I find there is no better way for me to discover the
The restaurant is in a good location at a busy corner on
Service was efficient but sullen. We were not rushed, but still, I would not describe Tian Fu as a place to hang about or have a relaxed meal. Portions were surprisingly generous and well priced. We ordered a selection of 6 dishes including two of my favourites - “Dry-fried Green Beans” and “Fish Fragrant Aubergines” @ £6.80, both a must in any Szechuanese meal as far as I am concerned!
Tian Fu’s Dry-Fried Green Beans were beautifully cooked – flash-fried with minced pork and vegetables, the bean skins were slightly blistered with the intense wok heat, but still kept their bite, tasting delicious.
The Fish Fragrant Aubergines were also delectable – silky and yielding in a fantastically rich sauce. I love making this at home, and was surprised to find no trace of fish the first time I made it! I discovered that the name refers to the Szechuanese method of preparation usually associated with fish, resulting in hot (chilli bean paste), sour (Chinese black vinegar), salty (soy sauce) and sweet (sugar) flavours in equal measures.
We also ordered the “Dry-Braised Beef Tendon @ £8.50 - I never thought I would enjoy tendon as much as I did but Tian Fu has definitely converted me. The tendon had an intriguing but firm texture and was fried in a slightly sweet and chilli sauce with celery, pak choi and spring onions, a really lovely dish.
The “Cumin Lamb” @ £8.50 was another winner. Thin and tender slices of lamb fried in heaps of cumin and onion, this dish was incredibly flavoursome and beautifully accompanied by the Fish Fragrant Aubergines and white rice.
The “Grilled Sea Bass in Chef Special Chilli Sauce” @ £12 was again delicious – a whole fish battered and deep-fried and served in a rich black bean sauce with chillies, spring onions, minced pork and peanuts.
The weakest dish in my opinion was the one I chose – “Water Boiled Pork” @ £8. I love this dish at Chilli Cool (reviewed here) where it is called “Sliced Beef Sichuan Style Lavishly Topped with Chillies and Sichuan Pepper”. Unlike Chilli Cool’s, Tian Fu’s version lacked the richness and consistency of the sauce, was a little watery and had little if any
I really enjoyed Tian Fu, and was pleased to find another excellent Sichuanese restaurant in London. I would definitely return to Tian Fu if I happen to be in Shepherd's Bush. Thanks Jen for organising lunch and introducing us to Tian Fu!
Cost: £72.20 for 5 people (£14.45 per person) including tea and service - this is excellent value.
Likes: good cooking, generous portions, excellent value for money.
Dislikes: grumpy service.
Verdict: Tian Fu is a West London restaurant serving good Szechuanese food at excellent value. Portions are generous, but service is a let-down. I will definitely return. Recommended.