I was fortunate to visit the restaurant before it was finished with a group of architects, I could then see the gigantic kitchen. The ground floor is for proper restaurant food: dim sum and menu (also a special Szichuan menu in the evenings), and downstairs is a decent buffet (but then again just a buffet). Whenever you go you'll find it is packed, so get there before 12h30 during the week if you want to avoid the queues!
Since it opened, I have been many many times, for lunch, and a few times in the evening, since it is a stone throw from my office (yes yes I'm very lucky I know!). It makes a very reasonnable lunch with their half price dim sum from 12-4pm, usually we order 3 dim sum per person and a chinese tea and it comes up to about 6 pounds, a bargain. the more at the table the merrier although 3 is a fab number as the dim sum come in either 3 or 4 dumplings.
They have the classic har kao and sui Mai of course and a few other less commoin dumplings with scallops, cuttlefish, shark fin,
However, for Xiao Long Bao, you have to get there at the week end:
Xiao Long Bao (above) - soup filled dumpling, mind your shirt! -
Also, the week end lunches are more fun as you get the trolley ladies, who roam amongst the table to propose various dim sum although you can also order from the menu, or whatever is not on the menu either (that's a Chinese thing: even if it's not on the menu, chances are, they'll still have it. crazy and great!)The trolley ladies
One of my favorites is the steamed chicken feet and minispare ribs on rice, not everybody's taste I know..
And to crown the meal, the egg tarts, served warm. they are definitely not as good cold, so make sure you do get them warm. A few times, I could not get them as they ran out and believe me, it is veeeery disappointing...
Also, I discovered via a friend of mine a great tea that makes a change from the jasmine tea usually served, called shiao mei (it's a more sbtled and perfumed tea), but I can't get it every time due to my pronounciation. Chinese languages are not very forgiving, and depending on the waiter's ears, you might or might not get the name through. but if you can get it, it's well worth it. I bet they have other types of tea, but unless you're chinese, it's hard to know...
Voila. I don't need to convince you, the restaurant is already packed!
Source: me of course!