Located just around the corner from Westfield Shepherds Bush is a restaurant called Tian Fu. An unassuming restaurant you could easily walk past without realising what delicious treats that lie within.
This restaurant serves food traditionally made in an area in China called Sichuan. You’ve all heard of Sichuan peppers I’m sure, and this restaurant uses peppers from this particular region in China in their cooking.
I have a tendency to come across information at the appropriate time for my purposes and by chance a Chinese friend was telling me about this particular restaurant. Apparently they are so popular that they have Chinese people coming from outside of London to indulge in the flavourful offerings that they have on and off menu. Look around and you will see on your next visit that there are numerous Chinese people a great way to identify a good Chinese restaurant. This can be true with many different types of cuisine. Want a good Greek restaurant then find one that the local Greeks go to.
These guys secret weapon is chef Xiaoxhong Zhang who was born in the Sichuanese capital Chengdu and is the third generation member of his family to work as a chef. His grandfather and uncle both worked as personal chefs for President Xiaoping Deng. He clearly knows his food as you will see.
On arrival we were greeted warmly and show to our tables. I noticed that service at the restaurant was efficient, quick and friendly. I was really pleased at the speed of service when we arrived as I had built up an appetite and was famished.
Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
A popular Shanghai dish, treacly sweet and tangy caramelised ribs.
These were gorgeously sweet and nice and meaty. Sometimes ribs can be too fatty for my liking so I tend not to order them but I was lucky as these were not riddled with fat. The ribs were very mild but we had asked for nothing too hot to allow for all the members of the group.
Tian Fu Special Corn Fed Chicken
Corn fed free range chicken served with chefs secret spicy sauce along with bamboo shoot salad.
The chicken was succulent and tender. The dominant flavour of the sauce was sesame and it’s texture was silky smooth, slightly spiced and superbly moreish. The bamboo gave a nice rcontast in texture to the dish. You might find you don’t want to share this! Equally as good was the combination of the flavours from this and the meat and sauce from the ribs. They combined to become delightfully delicious and I was grateful for the rice to soak up all the sauces as it would have been such a shame to waste them.
Dim Sum Platter
A selection of delicate steamed homemade dim sum. 3 x prawn dumplings, 3 x pork siu mai and 3 x Tian Fu mixed prawn and pork dumplings.
These were all delicious. Where there were prawns they had nice meaty chunks. Each was full of flavour and really tasty. They came with a sauce but were great even on their own. If you like dim sum you will love their version, they are well made and some of the best you will try in London.
Dry Fried Green Beans
There are two options for this dish a vegetarian option which is the one we opted for or one with meat. The dish we had chosen contained garlic, salt, spring onion and was nicely cooked so the beans still had a bite to them. The flavours all work well to create a lovely dish.
We also had a bowl of plain boiled rice which we used to soak up all the flavours from the various dishes.
Fish Fragrant Aubergines
Braised aubergines with minced pork.
First I should mention that this dish needs to be ordered in advance of your visit. Also you should be aware that there isn’t actually any fish in this dish. The ‘fish’ refers to the method of preparation rather than an ingredient.
The portion was nice and large and it’s lucky it was as after we first sampled this we had to add much larger portions to our plates – yes it was that good. The aubergine was lovely and plump and soft, the sauce with the mince was delicious. This had a bit of a kick to it but nothing excessive as we had requested the dishes were not to be made spicy. If you plan on visiting this restaurant please do phone to order this in advance as otherwise you truly will be missing out.
Hot spicy savoury dish with contrasting flavours to balance the heat. Garnished with a sizzling pile of chillies. Boiled fish in sizzling chilli oil and fried peppercorn.
This is a beautifully presented dish. It comes to the table sizzling so stay well back. The chillies are scooped out into a dish before the fish is served. The fish is in nice sized pieces and incredibly soft and tastes lovely. There is some heat to this as one might expect but it was just right. I am very selective with foods and tend not to order fish often in restaurants. I have to say that I wouldn’t hesitate to have this again it’s wonderful! This dish is a good size and is one I would get again to share with others as you will want to try as many dishes as you can here as everything that we tried was exquisite.
As mentioned staff were friendly and the service was nice and quick. The quality of the ingredients was good. Each dish was made fresh with fresh ingredients of a high quality such as the chicken starter with free range corn fed chicken and the dim sum with big chunks of prawn (good quality large prawns). This sort of attention to detail adds to a dish, the texture and flavour is far superior than many of the basic Chinese restaurants that many will have visited. It was great that their menu was different from the norm and you could try a large range of different dishes you might not have had the pleasure to sample elsewhere.
Each dish was different but full of flavour and it was good that they menu was varied so as to also cover those that preferred a simpler style dish.
I have heard that the food here can be quite hot but we requested that it wasn’t so that all the group could enjoy they accommodated us well. I was pleased that they took this into account as some restaurants don’t always allow adequately.
This is a lovely restaurant to visit. I loved every dish, each was well made and it’s hard to find any fault which is great. If you fancy trying a great Chinese restaurant this is the place to go especially if you have worked up an appetite shopping at Westfield Shepherds Bush.
Have you visited a Sichuanese restaurant before?
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