2 Love It
Save it

Where to eat in Chinatown

Dine at the finest Chinese restaurants the West End has to offer for Chinese New Year 2017

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, including traditional dim sum parlours and eateries doing modern takes on classic Oriental cuisine.

RECOMMENDED: Check out our full guide to Chinese New Year in London 

Where to eat in Chinatown

Baiwei

Dispelling misconceptions about Chinese food and educating the masses on proper Chinese food one book at a time, Sichuan food expert Fuchsia Dunlop has also left her mark on the menu of this newest addition to the Barshu, Ba Shan and Baozi Inn restaurant group. Dishes are true to Sichuan form here, robust with an abundance of dried chillies, Sichuan pepper and fragrant garlic. 

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

Read more
Chinatown

Café TPT

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.

Read more
Chinatown
Advertising

Canton

This plainly furnished Chinatown veteran seems be getting even more ragged around the edges. But don’t be misled by looks: Canton has become reliable once again for one-bowl dishes of rice-with-meat or noodles-with-meat. Service is friendly and accommodating by Chinatown standards – we watched in admiration as staff tried to find something suitable for two elderly and rather demanding vegetarians.

Read more
Chinatown

Four Seasons

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. Four Seasons is a decent restaurant for a late night meal in central London that wouldn't burn a hole in your pocket.

Read more
Chinatown

Imperial China

A small wooden bridge spanning an ornamental fish pond, warm wood panelling, kind lighting and a second floor offering a view of the dining room below set this Cantonese stalwart apart from all others in Chinatown. The food is reliable, authentic and of decent quality. Portions can be rather miserly, however, especially given the high prices compared to rivals in the neighbourhood. Then again, Imperial China appears to get away with it; the venue is consistently popular among Chinese and Western diners.

Book now Read more
Chinatown
Advertising

Jen Café

This green-painted café occupies a prominent Chinatown corner site where you can often watch the cooks sitting in front of the windows wrapping the hand-made dumplings. There are plenty of other dishes served at this simple, no-frills café, from buttered toast through barbecued pork to Hong Kong-style tea and Taiwanese-style bubble teas, but it’s the freshly-made dumplings that keep us coming back.

Read more
Chinatown

Leong's Legend

At this Taiwanese restaurant’s condensing of its previous two sites into one compact Gerrard Street location, it’s business as usual: dark wood everywhere, minimal comfort, speedy service. Rather than a heavy reliance on strictly Taiwanese cuisine, there’s now a sushi bar, a hotpot table with a built-in heater and a menu segment devoted to ‘Poeken’ – a fusion of the Japanese rice dish donburi and poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad. Confusing? More than a bit. But stick to the starred dishes (mostly regional Chinese or Taiwanese) and you’ll struggle to go wrong.

Read more
Chinatown

Old Tree Daiwan Bee

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.

Read more
Chinatown
Advertising

Dumplings' Legend

One of the newish kids on the Chinatown block (it opened in 2010), this restaurant’s moniker doesn’t, sadly, refer to a mythical tale of steamed parcels. Rather, it denotes that it’s owned by the Leong’s Legends people (who like to tack the word ‘Legend’ on to all their gaffs), and that here, they specialise in making dumplings – specifically, xiao long bau, or ‘soup dumplings’. Prepared from scratch by a white-masked, four-strong line-up of chefs industriously working behind a glass pane, xiao long bau don’t get any fresher than this, their delicate skins bursting in the mouth to release both filling and ‘soup’.

Read more
Chinatown
Show more

Find more Chinese restaurants in London

London's best Chinese restaurants

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. 

Read more
By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

6 comments
Susann B
Susann B

Why should Nigel apologize? Any restaurant that is so highly recommended on a website should be very good in hygiene. I rather think that you "Trulucent S" should apologise for your snobbish reply.

Dave J
Dave J

No apology needed from Nigel R. The two restaurants in the more upmarket bracket scored 3 (Generally Satisfactory) and 2 (Improvement Necessary). In this bracket I would expect at least 4 and 5

Nigel R
Nigel R

You guys really need to consider the hygiene standards when you're making your best restaurant lists. A restaurant cannot be a best if it has a dirty kitchen or bad practices no matter how tasty the food. A quick visit to http://food.gov.uk/ratings would resolve this easily

kirsten c
kirsten c

@Nigel R I'm not paranoid and I have an immune system so I don't care. As long as they aren't doing anything especially dodgy, let's not over regulate and let these smaller businesses thrive in a london which is full of boring sanitised chain restaurants 

Fred F
Fred F

I don't know who Nigel R is, but I think he has a valid concern. I don't want to dine in a restaurant with 0 out of 5 as a hygiene score; and I wouldn't expect to see such a restaurant in a list of recommendations.

Truculent S
Truculent S

@Nigel R  Well, since we're concern trolling, here's the latest from the FSA site:

These all got 4/5 (Very Good):

  • Baozi Inn
  • Café TPT
  • Longji (this venue has changed name since its last inspection - 2011 - when it was known as 'Café De Hong Kong')


These all got 3/5 (Generally Satisfactory):

  • Four Seasons
  • Old Tree
  • Imperial China
  • Joy King Lau


Only one got 1/5 (Major Improvement Necessary):

  • HK Diner


And only one got 0/5 (Urgent Improvement Necessary):

  • Leong's Legend.


So, given that the vast majority of these restaurants are, at the very least, satisfactory, are you going to apologise?