London's best Chinese food shops

The best places in London to buy ingredients for a Chinese meal worthy of an emperor, from sashimi-grade fish to chicken feet, as well as some essential oriental cookware

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    Oriental City Supermarket

    Good Harvest Fish Market

    The closest to a Chinese ‘wet market’ you’ll get in London, selling live seafood from garoupa (grouper) to razor clams and shrimps. It doesn’t get any fresher than this – perfect for a steamed fish dinner.Good Harvest Fish Market, 65 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LH (020 7734 4900) Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube. Open daily 11am-7pm.

    Oriental City Supermarket

    One of the best in London, and sadly one that won’t be around for much longer – the expected closing date for Oriental City is summer 2008, with the much-loved centre being demolished to make room for a home furnishings store and housing. Any ingredient or kitchen equipment you could ever need is sold here, from fresh sashimi-grade fish to countless varieties of culinary essentials such as soy sauce and more obscure items such as lotus leaves (used for wrapping food to be steamed). Oriental City Supermarket, Oriental City, 399 Edgware Rd, NW9 0JJ (020 8200 0009) Colindale tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12noon-6pm.

    Loon Fung

    Their motto is ‘For the Chinese in you’, and Loon Fung is currently the only Chinese supermarket in Chinatown to have a butcher’s counter – perfect for buying things such as pork shin bones, various offal and chicken feet. Loon Fung, 42-44 Gerrard St, W1D 5QG (020 7437 7332/www.loonfung.com) Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube. Open daily 10am-8.30pm.

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    New Loon Moon

    New Loon Moon

    Don’t be fooled by its small entrance – New Loon Moon is a labyrinth brimming with essential oriental produce, such as fresh gai lan, juicy ‘crystal pears’, and even tiny Thai aubergines. The back room sells vital kitchen utensils at low prices, from bamboo steamers of various sizes to clay pots (for braising), woks, and chinaware.New Loon Moon, 9 Gerrard St, W1D 5PL (020 7734 3887) Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube. Open daily 10.30am-8pm.

    Oriental Delight

    This bright and cheery corner store sells the perennial oriental favourites, from Vita Soy Milk to Nissin instant noodles. The ground floor stocks quick snacks and sweets, while the basement houses Korean and Japanese staples alongside Chinese products. Oriental Delight, 14 Gerrard St, W1D 5PT (020 7439 1183) Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube. Open daily 10am-11pm.

    See Woo Hong

    See Woo has a great selection of fresh vegetables and fishballs. It also stocks plenty of ingredients imported from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The same owners run See Café in Paddington Basin, a contemporary café and deli that serves a good variety of MSG-free food. See Woo Hong, 18-20 Lisle St, WC2H 7BE (020 7439 8325/www.seewoo.com) Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube. Open daily 10am-8pm.
    See Café, 4D Praed St, W2 1XJ (020 7724 7358) Paddington tube/rail. Open Mon 11am-6pm, Tues-Sat 11am-10pm.

    Wing Tai Supermarket

    A south-east London gem, Wing Tai provides the local oriental community with a large range of Chinese and oriental products. Highlights include top-grade Thai fragrant rice, fresh fish and seasonal fruits.Wing Tai Supermarket, Unit 11a, Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, SE15 5EW (020 7635 0714) Peckham Rye rail/bus 12, 36, 37, 63, 171, 177, P12, P13. Open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm.

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