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London’s best Chinese restaurants

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

Andy Parsons

Chopsticks at the ready! London’s Chinese food scene is a diverse beast. There’s Cantonese dim sum, fiery xinjiang hotpots, snazzed-up teahouse staples, fragrant Sichuan dishes and classic Beijing duck (and way, way more), at eateries both high end and super casual – including some of the city’s best spots and most sought after places for cheap eats. They’re all included in our round-up of London’s best Chinese restaurants. Missed something? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

These 16-foot-long noodles are a Chinese specialty, try them at this Mayfair restaurant...

RECOMMENDED: Find more great restaurants for every occassion

The best Chinese restaurants in London

A Wong

3 out of 5 stars

Forget gilded dragons, book-length menus and stir-fries by numbers, Andrew Wong’s pared-back Pimlico Chinese is a singular affair offering elevated cuisine at everyday prices. Preserved duck egg with marinated tofu, chill and soy is typical, as is poached razor clam with sea cucumber, vinegar tapioca and wind-dried sausage. Enjoy at your leisure.

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Pimlico

Baozi Inn (Newport Court)

3 out of 5 stars

Venue says: “Let’s try our famous Sichuan Dan Dan Mian (noodle) and it is one of the most popular Chinese Street Foods.”

Kitsch Communist Revolution decor meets northern Chinese street food tidied up for London at this lively joint. True to Sichuanese form, red is the predominant colour and chilli fire the overriding taste sensation: dan dan noodles, ‘smacked’ cucumber salad and crescent dumplings are all good. Yes, the food’s spicy, but it’s also deliciously cheap.

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Chinatown
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Barshu

4 out of 5 stars

Venue says: “Barshu is offering 25% off on food for our appreciation to our valued customers. T&Cs apply.”

The original of a Sichuan gang that also includes Baozi Inn, Barshu is a refreshing change from Chinatown’s mostly Cantonese restaurants. Come here for prairie tripe, ‘fragrant and hot’ pig’s trotters, stir-fried chicken gizzards with pickled chilli and other fiery tongue-tinglers – just remember to have plenty of soothing tea on tap. 

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Soho

Bun House

4 out of 5 stars

Fun buns in a stylish, dinky setting? Surely Bao has the market sewn up? Not quite: these buns are of the Cantonese variety – closed up, then stamped with their identity. Order some duck-tongue ‘fries’ too, and brace yourself for the ‘red choc’ dessert bun (‘red’ as in pigs’ blood and chilli). Trust us, you’ll love it.

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Soho
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Café TPT

4 out of 5 stars

At a glance, Café TPT’s menu looks longer than the complete musings of Confucius, with offerings from across mainland China and beyond. Best bets are Cantonese staples such as succulent roast duck on rice or garlicky prawn-stuffed tofu in a hot stone pot, although we crave the Hong Kong-style ‘Tai pai tong hawker dishes’ too.

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Chinatown

Cha Chaan Teng

4 out of 5 stars

Taking its name from Hong Kong’s vintage 1950s tea cafés, this oddball fusion eatery is an unashamedly inauthentic East-West mash-up – try the BBQ hoisin Coca-Cola ribs and pandan Arctic roll for size, not to mention the stuffed mushroom and carrot omelette topped with almond crumb. CCT is a bit bonkers, but we love it.

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Holborn
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Duck Duck Goose

4 out of 5 stars

Housed in Pop Brixton, this tiny Hong Kong-style teahouse does a lot of things well, but we’re here for its toast. Specifically, an epic starter called ‘prawn toast revisited’ topped with bonito and pickled kohlrabi, and a dessert of ‘French toast’ – a fried peanut butter sandwich that would tempt Elvis himself back into the building.

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Brixton

Etles

3 out of 5 stars

Something a bit different, this family-run restaurant specialises in Uyghur cuisine – a fusion of Chinese, Middle Eastern and Persian influences developed by ethnic groups around the Silk Road. Traditional dishes such as ox tongue in chilli and vinegar or herb-marinated lamb hoof with peppers are great value – and a world away from sweet-and-sour.  

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Walthamstow
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Four Seasons

3 out of 5 stars

A famous purveyor of Cantonese roasted meats, long-serving Four Seasons still deals in the ‘golden trio’: crispy duck (a contender for London’s best), char siu (barbecued pork) and siew yoke (crispy pork belly). Everyone is here for plates of these chunky specialities on rice, although the 20-page menu is full of possibilities.  

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Chinatown

Gold Mine

3 out of 5 stars

It may look like a provincial function room, but this Chinese roast meat specialist attracts as many visitors from the Far East as it does local students. The must-orders are the duck and char sui (barbecued pork), which can be seen hanging in the open kitchen by the front window – although most dishes pass muster.

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Bayswater
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Find the best restaurants in Chinatown

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By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

6 comments
Lulu J

Four sesasons in bayswater has the best food for me.

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)

Bill G

We go a fair bit as it’s local. Fairly standard but decent dim sum. Barn-like and often chilly, especially if you go for lunch just after they open and the heating hasn’t kicked in. There is however to be a new entrance, which will lessen the gale which sweeps in whenever anyone arrives. So onwards and upwards!

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

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

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.