Master Wei, Bloomsbury, London 15/20

IMG_0809IT is not a master, but a mistress, Wei Guirong, who first opened the very small Xi’an Impression by Arsenal football ground and has decamped here more centrally by Great Ormond Street children’s hospital. It is a smart-ish box in what feels like an old pub overseen by a bar and a weather eye on the nearby intake of Chinese students to the university. Xian is the capital of Shaanxi provence to the north east, the start of the silk road but whose cooking has taken rather longer to come to London. This is hand pulled noodle territory par excellence, addictive for sure, silken and magical and even more vibrant than the chilli sauce on the table.

Other dishes are if you like signposts to the street food – bun style burgers flavoured with cumin for example –  but the noodles are an event and manifest themselves around the menu in little dumplings, as thin spaghetti-style in soup with egg, a birthday or marriage tradition, the length of the noodle – and they are very long – meant to signify long life and marriage. This is the signature:IMG_0805 (1)

Smacked cucumber you may well know, but  sliver potato salad goes off the highway some as does a startling refreshing unusual house salad around radish, wood ear, tomato, pickled lettuce, pepper, celery and… strawberryIMG_0804

Service was all charm and explanation. Expect queues. If you are careful you could eat for £10 a head, but you probably won’t want to be…too much to explore.

http://www.masterwei.co.uk

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