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London's best Chinese restaurants

From delicate Cantonese cooking to fiery Sichuan delights or high-end banquet-style dishes – it's all in our round-up of London's best Chinese food

Chopsticks at the ready! There’s Cantonese dim sum, classic Beijing-style roast duck, spicy Sichuan cuisine and plenty more to choose from in our round-up of London's best Chinese food. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

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The best Chinese restaurants in London

Baiwei

Baiwei means ‘a hundred flavours’ in Chinese and this Chinatown favourite exemplifies this attitude to Sichuanese food. There's a lengthy selection of authentic, home-style Sichuan, Hunan and northern dishes served with uncommonly friendly service. True to another Chinese saying, ‘China is the place for food, but Sichuan is the place for flavour’. This is true of Baiwei's food, typically robust with an abundance of dried chillies, Sichuan pepper and fragrant garlic. Boom. 

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Chinatown

Baozi Inn

At Baozi Inn, kitsch Communist Revolution decor meets northern Chinese street food tidied up for London. True to Sichuanese form, red is present in most dishes – if not as a slick of potent chilli oil, then in lashings of sliced or whole chillies. Dan dan noodles, cucumber salad and crescent dumplings are all good choices, especially when accompanied by fresh, unsweetened hot soy milk. The kitchen occasionally gets things wrong, but when it’s on song – which is often – the food is spicy, delicious and cheap.

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Chinatown

Barshu

Barshu (the original of a Sichuan quartet along with Ba Shan, Baozi Inn and newcomer Baiwei) is distinct from Chinatown’s mostly Cantonese restaurants in looks and pricing, as well as cuisine. The menu holds much interest, listing the likes of pea jelly, prairie tripe, and stir-fried chicken gizzards with pickled chilli. You’ll need to slake your thirst to counteract the fiery, numbing and sour flavours that characterise western Chinese cookery.

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Soho

Café TPT

The menu in the window of Café TPT looks longer than the complete musings of Confucius. Dishes from Hong Kong, mainland China and the diaspora are all produced competently, and some of them with commendable aplomb. The Cantonese dishes tend to be better than the Malaysian ones: roast duck on rice was succulent, and a generous helping. A sizzling dish of stuffed tofu, served in a hot stone bowl, was a highlight.

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Chinatown

Chinese Laundry

Venue says: Join us just for a coffee, tea or baijiu cocktail Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm to 6pm. Free wi-fi.

In décor and cooking, Chinese Laundry is not just one of a kind but utterly wonderful. The focus is on period stuff brought over from China – people moving into modern flats, we were told, sold their old stuff for a song. The result is an entrancingly eccentric hotchpotch. Chinese Laundry has its own take not only on standard Chinese dishes but on western ideas as well.

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Barnsbury

Four Seasons

The famed Soho purveyor of the golden trio of roasted meats: duck, char siu (barbecued pork) and siew yoke (crispy belly pork). Any of them – or all three – on a plate with rice is reason enough to return for more of the same, but it’s also worth trying other dishes on the extensive menu. Soya chicken is usually to be recommended, as are the stir-fried green beans with pork. 

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Chinatown

Gold Mine

Gold Mine is so renowned for its roast meats – which can be seen hanging in the open kitchen by the front window – that diners from near and far can be seen tucking in here, both local students and visitors from Hong Kong. Top marks go to those Cantonese roast meats, especially the duck and char sui (barbecued pork).

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Bayswater

Hakkasan

More than a decade after it started wowing London’s big spenders with its classy Cantonese cooking, this Michelin-starred trendsetter remains a benchmark against which all high-end Chinese restaurants should be judged. Dazzling plates include signature dishes such as silver cod roasted in champagne, and jasmine tea-smoked organic pork ribs. 

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Fitzrovia

HKK

Beyond the opulent five-star hotels of Hong Kong, ‘Cantonese fine dining’ can seem an oxymoron. HKK reinvents the entire experience. The Hakkasan Group describes its latest venture as ‘bespoke Cantonese fine dining’. HKK serves up beautifully presented, exquisitely prepared dishes crafted from high-quality ingredients.

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Shoreditch

Hutong

The original Hutong in Hong Kong is a glitzy, high-end Chinese restaurant with magnificent views, mainly patronised by expats and tourists. And this London branch of Hutong is exactly the same. The same Sichuan and northern Chinese menu, the same mix of plate glass and ersatz Old Beijing decor, the same hard chairs – even some of the staff are the same. What’s different about the Hong Kong and London kitchens is the level of spice; not meek, just toned down a bit for the gweilo (foreigner) palate.

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London Bridge
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See more Chinese restaurants in London

Find the best restaurants in Chinatown

Where to eat in Chinatown

So many chopstick and rice parlours; so hard to know which one to choose. But Time Out’s food and drink reviewers have eaten at all of them – many times, over many years  – to produce this definitive list on the best places to eat.

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By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

5 comments
Lulu J
Lulu J

Four sesasons in bayswater has the best food for me.

Dazza V
Dazza V

Dragon Castle in Elephant and Castle is fresh, delicious and nicely just out of town so you'll always get a seat. They do great dimsum too and are not too expensive (main is about £7- £10)

CT
CT

I go along with CondimentalChic's comments below. Authentic Chinese food is not about the fancy decor and doesn't always mean that the most expensive is the best. A lot of the restaurants named above would not be ranked as the best Chinese restaurants by the Chinese community in London.

William Finn
William Finn

I have tried out all the Chinese restaurants above and cannot believe Hakisan, although expensive, is not here

CondimentalChic
CondimentalChic

The Chinese, similar to the Singaporeans, enjoy good food without all the fancy decor et al. A few places come to my mind - Beijing Dumpling on Lisle St in Chinatown (they serve up the best honey garlic ribs in London, hands down); Four Seasons on Gerard St & Wardour St (the best roast duck in Chinatown); best Malay/Singaporean food would go to C&R right next to Blue Posts Pub; best Sichuan restaurant is Angeles in Kilburn (from their al la carte menu, not their buffet); best dim sum would be Joy King Lau. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mediocre Chinese food in London, but there are a few standout dishes at a few restaurants scattered around town.