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  5. Waterloo

Bao Fa Garden (FKA Zen China)

3.6
3.6
325 Reviews
£26 to £40
Chinese
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!

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Elegant Dining

  • Cuisines

    Chinese, Unspecified, Continental

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–4:45 pm Dinner Daily 5:30 pm–10:30 pm

  • Phone number

    020 7261 1196

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Jinsheng Zheng

  • Catering

    Wines and drink receptions with canape. Buffet banquets.

  • Neighborhood

    Waterloo

  • Parking details

    Thereare a few car parks available on Belvedere Road: The closest is the Southbank Car Park which is just 4 mins from County Hall, and the Royal Festival Hall car park which is 6 mins away from us.

  • Public transit

    Buses: 12, 53, 77, 148, 159, 211, 341, 381, 453, 507, C10, RV1<br />Tube: Waterloo, Westminster, Embankment<br />Taxi drop-point: Belvedere Road off Chicheley Street.

  • Entertainment

    Occasional live Jazz bands, single or duo instruments, Modern and Classic Chinese bands.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 325 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

3.6
3.6 based on all time ratings
  • 3.6Food
  • 3.6Service
  • 3.7Ambience
  • 3.3Value

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  1. T

    Theresa

    Chicago

    34 reviews

    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on May 31, 2018

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    First night in London and late dinner. They served well and the food was good! Wonderful location and great service!
  2. PC

    PaulsCo

    London

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 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.
  3. H

    Helene

    London

    6 reviews

    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 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.
  4. CR

    CR04

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 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.
  5. M

    Michelle1

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 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.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 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.
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 15, 2017

    overall2food2service4ambience5
    Food was ok and can be better. Really expensive for its portion. Not tasty enough.
  8. E

    Essem

    London

    71 reviews

    3.0

    71 reviews

    Dined on October 12, 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.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 5, 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!!👍
  10. SS

    SamanthaSarahMcCall

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 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.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2017

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Nice experience here. Wonderful views. They did their best to accommodate our gluten free choices.
  12. SA

    ShengAn

    London

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 10, 2017

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Quite good foods and friendly service. Nice view from the window.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 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.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 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
  15. AJ

    AJR1

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    absolutely fantastic Chinese food. I can't recommend this place enough.
  16. l

    lovetoeat

    London

    84 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    84 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 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
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 1, 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
  18. TE

    TheEthanYin

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 10, 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.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2017

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    good location night London views peking roast duck is yummy
  20. P

    Pikachu150169

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 22, 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!
  21. E

    Ezemcol

    London

    52 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2017

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Delicious food, great attentive service, nice décor and if you're lucky a view of the river by the London Eye!
  22. M

    Martin

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 28, 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
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 28, 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.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 30, 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.
  25. JD

    JayD

    Surrey

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 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.
  26. A

    Ashnish

    London

    31 reviews

    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on December 5, 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.
  27. CC

    CC10

    London

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 28, 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.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 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.
  29. MM

    MarieM

    London

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 30, 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
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 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.
  31. WZ

    WenZ

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 25, 2016

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    Hidden Gem! Great place to catch up with friends over decent authentic Chinese food. Great view over looking the Thames.
  32. MR

    MikeR

    London

    8 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 11, 2016

    overall2food1service5ambience3
    Really very poor food, that's the most accurate feedback I can give.
  33. TB

    TanyaB

    London

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 7, 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.
  34. J

    Jannick

    London

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 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.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 6, 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!
  36. LD

    LondonDiner

    London

    25 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2016

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Good view of the Thames.
  37. P

    Pang

    London

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 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
  38. MJ

    MrJazzMan

    London

    9 reviews

    1.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 7, 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.
  39. d

    darlingsal

    London

    84 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    84 reviews

    Dined on February 7, 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.
  40. J

    Jane

    London

    11 reviews

    3.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on January 15, 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 325 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Waterloo

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–4:45 pm Dinner Daily 5:30 pm–10:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Chinese, Unspecified, Continental

  • Dining style

    Elegant Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Thereare a few car parks available on Belvedere Road: The closest is the Southbank Car Park which is just 4 mins from County Hall, and the Royal Festival Hall car park which is 6 mins away from us.

  • Public transit

    Buses: 12, 53, 77, 148, 159, 211, 341, 381, 453, 507, C10, RV1Tube: Waterloo, Westminster, EmbankmentTaxi drop-point: Belvedere Road off Chicheley Street.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Jinsheng Zheng

  • Entertainment

    Occasional live Jazz bands, single or duo instruments, Modern and Classic Chinese bands.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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