stuck to the specialities. A selection of dim sum (£7) featured a pair each of har gau, prawn and scallop dumpling and prawn and chive dumpling. The casing was quite delicate, though the prawns retained a slight crunchiness of texture that was rather unexpected (13/20). Xiao long bao with pork and crab were rather disappointing. The liquid centre inside needed more vinegar to my taste, and the dumplings were a touch on the chewy side (barely 12/20). They were a pale imitation of the versions at the Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung, and similarly nowhere near the level of the more local variety to be found at the excellent A. Wong.

Service was basic but serviceable, and the bill for these dishes with just jasmine tea to drink came to £17. It would obviously be more if you ordered from the regular menu and had alcohol, though even so the prices were quite moderate: £35 a head or so might be typical. Beijing Dumpling has some knowledgeable advocates, and perhaps I did not order the best dishes or they were having an off day, but based on this admittedly limited selection of dishes it seemed merely decent to me.

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