9 Russell Street,
London, England WC2B 5HZ
We’re always up for a transfer (and dim sum), so when we heard news that the acclaimed RedFarm NYC and its Pac-Man dumplings were headed for the big smoke, we were interested.
Décor and Vibe
It’s as it says on the tin – the farm part. The main dining room has a kitchen table vibe with checkered curtains and wooden tables, chairs and booths. Tucked away just off the Opera Quarter, the vibe in here is lively and already seems to have regulars. We say come here at night when the lights will be low. There are three floors: main, upstairs (great for events) and a small, darker top floor bar, and there’s hip hop playing throughout.
Food and Drink
This restaurant definitely has the fun factor; we like. Restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld, RedFarm’s founder, has an extensive history in the Chinese restaurant business. And after years spent at the helm in a tux with silver service, he chose something more laid back and fun for this brand (like Albert Adrià did after El Bulli with Tickets), and it works. Chef Joe Ng’s Pac-Man dim sum and vegetable spring rolls (in the shape of a flower) are the dishes most Instagrammed, but order a bit more off-piste – grilled king prawns with Korean rice cakes, three chilli chicken, shrimp stuffed shishito peppers, Brussels sprouts with string beans and the refreshingly light vegetable fried rice – and you will be rewarded. For dessert it’s a soft custard bao: even if you don’t have room, order one for a bite. They have two bars and a concise drinks list which includes Brooklyn Lager.
Those rice cakes (which look like water chestnuts)! It’s nice to be surprised. Here, everything, including sauces, seemed quite light, which was welcome.
They only accept reservations for pre and post theatre (5-5.30pm and 9-9.30pm or later) or tables of 8+. Apart from that, they recommend you call from noon to say what time you want to come down and then call them back approx. 20-30 mins before that time to see how it’s looking. Saves you from going in and hanging about – and they will stay in touch, calling you when it’s time.