The Lisle Street location for what is surely Chinatown’s most interesting and innovative new restaurant does not immediately suggest that it is going to be wonderful. After all, this is a street – and an area – often serving up what my lunch companion waspishly describes as “Uncle Ben’s special fried spring rolls specials” and not usually associated with cuisine of the highest calibre. And from the outside, YiQi does not necessarily stand out from the herd. On a site that was once cursed with Hong Kong Buffet, its designation of itself as pan-Asian would lead the unsuspecting to believe that they were in for another round of soggy dim sum, over-crispy duck and positively squalid beef in black bean sauce. Well, they can think again.

In the capable hands of executive chef Stanley Lum Wah Cheok, who is ex-Hakkasan and all sorts of superb places, to say nothing of exemplary manager Vincent Yu, who knows his onions, as well as various other, rather more area-appropriate dishes, this is something quite special. It is not cheap, although a bargain at the price; if you want to gorge yourself on inferior fare (and if you do, why are you an Arbuturian reader?) then you have plenty of options elsewhere. But if you are prepared to spend considerably less than you would at a Hakkasan or Yauatcha, and dine comprehensively and excellently at a fraction of the price, then you are in for a treat. Head to Lisle Street, and unbutton your belt a notch.

We order a couple of the cocktails to start with – an exemplary tamarind Mojito, just this side of sweetness, and the ‘Magic Mike’, a riot of colour and flavour that even Channing Tatum might have foregone his usual protein shake routine for – and then it’s straight into a smorgasbord of flavours and dishes that only the most jaded gourmand would not take delight in. Do you fancy some crispy Iberico pork, or perfectly charred chicken wings? Are you in the market for the best chilli-infused scallops you can remember having, or does your taste run more to stir fried clams? (‘Ah, the silence of the clams’, my dining companion quipped, as we both got stuck into them in blissful silence.) Well, you can have all that, and more.

There are too many highlights to list, but the asparagus served with kale is both virtuous and delectable, and the chargrilled sea bass – a behemoth that has to be served into four portions, and would happily feed four people – is a bargain at less than £40, given both its size and excellence. And the sous-vide grilled lamb chops, served with a variety of sauces and condiments, would make any Michelin-starred restaurant look to its laurels.

Is everything perfect? Not quite; we were recommended the wagyu dessert, a sort of mousse that’s presented as if it’s beef, and it’s more interesting than particularly enjoyable. But everything else – the on-point service, for whom nothing is too much trouble and for whom replacing everything, whether it’s napkins, water or plates, is second nature; the excellent Riesling that cuts through everything; the sheer variety of spices, sauces and surprises that come with every dish – is so sublime that we’re more than willing to overlook one sidestep. YiQi is not so much a hidden treasure as a display of culinary fireworks waiting to go off. We suggest that you head there forthwith.

YiQi, 14 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BE. For more information, and for bookings, please visit www.yiqipanasia.co.uk.