RedFarm – the most Instagrammable dim-sum in London

RedFarm has made quite a name for itself in New York as both an award-winning restaurant and a celebrity haunt, and now they’ve crossed the pond for their first opening in London. Actually, make that their first opening anywhere outside of New York! Bringing playful contemporary Chinese cuisine and supercharged dim-sum with American influences to Covent Garden, the presentation has to be the most Instagrammable dim-sum around. Step forward chef Joe Ng (the king of dim-sum as crowned by the New York Times) and Chinese culinary expert and highly respected restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld, both of whom must take credit.

RedFarm’s first site opened in 2011 and was an instant hit, an under the radar venture
which attracted the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul McCartney. Perennially the top-rated Chinese brand in the US, RedFarm is heralded for its expertly crafted and playful presentations, featuring figurative dim-sum and dishes made from thoughtfully selected seasonal and local ingredients. This refreshing attitude has been imbued throughout the entire ethos of the brand: from the welcoming staff, to the ‘old Skool’ music and killer cocktails, complimenting simply delicious food.

Joe’s menu takes a unique and fresh approach to Chinese food, resulting in clever preparations and succulent grilled and marinated meats, which impresses in flavour as much as they do in aesthetics. Try Joe’s signature small plate, Spicy Crispy Beef, which is devilishly moreish. Want a small plate you can plaster all over social media? Then go for the Vegetable Spring Rolls in the shape of a flower. More about the fusion flavour? Then go for the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls – high quality beef and cheese that will leave you both satisfied and wishing for more.

When it comes to the dumplings, look no further than the Pac Man Shrimp Dumplings (the most popular dish on the menu) – a parade of colourful dumplings that look just like the iconic game.  The Pork and Crab Soup Dumplings are another popular order – each of which has its own candy coloured straw for sipping the deeply flavoured broth inside.

The Shrimp-Stuffed Crispy Chicken for mains is fantastic, while the Sautéed Lobster, Thai-style, Basil Fried Rice was one of the highlights of the courses.

Nestled adjacent to Covent Garden’s Balthazar, RedFarm is set across three floors of an old townhouse. It offers a cosy, casual and rustic ambience, with exposed brick walls, a myriad of plants and light wooden communal tables or booths complemented by stacked wooden delivery crates and white boards where specials are highlighted in this charming, convivial setting.

The venue has two bars – one on the ground floor serving an exclusive range of wines,
craft beers and an array of interesting cocktails, including five signature cocktails from New York. The fruity and tart, Blackberry Fizz, a vodka based drink, the Kiyushiki with a Nori infused hibiki, the light martini style Osaktatini, vodka and sake based and then Waking Up In Oaxaca with Mescal. The second bar (named Toots n Hoots) is discreetly hidden above the dining areas on the top floor (follow the owls). It features the imaginative and delicious cocktails of famed NYC mixologist Shawn Chen.

RedFarm is fun and doesn’t take itself seriously. The food is quirky yet brilliant. The drinks are amazing. The staff are friendly and funny. If that doesn’t tick all the boxes for you then I don’t know what will.

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