Yipin’s menu covers a lot of the map of China, but you should concentrate on the Hunan and Sichuan sections – that’s where the chefs are from. This is upscale Chinese in an upscale area and therefore not cheap, but big portions mean you don’t have to max out your plastic to get well fed. Many dishes contain massive quantities of chilli, fresh and dried. You can eat them all or just swallow a mouthful of napalm - it comes to the same thing. Order spiced fungus (a kind of wild mushroom), numbing and hot beef, and stir-fried pig knuckle.
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Trullo is the kind of neighbourhood Italian restaurant you’d find in an actual Italian neighbourhood, and the food is simply fantastic.
Llerena is a straightforward but excellent tapas spot in Islington, serving products direct from the family farm in Extremadura, southwest of Madrid.
Kipferl is an Austrian cafe in Islington that’s perfect for a weekday lunch or quick coffee run. And when you can’t pronounce the dishes, just point.
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My Neighbours The Dumplings
My Neighbours The Dumplings in Clapton is a dim sum parlour done East London stye. There’s a great bar and Chinese dishes, Totoro optional.
Imperial Treasure is a big, fancy Chinese restaurant in St James’s which lacks atmosphere, but serves some pretty great dim sum.
Shikumen is a smart Chinese restaurant in Shepherds Bush with fantastic dim sum and a brilliant roast duck that you’ll dream of.
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