Anyone who has ever paid a visit to Chinatown knows that it's usually a bustling hub of tourists and locals, eager to sample the area’s many culinary offerings. But in recent weeks, Chinatown’s usually busy restaurants have been a lot quieter as a knock-on effect of the spread of coronavirus.
Chinese tourism to London has been hit by the outbreak and there’s been a decline in custom from Western tourists and locals, so several of the area’s restaurants have taken the decision to close temporarily in an effort to reduce the impact of the virus on their bottom line.
The popular chain BaoziInn has chosen to shut its Little Newport Street location, bringing forward a renovation project previously scheduled for later in the year in light of a 40 percent downturn in sales across its Chinatown branches, though the venues on Romilly Street and Newport Court remain open at present.
Many other Chinatown favourites remain open but have found their customers dwindling as a result of the health crisis. Martin Ma, who manages the usually buzzy Jinli restaurant said that the venue has lost £15,000 a week since the onset of the virus.
The Four Seasons on Gerrard Street temporarily closed for a month at the beginning of March, but this was for renovation work. Other Four Seasons branches remain open for business.
Londoners wishing to support Chinatown’s many fantastic independent businesses during a difficult period of custom can find Time Out’s round-up of the area’s best restaurants here – all the places on this list continue to open their doors to customers (Time Out contacted every one to check) and we’ll be keeping the list updated as the situation develops.
Find more inspiration to visit the neighbourhood in our area guide to Chinatown.