So, straight to the 'genuine Chinese tastes' section. Our party of 5 kept shouting random orders: "tripe! I want the tripe!" so in the end, it was just easier to write a list of numbers. One of the first to arrive was the cold tofu, steeped in a mixture of soy sauce and black vinegar, garnished with chopped preserved duck egg, spring onion and coriander. One of my favourite dishes of the evening, it was cool, creamy and flavoursome. The egg isn't as strong as you might think; it's jelly-liked textures and mild flavour was liked by all.
Lamb skewers were, dare I say it, better than Silk Road's. Juicy, pink meat, the cubes didn't alternate with crispy lumps of fat as in the aforementioned, but each piece was generously fatty. Alongside a dusting of cumin, these were marinaded with fennel seeds and had a caramel-like sweetness to them. I could have eaten the whole plate.
Sliced sea bass with preserved vegetable was a behemoth of a pot. Bobbing in the broth was silky slices of fish. At first, it tasted slightly bland, but blandness turned to comfort when spooned over a bowlful of rice.
Cucumbers in chilli oil were garlicky, spicy and wildly addictive.
Double cooked pork Sichuan style wasn't as spicy as I'd hoped but the pork was well seasoned and tender. Potato shreds with Sichuan pepper (opening photo) were properly and utterly mouth numbing. Other dishes such as aubergine with minced pork and cold noodles in 'sauce' were fairly unexciting but well made but one total failure of a dish was pigs blood and tofu soup, which managed to taste of absolutely nothing with a hint of dishwater. It was left untouched.
For £17 a head with (sweet and friendly) service and a couple of beers, we were all stuffed to the brim. I think for the money, Silk Road perhaps edges it slightly, but Silk Road doesn't do that tofu dish. And Silk Road doesn't deliver to my house...
Le Wei Xiang
80 Lee High Rd,
London SE13 5PT
Tel: 020 8318 2525