London has a wealth of Chinese restaurants to choose from, ranging from high-end, high-spend places in the likes of Mayfair and Knightsbridge to the more affordable budget-friendly eateries in Soho’s Chinatown. Whatever you are looking for in terms of style or budget, it is a well known fact that the capital is not short of excellent Chinese restaurants, so you should find something to suit you in our round up of the best Chinese restaurants in London below.
We have found that people who like Chinese food, really, really like Chinese food. Everyone has their favourite dishes, whether it be dim sum or Peking duck, and some of our top picks for Chinese places in London serve up these classic recipes with new and exciting twists. Take the prawn toast at Hakkasan, for instance, which is a deep fried ball stuffed with fois gras, or the dumplings at RedFarm, which are coloured, shaped and decorated to look like the ghosts from classic 80s arcade game Pac-Man.
For us, the criteria for the best Chinese restaurants in London changes from venue to venue. Sometimes it is the incredible service from knowledgeable staff that simply elevates your experience, or perhaps the seductive interiors that provide the perfect backdrop for an Instagram worthy selfie. Other times, it is instead about the attention paid to sourcing and using top shelf ingredients, which gives way to drool-worthy meals that we just can’t stop thinking about.
Lots of the best Chinese restaurants in London will require pre-booking to secure your seat, as they are a popular clutch of places. So have a scroll below and read our thoughts on each spot, find your favourite, and then call ahead to book and make sure they are ready and waiting for you on your desired date - happy eating!
The Duck & Rice, Soho
What: Having become a Soho favourite since its opening, it’s not hard to see why people flock to The Duck & Rice. All the familiar favourites are present and correct: prawn crackers, sweet and sour pork, prawn toast, for instance. These dishes are all served with a zest and freshness that will ruin your local takeaway forever. There’s also the appeal of open fires, which are a rarity in London and make this a lovely cosy spot in winter to enjoy a sharing feast for friends (lazy Susan included).
Where: 90 Berwick Street, W1F 0QB
Min Jiang, Kensington
What: Get your Chinese fix with a side of the London skyline thanks to Min Jiang’s stunning tenth floor views over Hyde Park to the city beyond. Here dishes are luxurious and rich, and all the better for it. We can’t visit without indulging in the Beijing duck which is presented in three different styles at your table – our favourite being the crispy skinned serve that comes with a sugar dip. Elsewhere there are stalwart crowd-pleasers like pancake wraps and lettuce parcels, as well as very good dim sum and black pepper steak.
Where: Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8 4PT
What: For high-end Chinese in the capital it’s hard to beat Yauatcha, with its high quality food and professional service. Dumplings are consistently good here and include things like crystal wraps and steamed prawn sui mai. For mains there are sharing-style plates showcasing combinations such as scallops, tofu and bamboo shoots or braised noodles with roast duck. If you’re a pudding person make sure to save room for one of their signature desserts – a lemon sesame tart perhaps.
Where: 15-17 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DL
What: With large sharing-style mains around the £15-mark Kaki is on the more affordable end of London’s scale and it offers something a bit different to the rest. Specialising in Northern Chinese cooking you can expect hot dishes, like boiled sea bass in chilli oil or a spicy shrimp stir-fry pot. Offal, too, plays a large part on the menu so a visit here may not be for the faint of heart. Interiors are cool and contemporary, with bare brick walls and functional tables and chairs.
Where: 125 Caledonian Road, N1 9RG
Royal China Club, Marylebone
What: Where other Chinese restaurants in London may look to diversify and modernise their menus, Royal China Club knows its strength is in its classics. These comforting, familiar dishes are elevated by the use of the very best ingredients – caviar, scallops, fois gras and Wagyu beef – giving diners a really special experience. Soft shell crab is a must-have, with its crunchy coating and spicy salt and pepper seasoning, while crispy Iberican pork belly was faultless on our visit.
Where: 40-42 Baker Street, W1U 7AJ
RedFarm, Covent Garden
What: Originally hailing from New York RedFarm give everything a playful twist, for a Chinese food experience in a convivial setting. Take the signature dumplings, for instance, which are naturally tinted with four different colours and dotted with sesame seed ‘eyes’ to resemble Pac-Man ghosts. Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find indulgently fatty pork belly bao and crispy chilli beef that strikes the strived-for perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. With one of our coveted Silver awards we think this is up there with the best restaurants in the area – and well worth a visit.
Where: 9 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ
Mr Chow, Knightsbridge
What: Despite having opened over 50 years ago Mr Chow still remains relevant thanks to its fine dining approach. As much an institution as a restaurant at this stage Mr Chow attracts a well-heeled crowd who are happy to pay its quite substantial prices in return for a guarantee of some of the city’s best Chinese food. Sticky glazed prawns are a favourite of ours, along with minced chicken wraps that are salty and spicy with every bite. And if you need any more of an excuse to visit, just know that there’s a dessert trolley.
Where: 151 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7PA
Xu, Covent Garden
What: Started by the team who run the infamous Bao restaurants in London, Xu is their slightly higher-end restaurant offering, which specialises in Taiwanese cooking. The interiors are decked out in dark wood, across two floors, with curved central bars on each level, making you feel like you’ve just found yourself in the Shanghai of the 1920s. Start with fried pork dumplings bursting with juicy meat, accompanied by a sharp vinegar dipping sauce before moving on to poached chicken flavoured with garlic, lemon rind and ginger, and topped with crispy chicken skin.
Where: 30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL
What: For a special occasion or celebration, we suggest heading to Hakkasan for exquisite Chinese food in a sleek setting. There are Western twists on classic dishes, but somehow this only strengthens the offering, rather than diluting it. One of the signature serves is a spicy lamb salad with peanut dressing which is rich and packed with umami flavour, while dim sum – like the steamed har gau decorated with gold leaf - have previously been described by our readers as ‘divine’.
Where: 17 Bruton Street, W1J 6QB
Bright Courtyard Club, Marylebone
What: As with a lot of London’s best Chinese restaurants, Bright Courtyard Club is a sibling of a global original – in this case a Shanghai flagship. Interiors are a little dated, with tiled floor and neon feature lighting, but the menu remains luxe. Indulge in black prawns with truffle, or pork belly a la ‘grandmum’s’ recipe. A word of warning though, the sound Chinese cooking does sometimes come with a long wait and service isn’t the friendliest in town. If you can stomach that then you’ll be rewarded with en pointe Shanghainese cooking.
Where: 43-45 Baker Street, W1U 8EW
Din Tai Fung, Covent Garden
What: Din Tai Fung is an outpost from a Michelin awarded main location in Hong Kong, so expectations are high. Despite its reputation we found the food to be a mixed bag on our visit, with some highlights but also a couple of disappointments. To concentrate on the positive, we loved the steamed chilli crab and pork buns, as well as the pork xiao long bao which burst with broth on first bite. You’re looking at around £50 per person for dinner without drinks here, so the financial commitment is considerable, but if you order well you won’t leave feeling disappointed.
Where: 5 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8PT
Imperial Treasure, St James’s
What: Often touted as our editor’s favourite Chinese restaurant in London, Shanghai-export Imperial Treasure opened with confidence – going straight in with an opulent three-story space in exclusive St James’, on a 25-year lease. Turns out the confidence was deserved, food is of consistent high-quality, with specialties including dim sum, live seafood and Beijing style roast duck (which should be ordered in advance). With their other restaurants around the globe holding a clutch of Michelin stars, you can expect food that matches the high prices asked.
Where: 9-10 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4BE
Phoenix Palace, Marylebone
What: Having practically remained the same in style since it opened, the retro feel of Phoenix Palace is part of the draw. Regulars have been coming back for years, to work their way through the 300-dish menu. We love the crispy lobster dumplings as well as the warming congees that are rich, savoury and nourishing. Service is super-efficient, with speedy staff delivering consistently good Chinese dishes to your table in no time at all.
Where: 5 Glentworth Street, NW1 5PG
A, Wong, Pimlico
What: Having been awarded two Michelin stars in 2020, A. Wong consistently serves up high-end dim sum and larger Chinese plates to a discerning crowd. The dining room is understated, with the focus very much given to the food, while service is relaxed yet accomplished. In the evening we suggest opting for the tasting menu, to give yourself a full overview of the chefs’ range. Dishes you might be served include a crab claw with cured scallop and wasabi or sweet and sour chicken that has been given a Michelin makeover, thanks to smoked meat and marinated pineapple.
Where: 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Park Chinois, Mayfair
What: If it wasn’t done so well, the grandeur of Park Chinois could feel a little over the top. We’re referencing the swathed curtains, live music entertainment, red velvet seating and fringed table lamps. In their quantity they become theatrical and fun, giving the room a celebratory buzz. When it comes to the food we loved the XO mooli cakes that were stir fried with snow crab for a moreish sweet and savoury plateful. Elsewhere you can find fabulous examples of all the classics – Peking duck is roasted to order and served with baby cucumber and duck sauce, while the restaurant’s version of carbonara takes udon noodles and combines them with egg, guanciale and sea urchin, with unexpectedly fantastic results.
Where: 17 Berkeley Street, W1J 8EA
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Fitzrovia
What: Hakkasan has been on the London dining scene for some time now and remains the favourite of many Chinese food lovers. Thoughtful twists on classic dishes enhance your typical dining experience: prawn toast, for instance, is reimagined as a fois gras stuffed ball which is then deep fried for a crispy, oozing-centre treat. If you’re worried about the price point for Hakkasan you could visit at lunchtime, when the dim sum menu is served at a more affordable rate.
Where: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
What: For the adventurous among us it doesn’t get more interesting than arriving at a restaurant and being told there’s no menu. That’s the reception you can expect at Hunan, where put simply you let the friendly staff know the kinds of things you like and don’t like, before leaving it to chef Michael Peng and his team to make you a multi-course feast. You can expect around 12 small creations, with signature dishes that include steamed pork broth with ginger and mushrooms or spring onion pancakes with daikon and beancurd skin.
Where: 51 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
Mei Ume, City
What: Mei Ume succeed where so many others fail, in serving the cuisines of two countries side by side. With both Japanese and Chinese dishes on the menu you might be forgiven for thinking they must have sacrificed the quality of each somewhere along the line, but somehow they manage to serve everything up to a high standard. Try crunchy fried squid in a salted egg batter or a selection of eight pleated dim sum, to give you a variety of tastes and textures in one serve.
Where: 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ
What: Set in Chinatown, Baiwei is one to visit for an authentic experience of South-Western Chinese cooking. Menu items include preserved eggs as well as plates of pig’s ear, tongue and tripe – so perhaps not one to take the kids to. If you’re looking for an adventurous evening then arrive with an open mind and indulge in aforementioned dishes, as well as bowls of the much-talked-about dan-dan noodles, or rich beef won tons in broth.
Where: 8 Little Newport Street, WC2H 7JJ
China Tang at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: The interiors at China Tang are somewhat of an attack on the senses with no space left free of embellishment. Intricate dark wood panelling and furniture feel somewhat olde worlde, but they set the scene well to give everything a bit of atmosphere. Try a comforting congee to start, with dried scallops or chicken, before moving on to classic mains like sweet and sour prawns or stir-fried beef in black pepper sauce. Being housed in the basement of The Dorchester hotel, service is as refined as you might expect for the coupling of two such brands.
Where: 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA
What: If you like your food hot, Barshu is a chilli mecca not to be missed. Specialising in Szechuan-style cooking nearly everything is given a lick of heat. Dry wok dishes of frog’s legs, pig’s offal or duck tongues are flavoured with punchy red chillies while slices of belly pork come in a fiery red sauce. Interestingly Barshu don’t try and hide the fact that they use MSG, and are very open about the fact that they will want your table back in two hours, but if you can cope with that then this is an authentic taste of central China not to be missed.
Where: 28 Frith Street, W1D 5LF
Hutong at The Shard, London Bridge
What: With its glamorous air, Hong Kong export Hutong at The Shard occupies the 33rd floor of the shard, and offers sky-high views to lucky diners. Although prices are punchy, the service and quality of the food make it seem worth the spend. Try exquisite XO scallop and crystal prawn dumplings or braised Chinkiang pork ribs with a sweet vinegar sauce. Try to arrive early, if you can, so you can treat yourself to a couple of their innovative oriental cocktails – they’re worth a trip up in themselves.
Where: Level 33, The Shard, SE1 9RY
Royal China - Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf
What: Canary Wharf is oddly lacking in good restaurants, but Royal China thankfully goes some way to filling the gap in the market. With outside seating and unobstructed views of the Thames it makes a lovely spot to enjoy an early evening meal in summer, or squirrel yourself away in winter to enjoy the comfortable seating and rich and comforting aromas coming from the kitchen. There’s a sophisticated Hong Kong menu that includes high-end ingredients like duck, lobster and lemon soul, but also includes all the classics like lemon or ginger and spring onion chicken.
Where: 30 Westferry Circus, E14 8RR
What: Much like its Soho sister restaurant, this East London outpost of Yauatcha serves up meticulously thought-through Chinese dishes. Stand-outs for us include perfectly crafted dim sum with unexpected fillings like spicy Szechuan pork or venison, or the larger plates that range from steamed halibut with chilli and salted radish to pork ribs with truffle. Slick, contemporary interiors and well-rehearsed service ensure that by the time the sizable bill is delivered to your table you won’t feel like the whole experience was bad value.
Where: Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
What: Kai offer Chinese cooking with a slight fusion twist, which is perhaps partly the reason for its success. With a Michelin star and a SquareMeal gold Award, you’re nearly guaranteed a really good meal here. The menu showcases both small and large plates, giving diners the choice between things like glutinous rice balls flavoured with Wagyu beef oil or lobster with ginger and spring onion, plus noodles slathered in lobster oil. If after all that you can squeeze in a sweet then we’d suggest trying their unusual durian and vanilla souffle with salted caramel.
Where: 65 South Audley Street, W1K 2QU
If you love sampling the various cuisines of the world, why not try one of the places on our round up of the best Indian restaurants in London.