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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Little Georgia in Islington has fun vibes, friendly waiters, and an excellent Georgian menu. Come for a group dinner or date night.
The Gate is a vegetarian spot in Islington that meat-eaters won’t complain about. And if you don’t feel like going healthy, have some cocktails.
Alpino is an old-school caff in Islington that serves enormous breakfasts and lunchtime pastas. And all at crazy low prices.
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A Wong is a Chinese restaurant in Victoria with a reputation for world-beating Chinese food that, while good, doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
Green Papaya Xi’Viet
Green Papaya Xi’Viet is a Vietnamese and Xi’anese hybrid on Kingsland Road that suits any situation, and serves some really good noodle dishes.
Master Wei is an excellent casual Chinese restaurant in Bloomsbury, serving Xi’anese specialties that are worth going out of your way for.
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