Lost in the bleak and beautiful wasteland of the Docklands business parks - a super-modern expanse of smooth concrete and still water - this restaurant is a hidden gem. Always packed with office-workers at lunch time, there to sample the immense range of superb Dim Sum, it is also busy in the evenings, in spite of a being a considerable distance from any residential areas. London’s Chinese community, who form the bulk of the evening crowd, are prepared to travel a long way for good, authentic Chinese food.
And authentic it is. European diners with unadventurous palates should be careful not to look too carefully at what their neighbours might be eating. The Chinese restaurant staples are flawlessly prepared – seaweed was light, crispy and delicately flavoured, Peking Duck as rich and smooth as it should be, with none of the greasiness that you often encounter in Chinatown. If you are prepared to risk something more daring, you are likely to be well rewarded. Steamed minced pork with squid and water chestnut was a delicious chewy confection that combined meat and fish flavours in a way we had never before experienced.
Prices for this gourmet food are well below those you would pay for a bog-standard Chinatown meal, making the journey more than worthwhile. If you’re in the Docklands anyway, this glamorous restaurant, offering fantastic views of planes taking off from City Airport, is a must-visit.
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Further articles featuring Yi-Ban on LondonTown.com
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