Owner Jing Si promises real Chinese cooking at Hong Fu Noodle Bar. The recently revamped menu has some genuinely unusual dishes, with Szechuan and Northern Chinese influences predominating. Gone are the ubiquitous prawn toast and chow mein, to be replaced with the likes of guotie dumplings, jade tofu, ‘scalded’ sea bass and even fresh cod head. Sometimes the descriptions, though lyrical, don’t give you much to go on, but be brave and dive in. A dish of pork ‘from the southern reaches of the Yangtze river’ may sound like it’s been dredged from the depths but is a delicious hot and sour concoction of tender shredded meat, pickled vegetables and chilli. However, monk’s vegetarian noodles turn out to be disappointingly austere. You feel they haven’t quite worked out how to use the space in this former pub: the smaller tables crowded beside the bar get the best of the views along Princes Street but feel oddly separate from the rest of the room, and the decor is mismatched at best. But never mind – just close your eyes and indulge your taste buds.
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