Where to eat in Chinatown

Dine at the finest Chinese restaurants the West End has to offer for Chinese New Year 2015

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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 guide on the best places to eat.

Chinatown on a budget

Baozi Inn

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

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. The kitchen occasionally gets things wrong, but when it’s on song – which is often – the food is spicy, delicious and cheap.

  1. 25 Newport Court, WC2H 7JS
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Café TPT

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

It’s not unusual to see a big menu in Chinatown, but such a vast repertoire seems impossible from a kitchen galley the size of an origami boat. Not so, because dishes from Hong Kong, mainland China and the diaspora are all produced competently, and some of them with commendable aplomb. TPT isn’t the cheapest of the budget Chinatown cafés, but both cooking and service are better than you might expect.

  1. 21 Wardour Street, W1D 6PN
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Four Seasons

  • Rated as: 3/5

Famed for their Cantonese-style roast duck, this modest restaurant displays barbecued meats – pork ribs, pork belly and whole ducks – in the window facing busy Wardour Street. Of the two Four Seasons in Chinatown, this branch has the friendlier service. Open until 4am daily, Four Seasons is a decent restaurant for a late night meal in central London that wouldn't burn a hole in your pocket.

  1. 23 Wardour Street, W1D 6PW
More info

HK Diner

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The interior is bigger than the narrow frontage suggests; staff will hasten you towards any unoccupied booth seating. The menu covers Chinese standards, such as roast duck (impressively succulent), but on our last visit we were most struck by the generosity of the seafood (scallops, carved squid) in a noodle dish. Everything was perfectly cooked and the service was gracious, which is reflected in the prices being a little higher than the Wardour Street norm. Open until 4am daily.

  1. 22 Wardour Street, W1D 6QQ
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Leong's Legends

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

They offer a single concept: ‘Taiwanese’ cooking in tea house surrounds. In truth, the menus are dominated by Cantonese dishes, with just a sprinkling of Taiwanese options, but the decor delivers – doing away with white tablecloths and round tables in favour of dark woods and carved latticework. The cooking isn’t always as successful; however, the full-flavoured one-bowl dishes (such as dark, sticky pork belly on a huge mound of steamed rice) offer terrific value, and are reason to visit alone.

  1. 4 Macclesfield Street, W1D 6AX
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Longji

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

If you’ve ever wondered what a fast food joint in Hong Kong looks like, this is it. The brightly-lit, functional space is spread over several floors, each with HK-pop piped overhead, and is deservedly popular with Chinese students – or, in fact, anyone with an eye for good value. Service is fast, and by London Chinatown standards, fairly friendly.

  1. 47-49 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0AN
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Old Tree Daiwan Bee

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This Taiwanese street food will sate even the most homesick emigre from Taipei. Highlights of the menu include own-made Taiwanese sausages, and the salt and pepper fried tofu was sensational. From an oyster omelette that was stuffed and blanketed with tingle, taste and texture, to noodles that were nestled in richly-spiced broth, the short menu of affordable fare didn't disappoint. Be warned there’s no toilet on the premises and the place looks a bit drab, but the makeshift approach is reflected in the reasonably priced, cash-only bill.

  1. 26 Rupert Street, W1D 6DH
More info

Or for something a bit smarter

Imperial China

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  1. White Bear Yard, (25A Lisle Street), WC2H 7BA
Book online

Joy King Lau

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  1. 3 Leicester Street, WC2H 7BL
More info

See the restaurants on a map



Users say

5 comments
Shaun S
Shaun S

Thanks for the great article.. I have recently come across a cool site that allows you to search for chinese food places near your address www.ChineseFoodNearMe.com

Kid of Da Boot
Kid of Da Boot

once again proves that Timeout needs to get some reviewers who actually know their food....

Victoria Ashley
Victoria Ashley

I love the Four Season restaurant at Bayswater. We ordered half a roast duck and a steamed seabass. The waiter asked if we want the on bone or off the bone. This service is most unusual in a Chinese restaurant. The fish and the duck was most beautifully cooked and not a bone in sight. The only complaint is the restaurant was very very cramped. We felt that the waiters trying to rushed us out.

ray
ray

kowloon buffet restaurant, 21-22 gerrard street. £9.50 all you can eat buffet. on being seated asked to pay for meal before you eat and then you are issued with a plate. i ordered a drink which was £1.50(a tin of diet coke) and when the bill arrived a 10 % service charge had already been added. The food was generally ok but, not anything special. sign stuck to table telling you that the restaurant had the right to charge a wastage fee if you left any food brought to the table. the surroundings were shabby and had no character and the staff seemed to be there to make you feel that you had to rush your food and leave so that the next victim could be seated and their money taken. would not go near the place again.