My flatmate and her friends cluster here for their weekly drinks. Old China Hand is a very relaxed pub just off Oxmouth, and plenty of good people watching.
Beer selection is average (plus some Belgian stuff). but the inside seating area is well-arranged and very comfortable.
Ping pong table and dart board if you need some activity to get your socialness on.
Why come here? Well they have a ping pong table at the back that's why! Except don't bring a date here unless they are super keen on table tennis. I know this as I stumbled on a couple on a date, the girl was not impressed.
Otherwise it's just like any other pub in London. It's a little smaller and intimate than most. Has a good selection of beverages and they don't mind if you bring some food from the local fast food joints in.
A good little hang out for those who live or work nearby.
A pleasant local pub serving spirits/beers/wines produced by local family run businesses. Delightful staff that are knowledgable and friendly. If you're looking for a bit of a diversion, enjoy the ping pong tables or dart boards! The crowd is neighbourly and festive. Enjoy!
A nice little place to have a drink with a nice selection of belgian beers.
There is table tennis here, 2 tables I believe, with bat hire but even when the place is quiet, it's hard to play for more than 10-15 minutes as there are always people waiting and it's encouraged to share.
Been there once when my bf was depressed. We both felt good after drinking there. His is beer, mine is cider. I like the taste of cider there. And the staff was quite friendly.
I realised that the pub's name is old China hand after I moved in nearby temporarily. I'm always wondering why it is called this.
It was open until 1 am on a Sunday night. In London, that's all I need to know. Oh yeah, and they have great Belgian beers. I guess that's something else I needed to know.
I really like this place and I've been twice now - both occasions being enjoyable - the staff are really friendly and fun. The barman had a great sense of humour and we were made to feel really welcome, especially after being treated to an array of fancy chocolates as we sat at the bar. You can expect good advice on rare drinks that are served and they do have a great selection available.
Upon my last visit there was also a classically trained pianist playing on the piano, who was kind enough to play a few songs for me that I had requested. For those who want to get active, the venue has a ping pong table in the back room and one upstairs - we thrashed a couple of girls, but they were American and quite possibly didn't know what ping pong was before arriving to the UK.
Whether you want to relax and catch up with friends or just enjoy a few drinks, this is a very pleasant pub to visit with exceptional staff and a nice atmosphere.
Quite a cute little spot, just down the road from Sadler's Wells and Exmouth Market. Great selection of bottled beers (much, much, much nicer than your average pub) and nice ambience, as well as games and two pool tables. If you're into craft beer or real ale or Belgian beers, check this place out. The guy behind the bar was friendly and I enjoyed a delicious Cooper's Stout while my non-alcoholic friend had a classy soda.
Literally stumbled onto this one... however, I was quite intrigued by the place so we stopped in for a quick drink and to rest our feet. It wasn't super busy... it was also about 5 p.m., but there were some people sitting outside, there were some people at the bar, and then there were some people at the back playing ping pong.
The interior is interesting... a bit exotic, different from the average pub. They had an interesting variety of bottled beers, probably more interesting than the variety of beers they had on tap. I did have a half pint of the Mermaid... can't say it was the best ale I've had, but it wasn't half bad. The bartender was nice, the prices were reasonable, and because of its location I would imagine it would either be a nice place for a quiet drink, earlier in the evening, and then a great place for friends to get together and enjoy drinks, maybe some ping pong later in the evening after having dinner at one of the places across the street.
It's a dim sum pub with a varied menu of outstanding dim sum and a commendable selection of beer. I went there once with my wife and another couple. Prices are affordable too. What was particularly pleasing was that all the dim sums came in sets of four, perfect for each of us to sample everything we'd ordered. I've been to other dim sum restaurants in London where the orders come as threes (apparently the traditional way of serving dim sum), which resulted in having to do a bit of math to make sure all in my party would get ample portions.
The chef worked in Hong Kong kitchens for decades before coming to London to prepare dim sum for the Dorchester Hotel. His experience is evident in the quality food coming out of Old China Hand's kitchen. I like the feel of this place: low key but neat. The back dining area has a huge skylight that's quite pleasant. Old China Hand is a reliable restaurant to keep in mind.
Old China Hand
Stumbled upon this on Saturday after having wandered past The Eagle and decided it was a little bit too much for a light lunch. The bar at Moro seemed to fit the bill but we were a little early so a wander round the corner brought us to the Old China Hand. A most auspicious meeting!!
As others have mentioned this is a bit of a strange marriage with an extensive selection of bottled beers, decent larger and ale on tap, and a really tasty selection of dim sum at bargain prices - all housed in a cosy pub but not quite a pub setting. It worked for us but might not be to everyone's taste but I would really recommend a visit if you are in the area. In fact on reflection I will probably make a special trip across the river to give the menu a real run through.
Anyway, we had 3 prawn and chicken based dim sum and they were all skilfully executed and nicely presented - with 4 pieces per order this was plenty for two to snack over but we were now hitting our stride and shared a Malaysian chicken curry which seemed pretty authentic and was tasty but could have been a little more spicy for my taste. Nothing to complain about though and may just have been my somewhat jaded palate.
Prices are currently 50% off during the day so the average dim sum is about £2.40 which to my mind makes it an absolute bargain.
The bar was pretty full by the time we left, in the main couples of varying ages and origins. Staff are friendly and show a real pride in both the venue and the food.
The ping pong table at the back of the bar was the icing on the cake of a fine afternoon in Clerkenwell.
Unfortunately Old China Hand's previous dim sum chef has left for good. Despite the bar/restaurant's many apologies and mourning over his parting the quality of the fare does not seem to have suffered overmuch. The dim sum is delicious, the decor is simple but soothing, the location is convenient for post-theatre or pre-party food and drink. This place is sweet, but somehow fails to find its niche. Is it a bar, or a dim sum restaurant? The place is probably best enjoyed by couples or close friends. Larger gatherings pose a challenge: standing up holding a drink and managing chopsticks while making small talk is just not comfortable.
A rare beast: a pub that does dim sum. The combination works though, an both the food and drink are excellent. Great selection of beers and lovely dim sum. Bar staff are very friendly too.
Independent bar with nice selection of unusual lagers and Yorkshire crisps. Dim sum menu with 50% off 12 till 3.
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