Bao Fa Garden (FKA Zen China)

3.6
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
426 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
£26 to £40
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Chinese

Get it delivered

View all

About

Zen China Restaurant is now changing its name to Bao Fa Garden Restaurant & Bar. It has been renovated and expanded with a new bar and open kitchen.

Bao Fa Garden is the same brand name restaurant in Northern China, which has over 100 years in history and has been awarded the oldest restaurant in China famous for its classic dishes. Bao Fa Garden Restaurant in London is now serving new classic fusion cuisine.

The interior has the atmosphere of an old country house drawing room, with views over the water to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and London Eye.

We believe natural ingredients are the most important: we use reliable suppliers - no MSG or colour additives.

Our new head chef has over 28 years experience, 14 years in Chinese cuisine during which period he won many awards & 14 years in classic fusion cuisine in Poland, England & Canada. You will be thrilled to see his creative culinary skills while you enjoy the delicious food!
What 426 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.6based on all time ratings
3.6
food
3.6
service
3.7
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Quiet
65% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
T
Theresa
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience5

First night in London and late dinner. They served well and the food was good!

Wonderful location and great service!

PC
PaulsCo
London
23 reviews
Dined on 3 April 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Our first visit and we loved it. I'm a big fan of Chinese food and have visited restaurants all over the world, including Hong Kong. The Beijing duck was wonderful and the soup that was made with the remainder just delicious, the presentation at the table by the chef was a lovely touch too. We liked the place so much we are going back on Friday with other friends. The full menu is much more varied than appears on their website and includes some great dishes.

H
Helene
London
4 reviews
Dined on 23 March 2018
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Nice staff and beautiful views of houses of parliament / big ben / river. However food is pretty average so it’s expensive for what it is. Sizzlinf beef was delicious. Crispy duck was dry. Egg fried dry.

CR
CR04
London
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2017
Overall4food2service5ambience3

Food was OK, the problem was the price. I don't mind paying much for great food, but it wasn't really what I was expecting. Nothing was bad, but wasn't great either. The lobster was overcooked, the fish had a lot of spines, and so on. Again, it was good food, but not for the price.

M
Michelle1
London
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible..we booked via Open table as it was in the city and my family wanted to spend new years in London. Was called up by a rude resturant manager who demanded we pay £ 900 for the booking. This was not mentioned on open table at time of booking.
We ended up cancelling the booking and will never book here again. It spoilt our New Year plans in London and everybody including my two children were extremely disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Very bad. At around 1pm on Sunday 31st December I received a call saying that my 5pm booking (same day) had been cancelled as they were now holding a New Year's party that would cost about £200 per person. For my booking they said that I could only move it to 3pm (before they closed). They should have had these details on Open Table beforehand. I then asked if they could hold my booking so that I could discuss with friends that I booked it for. When I called back they were unable to understand me and the conversation was a bit of a struggle. In the end I cancelled the booking.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 15 October 2017
Overall2food2service4ambience5

Food was ok and can be better. Really expensive for its portion. Not tasty enough.

E
vipEssem
London
70 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2017
Overall3food3service3ambience2

It seemed logical to dine at the Bao Fa Garden after a matinee visit to the County Hall Theatre. What can I say? It was okay I suppose. No particular omplaints from my party of four, that's for sure. But it wasn't great. It was all rather ordinary leaving us with some disappointment that it could have been so much better. At these prices and with this location we should have been bowled over - but weren't. I doubt if we'll return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first visit to this restaurant & I was very happy with the delicious meal served by very attentive staff and the manager who was at hand to see that all was well. My son & a guest from overseas enjoyed the lovely array of dishes including starters , scallop dumplings and vegetable spring rolls and our mains roast whole duck , chicken , aubergine & Tofu served with rice. which we shared were absolutely delicious with very large portions :) ( we only realised it when the food arrived ).The Merlot shared by my guests was great too.

I would defenitely recvomend this restaurant to those who enjoy quality Chinese cuisine and excllent ambience & great view of the Thames. It must be said , the price was very reasonable too!!👍

SS
SamanthaSarahMcCall
London
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2017
Overall2food2service1ambience2

My first impressions were not good, the pictures on the website do not match inside the restaurant, because it is old decor inside. I felt like I walked into the wrong place!

The menu offers mostly pork options, hardly any chicken or fresh seasonal veg. The actual menu is tacky in plastic wallets, this doesn't make a good impression of a high end place. The ice-cream tasted like it had been in the freezer 2 years.

The waiter brought out our food separately so some food was cold and some was hot, this is such bad service. They were hardly anyone around, we were left waiting to pay when another party came in to eat.

Toilets had no tissue, I had to go back upstairs to ask for toilet paper! How bad! The toilet bins were over flowing and general mess - put me off my food.

Overall this is 1/5 and I wouldn't go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Nice experience here. Wonderful views. They did their best to accommodate our gluten free choices.

SA
ShengAn
London
2 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2017
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Quite good foods and friendly service. Nice view from the window.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 29 July 2017
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Lovely ambiance and setting. Unfortunately the service wasn't great in that the food came out at different times and I had to ask twice to get the rice that I ordered. It seemed to be a common issue with other diners. Food was ok but high priced and service charge was added automatically even for just two at the table. Not the worst I've ever had, but I think there are far better options for your money.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 16 July 2017
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food was very good especially the lobster and duck. Device couldn't be faulted. Pleasant ambience.
They should fix the gate and steps at the entrance at the bottom of the steps, very unwelcoming

AJ
AJR1
London
2 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

absolutely fantastic Chinese food. I can't recommend this place enough.

l
viplovetoeat
London
69 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2017
Overall2food2service2ambience2

It was expensive with not very good food. We had duck with pancakes to start. It was the worst I've ever had. The duck was really hard, you couldn't bite into it. The waitress was also un helpful. When we asked her to explain a couple of meals. Her reply was that she didn't know.

I certainly would not recommend to friends

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Way over-pricing catering to ignorant tourist crowd outside London Eye; bland food - this is not authentic Chinatown style food; Spanish waitress who did not understand what hoisin sauce was...in a Chinese restaurant

TE
TheEthanYin
London
1 review
Dined on 10 March 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An amazing Chinese restaurant which serves perfect food. I would recommend soy millk icecream and roasted Beijing Duck. It is the only Chinese restaurant that also use the duck bones to cook a soup with tofu and vegetables for you apart from the duck meat already served.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
4 reviews
Dined on 24 February 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience5

good location
night London views
peking roast duck is yummy

P
Pikachu150169
London
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Very bad service and the food was not good. We saw 3 little mouses running around in the restaurant !! That's a no go!

E
vipEzemcol
London
43 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2017
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Delicious food, great attentive service, nice décor and if you're lucky a view of the river by the London Eye!

M
Martin
London
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2017
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Disappointing service. Waiters not really too friendly. Missing a dish from our order, was noodles so not too complex. But waited for nearly an hour. After numerous requests where the dish was. But just gave up in the end

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2017
Overall1food1service3ambience3

The choices are limited. We ordered grilled scallop, they used a lot of black bean sauce to cover the fact that scallop was not fresh.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, very fast cooking times, exceptional service, waiters and waitresses go out of their way to provide an amazing time, ambience is chill, decor is unsurpassed! All in all, top notch place, very fancy for a special occasion.

JD
JayD
Surrey
3 reviews
Dined on 22 December 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Perfect views of big ben. Since it wasnt busy the waiters were very friendly and talkative. the food was excellent but not that special. the peking duck is good though i would recommend it.

A
Ashnish
London
31 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Last minute reservation for dinner with an old friend who was in town for just one evening.
The place was empty as it was a Monday evening. The views are amazing and we had all the staff to look after us.
Food was plentiful and we ordered too much and were not able to finish. Portions are BIG so order with care. Everything we ordered was tasty and beautifully presented.
Will be going back in a bigger group next time so we can try the tasting menu as it looks really good.

CC
vipCC10
London
7 reviews
Dined on 28 November 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great location, good basic service, traditional style chinese decor in main restaurant with a more modern bar seating area around open kitchen at the front of restaurant. Food was good, standard Chinese fare. All the popular dishes.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
2 reviews
Dined on 5 November 2016
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Do not waste your time,shame great position and view needs to be bought out and a fresh start.food is terrible decor terrible, service terrible need I go on.

MM
MarieM
London
6 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience4

What an excellent find! I've been to Asia a few times and loved the food there but found it quite boring back home, not here though. Great food with fresh ingredients and good use of spices. The vegetarian and non vegetarian options are very good. The hot shredded potato is absolutely delicious. Although they got part of the order wrong this was rectified efficiently and service overall was very helpful. Great location too in the old County Hall by the Thames. Beautifully decorated restaurant with a big bar. Be warned, the spicy hot pots are very spicy! Will be back

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an evening meal at the Zen China Restaurant after going on the London Eye at around 9pm.

Firstly the location is great if you have been the London Eye as it is about 2 minutes away. The only downside is it that it is not clear where the restaurant is as there is no sign leading up the stairs to the courtyard but it is clear when you go up, we had to use Google Maps to find it.

Secondly in relation to the location the view from the restaurant is incredible, we had a view of Big Ben which was really nice.

The food is very reasonably priced for London and in a prime location and the portions are very large, so much so that neither of us were able to finish them.

Unlikely most Chinese restaurants they also had a good cocktail menu which was nice for us as we prefer a cocktail over wine or beer.

Overall the location was perfect, the food was lovely and the price was great. We would definitely come again when we return to London.

WZ
WenZ
London
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Hidden Gem! Great place to catch up with friends over decent authentic Chinese food. Great view over looking the Thames.

MR
vipMikeR
London
8 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2016
Overall2food1service5ambience3

Really very poor food, that's the most accurate feedback I can give.

TB
TanyaB
London
4 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent place. Amazing views and very nice décor and atmosphere. We were seated at a lovely large round table for 8 - really great for group conversation. Food was delicious and plentiful - we went for a £28 per person set menu, which was great value.

J
Jannick
London
18 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2016
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We enjoyed our lunch and the Dim Sum were very good.
Quick and effective service.
The location is great as it is on the Thames.
However, food is slightly overpriced for what it is.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 6 March 2016
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Awful food, ordered rice with duck and it came with a massive portion of rice with super tiny bits of shredded duck I hardly find on the plate. It was also tasteless. If you look to eat a large portion of rice with nothing on it, this is the place. Food quality is extremely poor. Chopstick is better. I would not go back or recommend. Sorry!

LD
vipLondonDiner
London
18 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2016
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Good view of the Thames.

P
Pang
London
6 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2016
Overall4food2service5ambience5

Starters and soup was very good, but it took forever to get to the mains and came out a bit cold and plain. Otherwise it was a very good experience

MJ
MrJazzMan
London
9 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2016
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Zen China is one of a small number of places you can get authentic Beijing duck in London. It's the restaurant's specialty dish So we booked a table for Chinese New Year Eve, several weeks ago.

But when we order the Beijing duck, the waitress informed us that they have run out.

The service was continually poor all evening. We were having to request plates and chopsticks, as they hadn't counted enough out for the table. We had to ask several times about numerous dishes.

This restaurant is a real shambles.

d
vipdarlingsal
London
84 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2016
Overall4food3service4ambience5

We sat at the table with a great view. The food was good with friendly service, but you feel like you are paying more to the view.

J
Jane
London
10 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2016
Overall3food4service4ambience4

The location of this restaurant is great, facing the river and big Ben. The food is good but the restaurant was too cold and as a consequence the food got cold very quickly. It would have helped to have had heated food trays. The ambience of the restaurant is good, tables placed well apart so we could chat very easily. I like the place. It is a little pricy but perhaps not for the location. The service was good but I wish that they could sort out the heating.

FAQs

Bao Fa Garden (FKA Zen China) is rated 3.6 stars by 426 OpenTable diners.