Jen Cafe London Chinatown
Today I visited Jen Cafe in London’s Chinatown. I was in Chinatown to see this year’s decorations for Chinese New Year. And Jen Cafe is a very popular restaurant with a very prominent position. Check out my visit here –
Hard to miss on any trip to London’s Chinatown. Occupying a prominent position on the corner of Newport place. The cafe itself painted as bright green as the Formica table tops. And for much of the day you will find one or two cooks in the window hand making dumplings.
Sweet and Surly
Jen cafe is what it says, a cafe as opposed to a fancy restaurant. What it has in common with many Chinese restaurants is the service which is typically Chinese, swift and somehow both sweet and surly.
Serving mostly Chinese dishes with a handful of British additions to the menu. Having been going so long it has become an institution in London’s Chinatown. Also particularly renowned and also very popular for Beijing dumplings and tea.
The dining room is pretty compact with just a handful of large tables. However having more seats than you could imagine the bright green tables should have. So dining here can be a communal affair when busy which I think adds to its appeal.
Also having a great mix of visitors and the communal seating give the place an amazing atmosphere. The service is chaotic during busy periods and the staff bicker amongst themselves and often with the customers.
Welcomed with open arms
Somehow the Chinese can mix the yin of sweetness with the yang of surliness. The result even though you got smiled at, given the cold shoulder, told off and then thanked and asked to come again is a charming kind of hospitality that you only find in Chinatown’s. Just like going for dinner at your mums house, it doesn’t matter what state you turn up in you’ll be welcomed with open arms and then put in your place.
Famous for its delicious Beijing dumplings. Both meat and vegetarian dumplings are available. Today I had the meat so pastry filled with pork, onions and herbs. Also I had tea which there is a large selection of.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Jen Cafe when you visit Chinatown. A bowl of Beijing dumplings and some green or bubble tea is an amazing treat. The prices are great value for money for central London. And the service adds some amusing theatre to any visit.
Address: 4-8 Newport Pl, London WC2H 7JP
Opening Hours most days 11am – 9pm
Check out my full visit to Chinatown here – London Chinatown Tour – Chinese New Year