I have to say I often tend to struggle to decide where to eat when I’m in Chinatown. Unfortunately this is NOT because there’s so many places to choose from….it is actually the opposite…there’s not enough good places!!!
We were faced with that dilemma on Friday night once again and this inspired me to write this post. Hopefully this can help you out when you’re wondering around Chinatown hungry…
For those of you not familiar with dim sum, this is what I like to refer to as Chinese Tapas. These are small morsels (dumplings, buns, meatballs etc…)that are steamed or deep fried. Traditionally we tend to have these at the weekend with our families with copious amount of tea. Funnily enough in Cantonese this act is called “yam cha” which literally means to drink tea!
- Golden Dragon, 28-29 Gerrard St, London,W1D 6JW – is probably the busiest dim sum restaurant in Chinatown on a Sunday. In fact last time we came with a party of 12 we waited for over 1.5hr!! However it was worth it as the food was delicious and satisfying.
- Golden Pagoda, 15A Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JD – this place is a bit hit and miss. When this place is good, the portion are generous, tasty and cheap!!! On a bad day…
Side note: My favourite place for dim sum is Phoenix Palace near Baker St and I believe this place serves the most authentic Cantonese food!
So dumplings are probably one of my favourite food in the world and Xiao Long Bao are at the top!!! Luckily there’s a couple of places in Chinatown that offer pretty decent version of these amazing morsels.
- Leong’s Legend, 4 Maccelsfield St, W1D 6AX, 26-27 Lisle Street,WC2H 7BA & 82 Queensway, W2 3RL – this is a chain Taiwanese restaurants that serves good Xiao Long Bao and be sure to try their spicy beef noodles.
- Bejing Dumpling, 23 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA – in my opinion, best Xiao Long Bao in town. Check out my full review here
- Baozi Inn, 26 Newport Court, WC2H 7JS – one of my fav cheap eat in London. Order some dumplings, some fluffy and fullfilling buns or try the noodles!!!
When I think about Chinese fast food, the 1st thing that pops into my head is Char Siu/Roast Duck/Roast Pork rice or wanton noodles. These are not exactly food that you can eat on the go but are still pretty fast…
- HK Diner, 22 Wardour St, W1D 6QQ – I don’t love this place but it is super quick!!! The food is not bad and they do do good char siu and roast duck!!! They are also open until 4am so great for post clubbing grub!!!
- Cafe TPT, 21 Wardour St, W1D 6PN – again it’s not that the food is amazing but when you did that fix… This place also offer good option for Tofu pudding, served in a bucket!!!
I love spicy food and in facts I like to add a bit chillies to everything I eat (except dessert obv) and these some great places to get my fix.
- Manchurian Legends, 16 Lisle St, WC2H 7BE – this place serves food from the Northwest regions China, which to be honest with you I don’t know much about. What I can say is that I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve tried here. The portions are massive so bring an empty stomach or a few friends so you can try everything!!!
- Bar Shu, 28 Frith St, W1D 5LF – technically this place is not in Chinatown but it’s only round the corner so I decided to include this. This is also the only place on this list that’s not exactly budget. However this is well worth it if you want to try an authentic taste of Sichuan
Other SE Asian cuisines
In Chinatown aside from Chinese food, there’s also a selection of other SE Asian restaurants. Not all good hence I’ve only mentioned a handful below…
- Old Tree, 26 Rupert St, W1D 6DH, great for Taiwanese street food, read my full review here
- Rasa Sayang, 5 Maccelsfield St, W1D 6AY – this is the place I go to when I fancy Laksa (noodles in a curry soup) or Char Kuay Teow (fried ho fun with an amazing dark sauce)
- C&R Cafe, 4 Rupert Court, W1D 6DY – not to be confused with the C&R restaurant in Bayswater. This used to be my fav Malaysian before Rasa. There’s only a very small different so if you can’t get a table at Rasa then come here!
Now Chinatown actually do pretty well for desserts.
- Bakery, all around Chinatown – I actually don’t have a preference for bakeries, they are all pretty decent. If you have never tried “Chinese cake” then I would urge you to give these a go!!! My BF must have is a Pineapple Bun where mine is a slice of Chiffon Sandwich cake.
- Boba Jam, 100-102 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 5EE – there are so many places for bubble tea but this is the one I tend to go to because a) the waiters/waitresses are so friendly!!! b) Hong Kong style French toast, these are basically deep fried doorstep size peanut butter sandwiches covered with syrup!!!
This is my list for now, if I’ve missed out your favourite then please let me know!!! Or if you have any recommendations then these are also welcomed!!!