XU Teahouse & Restaurant
XU Teahouse & Restaurant is reminiscent of the original social clubs and luxury dining rooms of 1930s Taipei. The kitchen serves a creative take on classic Chinese and Taiwanese dishes, with a focus on carefully sourced Taiwanese ingredients. Home to a permanent mahjong (a Chinese tile-based game) club, the two games rooms are both available to hire for two-hour slots. A short guide and cheat sheet are provided for those unfamiliar with the rules. Make sure to pair the experience with a cocktail or two – we like the ‘Aki Royale’: champagne, gin, blackberry and night-scented jasmine tea.
30 Rupert Street, Chinatown, W1D 6DL
Din Tai Fung
This superlative steamed bun emporium has been crafting its world-famous delicacies since the 1970s. Today, Din Tai Fung’s xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings) are still considered a delicacy — when the restaurant’s first European site opened in Covent Garden in 2018, customers queued for up to five hours to sample the goods. The Michelin-starred Taiwanese restaurant’s Henrietta Street outpost offers a selection of the group’s signature dishes, including the aforementioned xiao long bao made with a delicate dough skin, which is then pleated, twisted at the top and steamed. Comprising at least 18 folds, every bun is created with surgical precision: each passes through six separate stations manned by a different team of dim sum chefs.
5 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8PT
Imperial Treasure has restaurants in Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Incheon and now London – with many of them currently awarded with one or two Michelin stars. At the group’s St James’s location, an assortment of authentic dim sum is available daily, crafted by a dedicated chef. Guests can enjoy exquisite dumplings which sing with authentic flavours, such as the seafood dumpling consommé with dried scallop and bamboo pith; Ibérico pork shanghai soup dumplings; and grilled vegetarian shanghai dumplings.
9 Waterloo Place, St James’s, SW1Y 4BE
Inspired by 1960s Hong Kong, Soho's Bun House recalls the era’s teahouse street stalls. Opening in in April 2019, Bun House’s second site pays homage to dai pai dong food stalls, with a small hatch inside the restaurant serving up traditional street food style snacks such as curried fish balls and cheung fun (traditional rice noodle rolls topped wok-fried vegetables). Steamed bao buns are the stars of the menu, with pig, lamb, chicken, fish and veggie options, as well as an interesting collection of pickles – think daikon, jicama, blue garlic and seasonal choy. Drinks celebrate Hong Kong’s burgeoning craft beer scene, working closely with breweries such as Moonzen and Young Master, plus there’s a range of tea-based cocktails and cold brewed tea.
26-27 Lisle Street, Chinatown, WC2H 7BA
The Royal China Group consists of six authentic Chinese restaurants, including the critically acclaimed Royal China Club in Marylebone. Based in Baker Street, Bayswater, Fulham, Harrow-on-the-Hill and Canary Wharf, its five Royal China restaurants focus on excellent dim sum. A must-order platter includes spicy crabmeat dumplings with tobiko; dumpling wrappers made with baby spinach juice; prawn dumplings; scallop and minced prawn dumpling with tobiko; and spicy minced duck dumplings. Head to Royal China Club and you’ll find more luxe dishes, such as wagyu rolls in Szechuan sauce; crispy lobster dumplings with garlic; and crispy frilly rolls with scallop and foie gras.
Various locations across London
P.F. Chang’s Asian Table
P.F. Chang’s Asian Table is the younger, more artistic side of the world-famous global restaurant P.F. Chang’s. A modern space with a fun bar (which is often taken over for various pop-ups celebrating everything from Japan’s cherry blossom season to Wimbledon), the West End pan-Asian restaurant is an ideal spot for dinner with the girls. From the menu, we’d opt for the Asian caesar salad; the must-try ‘dynamite shrimp’, the lobster chowder, the chicken lettuce cups and the Mongolian beef, followed by something sweet from the restaurant’s in-house ‘Pastry Lab’.
10 Great Newport Street, Chinatown, WC2H 7JA
Baozilnn’s four restaurants serve authentic, well-priced northern Chinese street food. Baozilnn, which means ‘people’s canteen’, has grown a loyal following for its all-day Cantonese dim sum with Hunan and Sichuan influences. Star dishes include prawn and pork wontons; chengdu jiaozi dumplings (steamed ground pork dumplings) drenched in XO sauce; and classic xiao long bao with minced pork and scallop. Away from the dumplings, make sure to leave room for the group’s handmade dan dan noodles in homemade soy sauce, sesame sauce, peanut sauce and minced pork. It’s one of the capital’s very best dishes.
Locations in Borough, Soho, Victoria and Chinatown
With its glossy, pastel-hued walls and pink neon lights Roro is a one-of-a-kind dessert shop. Inside, the team specialises in Asian-inspired confections along with colour-changing drinks. For a sweet street-food inspired snack, opt for one of Roro’s made-to-order jianbing. These slender crepe rolls come in original, chocolate or matcha variety and are topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries and mango.
10 Wardour Street, Chinatown, W1D 6BZ
Opium Cocktail Bar
Decadent multi-story drinking den Opium transports guests to a bygone Chinese era via expertly mixed tipples and elegant surroundings. Opium’s intimate hidden bar, Peony, features a menu of ten cocktails – each one named after and taking inspiration from a Chinese city. Titled ‘A Journey Through China’, Peony’s territory-spanning menu is less about a drink in a glass, more a theatrical experience with many ingredients indigenous to the city the drink is named after. Good news: Opium is open until 3am from Thursday-Saturday.
15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, W1D 6JE
Every good night ends with a trip to the local takeaway. But in Chinatown, forget kebabs: it’s all about midnight dumplings. True to its name, Dumplings’ Legend is the only place for a late-night dumpling fix. Open till 2:30am on a weekend, the team offers an extensive menu of steamed delights, including xiao long bao, its signature dumpling dish.
15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, W1D 6JE
The team behind Bubblewraps put a delicious twist on waffles. Having originated in Hong Kong, these unique egg waffles caused Londoners to queue for over two hours for a taste of the sweet and savoury creations when the site first launched. Resembling bubble wrap, the waffle is shaped into a cone and filled with everything from matcha gelato and KitKat to berries and cream, with a helping of Oreos, fudge or pistachios for good measure. Proper Instagram fodder.
24 Wardour Street, Chinatown, W1D 6QJ
The final pit stop for hungry night owls in Chinatown has to be late-night favourite Hung’s. Open until 4am every day, revellers can get stuck into anything from a bowl of beef brisket noodles to a selection of Cantonese BBQ meat – the mixed platter comes highly recommended for indecisive diners or if you’re feeling peckish after a night of karaoke round the corner.
27 Wardour Street, Chinatown, W1D 6PR
My Neighbours The Dumplings
Serving up dim sum dishes in a fun, informal atmosphere, this dumpling house is the first of its kind in Clapton. The décor is scuffed but darkly glamorous come night-time – all glowing multi-coloured lightboxes and lanterns – and the hand-crafted dumplings are almost pretty enough to frame. Classic siu mai (pork and prawn dumplings) and har gau (shrimp dumplings) are steamed to perfection, and team really well with the menu’s fresh and spicy salad selection. There are also plenty of veggie-friendly options and an impressively extensive sake list, which can also be enjoyed in the dedicated dive bar downstairs.
165 Lower Clapton Road, Clapton, E5 8EQ
Combining Western ingredients and Asian home-style recipes, Ugly Dumpling aims to elevate and refine the perception of the humble dumpling. The kitchen uses British seasonal ingredients to create new dumpling flavours: case in point, exec chef Emilian Craciun’s festive-themed braised short rib dumplings, which he served guests last Christmas. Alongside more traditional fillings, such as pork belly, prawn and chive, and satay chicken, expect to encounter fusion fillings such as cheeseburger dumplings and mushroom and truffle dumplings.
1 Newburgh Street, Soho, W1F 7RB
Monga Fried Chicken
One of the Chinatown’s newest arrivals is popular Taiwanese chain Monga Fried Chicken. Following recent openings in America and Canada, London is the group’s first European destination. Expect five flavour options (including seaweed) spanning everything from wings to nuggets, alongside a selection of Taiwanese beer. There’s also a bao butty on the menu – perfect for late-night snacking.
12 Macclesfield Street, Chinatown, W1D 58P
Chinatown mainstay Orient London welcomes a range of customers, from theatre-goers seeking some quick dim sum to those after a spot of karaoke. The kitchen serves show-stopping dumplings, handmade daily by a dedicated dim sum chef. From classic Cantonese versions, such as har gau (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork and prawn dumplings) to scallop gyozas; deep-fried beancurd skin and prawn rolls; and crystal king prawn dumplings with black truffle and XO chilli sauce, Orient London has all your dumpling desires covered.
15 Wardour Street, Soho, W1D 6PH