So glad you had such a yummy stroll down Memory Lane.
Good to see you too!
Reserve your table at Mushu Book a table
53 Warren Street, London W1T 5NL
- Warren Street Tube Station (0.1 km)
- Great Portland Street Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7388 3629
- Opening hours:
Mon - Fri
Lunch 11:45 - 15:30
Evening 18:00 - 22:00
Sat & Sun
Available for Private Hire only
4 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LP
jade79: “Been to Josephines a couple of times and I have to say i was well impress. First of all the place is really warm and welcoming and the staff are so friendly. The food is delicious, coming a from a fellow native myself my mums cooking is the best but...” more...
12 reviews of Mushu in English
I went here for dinner with a friend yeterday and was really impressed. Taste card in hand (make sure you book in advance to get buy one get one free dishes) we decided to each have 3 tapas sized dishes from the menu.
We had dumplings, spring rolls, teriyaki chicken, 2 types of noodles and squid, plus two drinks and the whole bill came to £13 each. The best part was that it was delicious and very filling (to the point where I couldn’t eat another thing) – everything we had was very fresh tasting and far better than a lot of the greasy oriental food I have had in London. The staff were great and the restaurant had a very laid back, calm feel to it, which was perfect when you are so close to the mad rush of Tottenham Court Rd.
There are not many places I frequent twice in a week. And plenty of places I never set foot in more than once. Therefore, dropping by a couple of times last week is indicative of my whirlwind culinary romance with Mushu.
I am firmly entrenched in the "I don't like aubergine" camp, but have to admit that the Nasu Dengaku was stunning and is likely to become (if it isn't already) a signature dish. The sushi, meatballs, teas and sake are all worth their salt, but the main objective of my visits was to get my laughing gear around the dumplings.
Both offerings, be it the water type or the panfried potsticker variety, were equally immense. What really sealed an already sealed deal was their own homemade Szechuan spicy sauce, with specially imported chillis, it was so damn inspiring that we were slapping it on everything.
With a modern, spacious decor and friendly, efficient service this is a great option for a quick but adequately filling lunch (half a dozen dumplings are £5.75), a relaxed evening dinner or grabbing a takeout box to scoff on your own premises.
They deserve to prosper.
Mushu is a lovely homely venue – laid back, friendly staff and relaxed yet with a restaurant quality care for food.
The dumplings, their specialty, are freshly made and cooked in boiling water, giving them a delicious juicy healthy taste.
We had a go at making the dumplings under the auspices of the masterchef – watching them being made by a professional was truly amazing – it’s only then you realise the care and consideration given to what seems so simple. It’s the attention to little details that makes this place so great, from the specially sourced sauces and oils to the open kitchen and careful menu selection.
It’s well worth taking a trip out of your way –or on your way home from work – invite your friends and order a truck load of dumplings; beer, sake and tea - you will not regret it. Also try the aubergine in Miso – even if you think you don’t like aubergine – it’s awesome.
First up, a quick disclaimer. I was part of the Qype crew invited along to Mushu for dumpling making - so naturally we were well looked after by Sue-Yin and her team. Although my gut (now full of dumplings) tells me this is par for the course at Mushu.
Dumpling making is FUN. Collectively, we were pretty abysmal but luckily DaJie was there to save the day. For every one dumpling we churned out, she had 8. Mushu should definitely offer this as a dinner special.
The food at Mushu was on the whole pretty decent. The boiled dumplings were very good and pretty damn authentic. Having a bonafide Chinese chef helps with this! The fillings were tasty, but more importantly, the skin was the right consistency. Not too fragile, not too thick. I just wish they had a greater variety of dumplings to try as London desperately needs a good dumpling house. The grilled aubergine with miso paste was excellent and definitely one to try. I'm hoping they bring out a cookbook just for this one dish! Oh, and they have excellent chilli sauce.
As for the rest of the food, I was a little less enamoured, though that's certainly not to say it was bad. Just a bit of a come down from the highs of the first couple of dishes. The GuoTie and lion's head meatballs were above average, but unlike the dumplings and aubergine, not much better than other Chinese restaurants. I'm not a huge fan, but the tempura prawn was a good effort. Places tend to struggle to create a light, crispy batter that doesn't ooze oil, but Mushu's was decent. The one disappointment of the evening was the sushi. We had a California roll which is pretty much the bastard child of real sushi meets burger king - cheap, not authentic and pretty tasteless. I'm hoping they remove this from the menu and stick to trying to serve up more authentic Asian dishes. I saw a glimmer of hope in the form of an unagi roll being served at a different table, so next time I go back I will have to give this a go - provided I can convince myself to sacrifice stomach space at the expense of more aubergine and dumplings!
All in all, I had a great time at Mushu. The service, surroundings and the fact they have a good range of authentic dishes warrants the 4*s. I just hope they don't fall into the trap of westernising their food, as many a good Asian restaurant has faded into the background because of this. I would love to see Mushu scrap the California roll-esque dishes and focus on what sets you apart!
I was here yesterday as part of the Qype Dumpling Making event. Unlike the others, I'm pretty sure I wasn't that enthused about making my own dumplings. I know where my cooking talents lie, and it ain't in Chinese cuisine, baby.
Yes, I know. I am a disgrace to my ancestors.
Still, I had good fun attempting to roll the dumpling skin and tried not to look too embarrassed at managing to spoon too much meat into my dumplings twice in a row. I also failed miserably at making them look like gold ingots.
That's why it was a good thing 大姐 was on-hand to ensure we didn't go too far wrong. For every one we folded, she must have made three. I suppose if I'd been making dumplings since I was five years old, I'd probably be able to match her, but, still, it was breathtaking to watch.
Later on, when owner Szu Yuen brought out our cooked efforts, I was almost convinced they'd secretly swapped our terrible efforts for the real deal until I spotted a seriously flat dumpling as being one I made. It still tasted really good once it was dipped in their special homemade Sichuan chilli sauce.
As mentioned by the other Qypers, the miso aubergine was incredible. I really liked eating the skin which is where all the good stuff is, according to Szu Yuen.
Szu Yuen also brought out some other dishes for us to try: potstickers (锅贴) and lion's head meatballs. I prefer potstickers over dumplings (饺子) to be honest, as I like my food crispier (read: unhealthier). The meat filling was nice and juicy as well, as evidenced by the spray of fluid which erupted from each potsticker as we chowed down.
The lion's head meatballs reminded me of something I used to eat as a child. It was seriously tasty and brought back some great memories.
We also tried the California roll and tempura prawns, but, to be honest, these were distinctly average compared to the other dishes we tried.
I'm really glad my office will be moving from its present location to within walking distance of Mushu in a few months time. You can bet you'll find me lunching here quite often once that happens!
Comment 1 comment on this review
tikichris, 10 February 2011:
So glad you had such a yummy stroll down Memory Lane.
I hastily typed “Yesssssss Dumplings!!!” and hit ‘send’ as fast as I could – a cancellation meant that there was an opportunity to take part in a Qype event involving the making and eating of these delectable Chinese delicacies. A mere 2 hours later, I’ve dumped myself at one of London’s newer wooden trestle tables for Mushu’s Dumpling workshop - ready to be filled to bursting, much like the dumplings we ended up constructing.
Set deceptively close to both Great Portland Street and Warren Street Tube stations, this is a relaxed open-kitchen gem of a place that not only serves dumplings (made on site!) but also has a spot of sushi and the sort of atmosphere a solo diner wouldn’t feel out of place in.
Thus began our workshop, where (after we washed our hands) we were introduced to “Da jiě” (Big Sister) the Dumpling Deity, who simultaneously encouraged and corrected us while effortlessly making thirty or so dumplings at lightning speed. We watched, hypnotised, before commencing our own slightly slower efforts. Of course it was impossible for us to duplicate the dumpling dexterity on display, but still fun - and we were prepared to eat the results, no matter what they looked like.
Once we were sufficiently covered in flour, Big Sister boiled our questionable bundles while the friendly owner told us they’d settled on boiling rather than steaming those particular ones to keep the dumplings moist and juicy. We were so eager for our first taste - (our experimental parcels were delicious thanks to the filling) - the fruits of our labours had already disappeared into our bellies by the time they’d brought us the dipping sauce. Oh well. We’d managed to take pictures first, though.
After the workshop, we were treated to a selection of dishes from the menu including other meaty dumplings, but the biggest surprise of the evening went to a miso-slicked roasted aubergine which I proclaimed “Auber-genius” among the obligatory groans.
I would definitely return here on a paying visit and take the opportunity to try more of the veggie-friendly dishes on offer. Sometimes it pays to be dumped in the right place at the last minute - if this is how the Year of the Rabbit’s set to continue, I’m looking forward to more of it.
Dinner (excl. Drinks) around £20 per person
Good for: friends, solo diners
Nom nom nom NOM NOM NOM NOM!
I could EASILY have "nommed" my way through an endless supply of the little plates of delight that turned up during the Qype event last night, had I had an infinity stomch that is. Sadly, because I had a mere mortal one, I had to stop after the last spicy Potstickers dumpling and droolingly moreish Aubergine!
Gaaaaaaaah slurp as Homer Simpson would have put it.
The whole experience was excellent, from the walk through the door into the clean bright interior, to the making and eating of the dumplings, to the random silliness of some of the conversation (L J, you know i'm pointing at you) I had a great time!
They don't normally let you make your own dumplings, but what an opportunity! Our little parcels varied in design from Cornish Pasty, to Calzone, to road kill, and I did end up with flour all over, but once cooked (in boiling water not steamed) they became little packets of heaven! Admittedly, our participation was rolling of the dough, spooning in the spicy pork and cabbage or vegetarian mix, and squeezing the edges together, but we felt INVOLVED! Hopefully they will offer classes in this as it was fascinating! Our hostess was bubbly and intersting, telling us stories of how her and her husband tried out loads of dumpling recipes before they opened Mushu, and a good explanation of what each dipping sauce and dish was, how it came about and what it meant. I learned loads!
Did someone suggest we try Chess Boxing next. Or was it Tiddlywink arm wrestling? Did a decision get made on what would be an ideal noise to "download" for one's electric vehicle so you didn't squish pedestrians? I think I will go for the noise Mr Jetson's car made in the cartoon, or maybe stampeding elephants or maybe even a retro sound like horses hooves.... I digress....
Apparently, the more dumplings you eat, the richer you will be, or something like that, so I guess another trip is neccessary as an antidote to the credit crunch!
sarahdrinkwater, 9 February 2011:
This sounds delicious - all these reviews have almost convinced me to get lunch there!
tikichris, 9 February 2011:
Great review and awesome to meet you! Thanks so much. I'm so glad you had fun.
speshalkay, 9 February 2011:
Sarah...Go now, run...run like the wind!
Chris, great to meet you too :-) Catch you next time! Oh, and can you send me some stickers? I said I would remind you!
tikichris, 9 February 2011:
speshalkay: Cool. Will see what we can do to get you some stickers.
sarahdrinkwater: Yeah, give it a go. Yummy stuff.
Every time I am in central London I am constantly finding excuses to “accidentally” stay on the tube too long and be forced to hop off at Warren St station just so I can sneak in some yummy dumplings at Mushu.
I first stumbled across the place after a bit of electronic window shopping on Tottenham Court Rd. Having worked up an appetite haggling over the price of an MP3 player I was after something tasty and different and boy did I find it at Mushu.
Dumplings, dumplings, dumplings. Mmm!
I had never really had Beijing dumplings before but after trying them here I love them and get back as often as I can. I have since tried a couple of other places when I haven’t been near the Warren Street area but have not been as happy with the taste, service or ambience of other places compared to Mushu. I would highly recommend it if you are in the area and even if you aren’t then perhaps you too should “accidentally” end up at Warren St tube station and take the short walk down the road to this fantastic place.
Oh … one more thing really worth mentioning, not only do they do get dumplings but they also do great Sushi and Sashimi, in fact they have a wonderful variety of food on offer at a great price.
Warren Street’s newly opened izakaya restaurant, Mushu, sets a minimalist yet warm atmosphere for casual and delicious dining that's as good as a quick lunch standby as it is for a quiet evening meal.
Moreish items such as handmade “signature Beijing dumplings” and pork and cabbage potstickers are definitely downable, while the must-try nasu dengaku (creamy soft aubergine “oozing” with sweet miso sauce) is a plate of umami wonder. Crisp prawn tempura (lightly battered black tiger prawns) and a massive bowl of spicy beef and kimchi dumpling noodle soup beckon as well, along with a range of flavoursome bits for veggies and carnos alike.
With its menu of well priced, contemporary “tapas”, noodle dishes and rice sets, Mushu is worth keeping on the radar, which considering all the eatery options in the area is impressive.
First off, unlike the previous reviewer I haven't been served a single time in take-away boxes that I have gone there, must have been something the did early on after opening. Second, it is not that cheap and it really adds up. If you have one dish, something to drink and some dumplings on the side it will set you back quite a bit. I'd recommend just the one dish and have the dumplings to share if you are a few people going.
The dumplings are nice but not to die for. Go for the kimchi dumplings if you want something different.
I've tried the spicy noodles (Spicy Ja Jiang Noodles on the menu) which are nice but I've noticed that the portions get smaller every time I've gone there. I've found the lion's head meatballs more worth the price but like the previous reviewer said they are more expensive than they should and are not really done the way they should be. They are quite juicy and tasty though and come with a good portion of rice.
The reason I come back? Well, it's close to the office, provides some variation from the regular Charlotte St. places but most of all sometimes I just want the comfort food that the meatballs provide me with.
A friend of mine recommended this place to me recently as they know I have a mild obsession with dumplings.
They have actually opened evenings with a slightly different menu so I was able to make a trip there after work and dragged some mates with me too.
We started our order with the vegetable water dumplings, classic potstickers and the beef and kimchi potstickers.
Absolutely delicious. As good as (if not better) than the ones you can get in Chinatown. I've never seen the beef and kimchi combination before and it was really tasty, with a lovely kick to it.
We also ordered stuff thats not on the lunchtime menu.
Chilli salt and pepper squid (delicious), the braised spare ribs (also delicious) and an aubergine dish (i cant remember the name) which quite frankly was sensational. None of us have eaten anything quite like that before and I dont actually like aubergine! I dont think I can actually describe it other than recommend that you try it!
The only dish that we probably werent so keen on were the octopus balls. They were nice, but because all of the other dishes were literally amazing they seemed bland in comparison.
The venue is light and airy. We were the only customers in there, so the atmosphere wasnt great. They said that they had only just opened for evenings, so I'm guessing that once the word gets out about Mushu it will get a bit buzzier. (They had a 2 for 1 drinks opening offer as well.)
The waiter was unsure of the menu and unable to recommend dishes, but the manageress (I'm assuming she was) was lovely and even gave us a plate of lionhead meatballs on the house to try. (Again, delicious)
Mushu is a bit out of the way, but it is well worth the trip and I will definitely be going back
Lion's head is an iconic dish that is synonymous with Shanghai. Before any animal rights peeps get on my case, lion's head meatballs are made out of pork. The name comes from the fact that these meatballs are massive (like a lion’s head) and is served with cabbage (representing the lion's mane).
Lion's head is seldom seen in this country, so I was quite excited when I saw that a little caff called Mushu was selling them. Its Warren St location is just about walking distance from my work so I popped down there one lunchtime. Just as I turned into the street, I was handed a 30% discount voucher. Result. I ordered the lion's head meatballs (£6.50), which came with rice but I was a little bit disappointed when it was served.
Now I wasn't expecting something that you might find in Shanghai but for £6.50, I was expecting more. For starters, I would've preferred my meal not to be served in one of those American-style take-out boxes. I was eating-in and call me high maintenance but crockery would've been nice. Moreover, these weren't really lion's heads, which ought to be super-sized; they were just four not particularly large meatballs. They had also been incorrectly wok-fried – I could tell from the charring – rather than steamed or casseroled.
On the plus side they were juicy and well seasoned and with the 30% discount voucher, I paid £4.55, which seems a fairer price. Before you think that I'm really stingy, I'd pay £5, hell I'd even pay £5.50 but £6.50 is a bit too much for a quick lunch served in a take-away container.
Returning the next day, I decided to try Mushu's signature dish, Beijing dumplings, which you can see being made in the open-plan kitchen. Available in three varieties, classic pork, beef & kimchi, and vegetable, these were served either boiled (shuijiao) or pan-fried (guotie).
As well as ordering them on their own, you could do what I did and order a dumpling noodle soup (£6). From the various permutations, I decided on pork dumplings with egg noodles (the alternative is something called Shanghai udon – don't get me started on this improper noodle terminology).
Again I was a bit disappointed, as there were only four rather petit dumplings. They were well made although the filling could've done with some chives. The broth was neither here nor there and I wasn't a fan of the thick egg noodles that would be more at home in a stir-fry. Perhaps what they call Shanghai udon might have been a better option.
I also didn’t like the disposable container it was served in; being more like a giant cup than a bowl, it was a pain to fish the noodles out of the bottom. And again the price was an issue. This kind of fare should cost £5 tops, if they want to charge £6 then it needs to be a better quality product.
Other than the fare that I sampled, the most noteworthy Chinese dish is the Beijing classic, spicy ja jiang noodles (zhajiangmian); whilst the Japanese choices include yaki soba and chicken katsu curry. I’m normally apprehensive when I see places that 'mix and match' cuisines but given the brevity of the menu, there's not much scope to balls things up.
I've had a good moan about the prices but there is a 10% discount for students and NHS staff. Very handy for those that work or study at the nearby University College Hospital.
I really wanted to like Mushu as treats like lion's head and freshly made Beijing dumplings are all too rare in London. Unfortunately, I think the food is ordinary and overpriced, and compares unfavourably with the likes of Hare & Tortoise.
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