red chilli oil noodles with lamb from Food House, Chinatown

red chilli oil noodles with lamb from Food House, Chinatown

Food House serves some of the most traditional mainland Chinese I've eaten outside China, but due to a non-English storefront, it's also very easy to miss.

Look out for the elusive restaurant on Gerrard Street going by '風味食堂', and get yourself a very tasty Northern Chinese / Sichuan meal from around £7.

Despite a zero-effort approach to local marketing, Food House was packed when I visited. Northern Chinese food is known for being meaty and starchy with Muslim influences, so expect the likes of lamb with cumin on the menu, and plenty of dumplings. 

Having clocked that almost every table had ordered the red chilli oil noodles, I continued the trend. What arrived were hearty, dense, handmade noodles in a moreish oil glaze. The noodles are so long that only those with a PhD in using chopsticks will leave with a clean shirt. I went for the lamb option, which was earthy and gamey and served with pak choi; other options included beef or vegetables. 

Other dishes under our magic £8 mark include hot and sour noodles with minced meat, braised beef noodles, noodles with Beijing style soya bean paste, or fish-fragrant (yu-xiang) eggplant. 

Note: loud music, and brusque service, like most of Chinatown. Also, the ground floor serves a different menu to the second floor, which is for hotpot. 

Words and photography | Steph Chan


46 Gerrard Street W1D 5QH

Opening hours
Mon - Sat | 12pm - 11pm
Sun | 12pm - 10.30pm

Tel | +44 (0)20 7287 2818

Last updated | 12th May 2017