Ring in the Chinese New Year with Good 'Taste'!
Whether you're on a tight budget or have one that you're hankering to blow in grand style, London is home to a range of Chinese restaurants for every wallet and taste. With Chinese New Year just round the corner, now's a smart time to take a long at some of the city's tastiest Chinese restaurants.
This year, London's vibrant and festive Chinese New Year parade will snake its way through a compact area of central London in and around Chinatown on Sunday the 10th of February. Wherever you to eat on that day – no matter how humble or lavish the venue – expect virtually every place open and serving in Chinatown to be slammed with hungry patrons. If you know your plans and can go ahead and make a reservation, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Otherwise, try get to a restaurant right at or just before noon as many people will still be at Trafalgar Square for the opening ceremony of the parade.
Here's a short list of London's four most noteworthy Chinese eateries – from the frugal-minded to the flamboyant – that are in or just a short stroll away from Chinatown.
4 Mill Street, W1S 2AZ
It’s one of London's newest restaurants and also one of its most expensive. But outside his much lauded two Michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong, where else are you going to get to sample “demon chef” Alvin Leung's signature extreme Chinese cuisine?
22 Wardour Street, W1D 6QQ
A good, solid Chinatown standby that's affordable and accommodating. Great duck, noodles, salt and pepper squid and bubble tea … everything! HK Diner is perpetually packed yet always seems to have a table available or will in fewer than five minutes. This phenomenon probably has a lot to do with the surly – but incredibly efficient – service.
4 Macclesfield Street, W1D 6AX
For fairly authentic Taiwanese dishes in an evocative (if kitsch) “1120 AD” setting, check out Leong’s Legends. And when you do, be sure to ask for a round of flavorsome xaio long ba burst-in-your-mouth soup dumplings. Finding a decent place to eat in Chinatown can be hit or miss. Leong’s is a reliable standby that’s clean, with prompt service and a tasty assortment of Taiwanese food.
15-17 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DL
Another fine dining establishment for those seeking an upscale opportunity to usher in the Year of the Snake, Yauatcha offers dim sum that's almost too pretty to eat and is a perennial favorite for celebrity sightings.
Grab some discount airfare to London and celebrate the Chinese New Year!
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photo: Chris Osburn