Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dim Sum @ Bright Courtyard

Left: Shanghai Dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao; Right: King Prawn Dumplings aka Har Gau

Left: Sea Bass Roll; Right: Scallop Siu Mai

Left: Black Sesame Balls; Right: Snow Fungus in Papaya Sweet Soup

Go, just go. Surely the photos have already convinced you. I won't bang on about Bright Courtyard too much, but its dim sum is amongst the best in London.

The xiao long bao were the best I've had in London whilst the har gau and scallop siu mai were top notch, too. Other classics such as fried cuttlefish cake, cha siu bao and cheung fun passed muster, although the one relative let-down was the pedestrian wu gok (taro croquette). And let's not forget the braised e-fu noodles, which were also, you guessed it, pretty tasty!

Going slightly off-piste, I preferred the deep-fried almond prawn balls with its soup filling to the deep-fried prawn & mango dumpling. However, both were eclipsed by the exemplary sea bass roll; crispy fish wrapped around julienned mooli (and other stuff) sat in a Sichuan peppercorn-infused puddle of dressing.

The sweet stuff such as snow fungus in papaya sweet soup, pumpkin dumplings and black sesame-filled balls were also of the highest quality. Dim sum like this doesn't come cheap with prices of individual dishes starting at around the £3.50 mark. Our bill came to roughly £30/head but if you strip out the booze then you can get away with £25/head including tea and service.

I'd also like to return here for dinner to explore the a la carte menu, which is predominantly Shanghainese in contrast to the largely Cantonese dim sum selection.

Bright Courtyard on Urbanspoon

Bright Courtyard, 43-45 Baker St, London W1U 8EW (Tel: 020-7486-6998)
Nearest station: Baker St

PS: Special thanks to The Insatiable Eater for introducing me to this fine restaurant.


  1. I think it most definitely is the best dim sum in London.

    I loved pretty much everything we ate there - really fantastic lardy pastry on the pork puffs, all the dumplings had a real delicacy to them.

    Whilst it's not the cheapest, we only paid £21 each (including 4 beers and tea), and we had about 14 dishes between us.

    Thanks for the rec!

  2. Ma Por Por

    Glad you've finally discovered Bright Courtyard. I had been meaning to recommend this to you but gathered you tend not to like high-end Chinese restaurants, and this seems be a bit more up-market than the rest of the pack.

    Could not fathom why Bellaphon slagged it off last year in his post. Definitely the best dim sum in town. We took some HK visitors there for lunch and they said the dim sum was better than the stuff in HK.

    Try the marinated Shanghai wheat gluten the next time you go there. Pronounced as "corfu" in Cantonese.

    Can't understand how this has failed to attract the attention of the food blogging community.

  3. Sharmila - I'm glad you liked it! I need to revisit to give the dim sum menu more of a working over and also to check ut the a la carte.

    Lizzie - DO!

    ma por por - depends what you mean by high-end! But I take your point! To be honest, I wouldn't have gone but for the fact that Insatiable Eater recommended it to me.

    I think when Bellaphon went it was newly opened, but I think we can safely say that it's bedded down now! BTW it isn't just bloggers who have failed to champion this restaurant, mainstream media has too. And I had to add it to Urbanspoon! But now it's out there I hope people give it a try.

  4. The Marylebone area is truly blessed!

    1. Frank - you're spot on! There's a 'dim sum mile' starting with Phoenix Palace through Royal China, Royal China Club and Bright Courtyard on Baker St with Princess Garden at the other end!

  5. Went to Bright Courtyard on Sunday for lunch. Truly top-notch dim sum. The XLB were really very good as were the Chicken and Pea Shoot Dumplings. The rest was all delicious – there was only one hiccup which was the mini-glutinous rice were a bit bland – I’m fond of them being a bit more fragrant with a more savoury filling. But only one bump in a very smooth and tasty road! The service was excellent (they made Phoenix Palace look a bit unruly!) The iPad menu was a bit OTT – but was lovely to have so much attention and politeness from waiters.

    A really great recommendation – thanks!