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The Five Pound Note: Beijing Dumplings at Jen Cafe

Eater London’s Lady Godiva begins 2018 in Chinatown

A plate of jiaozi drizzled in chilli oil, with a small ramekin of soy sauce to the left and chopsticks on top of the plate.
Beijing dumplings at Jen Cafe
Cake + Whisky

So, back to business, then. And boy, do you look like a person who could use a dumpling.

Jen Cafe is all about the Beijing dumplings (£5) — there’s nothing else for you to concern your overcast brain with. Jen is a quick fix corner cafe with just a few bright green tables. You can eat in on a rickety stool, or head out into the dismal world armed with a polystyrene burger box that’s significantly heftier than your January wallet.

And I’d be crazy not to mention that you can watch authentic dumplings being quickly and precisely wrapped through the windows from the street— I know there’s nothing the budget diner loves more.

The Beijing dumplings themselves are beautifully pallid steamed parcels, full of spiced minced pork, spring onion and chive — and you get seven of them, a perfect number.

For a budget-blowing extra £1 you can have them pan-fried to a beautiful bronze on one side — a handsome but unnecessary embellishment. The real MVPs buy a steamed box for lunch, and take another steamed box home for dinner to pan-fry themselves. Celebrate good times, come on!

This is food. Food with flavour, substance, bite and a delicious pricetag. If you left London for the holidays and you’re wondering why on earth you came back, get a box of these down you. It’s the whole point of this place.

Wishing you all a fiver-filled 2018.


Jen Cafe
4–8 Newport Place,
Chinatown, WC2H 7JP

Jen Cafe

4-8 Newport Place, , England WC2H 7JP 07587 500959