Towfighi’s Top 3: Dumplings


14 / 5 Stars 
Shanghai steamed pork dumplings, fried pork dumplings and pork fried rice £17.50
Address: 41 Gerrard St, London, W1D 5QF
Distance from ASL: 16 minute tube ride on Jubilee and Piccadilly Line + 3 minute walk

Starting off Towfighi’s Top 3 is Lido, a dim sum style restaurant located in the heart of Chinatown. The restaurant was on the main road and is easily accessible from the tube.

Although the restaurant wasn’t perfect, there were many good qualities about it, the first being the dumplings. The fried pork dumplings had a delicious skin around them that wasn’t too thin but wasn’t too thick. The skin was really crispy on the bottom and added a nice crunch when biting into the meat. The pork was tender and was soft but lacked a strong flavor. That was the main problem with the dumpling, it lacked a standout flavor that separates itself from other dumplings.  

The fried dumplings cost £3.50 for three dumplings which isn’t very expensive, but on the other hand at Lido it is mandatory to order at least three dishes. This is definitely a negative when evaluating the restaurant because it raised the cost from £3.50 to £17.50 as other dishes needed to be ordered. On the other hand, the other dishes (fried rice and Shanghai steamed pork dumplings) were very good.  The rice had a really tender pork in it and the portion size was big enough to serve over three people. 

The service was very quick for the amount of food we ordered and everything came in under ten minutes. They brought out all the food at the same time as well.

Although Lido didn’t have the cheapest meal, the dumpling were the best of the three making it first on Towfighi’s Top 3. 

Feng Shui Inn

22 / 5 Stars
Pork dumplings £6.80
Address: 6 Gerrard St, London, W1D 5PG
Distance from ASL: 16 minute tube ride on Jubilee and Piccadilly Line + 3 minute walk

Second on Towfighi’s Top 3 is Feng Shui Inn, a family style restaurant in Chinatown. The location of Feng Shui Inn is right next to Lido, meaning it is in a great location.

As for the food, the dumpling was disappointing to say the least. Walking into the restaurant, I expected a well made dumpling as on the website Jen Cafe said they had delicious dumplings, but I actually received the opposite of an excellent dumpling. One of the few positives included the skin. The skin was crispy and soft making it enjoyable and tasty to eat. That was about it for the positives. On the negative side, the pork was not enjoyable because of the flavor. It was bland and didn’t taste like anything, making the dumpling taste like nothing. Not only that, the pork itself wasn’t rolled into a ball well and it fell apart halfway through eating it. Lastly, the fish sauce given with the dumplings was too vinegary and didn’t match the dumpling at all. A sweeter sauce would have been better for the dumpling.

Also, for four dumplings the price was expensive averaging at around £1.70 per dumpling. With such a high price I would have expected an excellent dumpling. Those expectations weren’t met. On the other hand, the price wasn’t too absurd.

The service wasn’t great taking around eight minutes for one tray of dumplings to come out. But compared to Jen Cafe the service of Feng Shui Inn seemed really good.

Although the pork in the dumpling wasn’t good, the skin and good location is why Feng Shui Inn is second on Towfighi’s Top 3.

Jen Cafe

31 / 5 stars
Pork dumplings £6.50
Address: 4-8 Newport Pl, London, WC2H 7JP
Distance from ASL: 16 minute tube ride on Jubilee and Piccadilly Line + 3 minute walk

Third on Towfighi’s Top 3 is Jen Cafe, a small Chinese restaurant located on the outskirts of Chinatown.

Overall the food didn’t taste good and couldn’t compare to the good location. The skin of the dumplings was very thin and it often broke when trying to eat the dumpling. Therefore, it was less of a dumpling because it was broken.  Along with the bad dumpling skin, the meat didn’t taste good as well. The pork didn’t hold together and continuously fell apart and along with that it didn’t smell good. The pork had a tangy sour type taste that made it incredibly hard to finish all of the dumplings. Also, the pork was very tough and chewy.

The service was also very poor for Jen Cafe. It took nearly 15 minutes for the food to be ready and it felt like I was being ignored as they were doing orders for people who were behind me in before taking care of mine.

Although the dumplings didn’t meet expectations, for the amount of food you received compared to the price it was an average deal. For £6.50 you received 6 dumplings meaning each dumpling was around £1.08.

Even though the price wasn’t too bad, the bad tasting dumpling and slow service is why Jen Cafe is third on Towfighi’s Top 3.

About Spencer Towfighi ('23)

Features Editor (2017-19)

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