Check out London’s excellent choice of great Pan-Asian restaurants with SquareMeal’s selection. Every one of the restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s top Pan-Asian restaurants has been tried and tested by food critics and our own customers, so check out the reviews and book a table online with SquareMeal today.
Unfailingly lively, Crazy Bear has been transporting fans of chintzy glamour “to another world” since 2004. Gleaming dark wood, floors in reflective black, a velveteen staircase and leather booths padded in striking red are as unashamedly over the top as a vast pan-Asian menu plundering every corner of the Far East. From reliable sushi (the dragon roll of Alaskan king crab is a pure-luxury winner) and dim sum (venison puffs are our pick) to honey-roasted Old Spot pork reared on the group’s own Oxfordshire farm, exotic ostrich fillet with long beans and chilli paste or budget-busting chateaubriand with bok choy and XO sauce, the food seldom disappoints. Prices can seem steep, but bargain-hunting fans report that meal deals are “definitely worth it” – provided you resist the lure of Asian-themed cocktails in the plush basement bar. Service by assorted beautiful people mirrors the super-glam vibe, sometimes at the expense of efficiency.
‘Interactive oriental fusion’ is the deal at this futuristic, neon-lit restaurant, which has silenced those naysayers who claimed the “gimmicky” idea of ordering your meal through a table touchpad would soon wear thin. Instead, diners love this “great concept” with its entertaining novelty – you can even order a taxi home from your table. The food is an accessible pan-Asian mixed bag with new dishes such as scallop tartare, Malaysian beef rendang and Japanese tofu salad ‘hiyayakko’ alongside soft-shell crab maki rolls, delicate squid and spring onion dumplings, Peking duck and a “winning version” of the ubiquitous black cod. The basement cocktail bar deals in fusion cocktails (don’t miss the Inamo Martini with mandarin purée and chilli), while bubbly pop music adds to the vibe as young clubbers get the party started. Watch out for the monthly ‘magic nights’.
Uli is the second coming of Michael Lim’s modern Asian restaurant featuring the food of the Chinese diaspora – from regional China through Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. The place originally opened in All Saints Road, but Lim retired three years ago leaving a loyal clientele bereft. Now he’s back, with partner Graham Rebak, and they’ve revamped the operation with a bright new identity and lighter cooking for the clean-eating generation. The joint is already rocking with fashionable locals. Its wide ground-floor space is decorated in Mediterranean colours of white, sand and sky-blue, plus energetic photos of dancers. Outside, a huge terrace stretches across the pavement with decked flooring and a handsome canopy. Food is carefully cooked, well-presented and delicious. Counter the punchy flavours of soft-shell crab in chilli sauce, Szechuan prawns, or dumplings in broth, with silky batons of aubergine in black-bean sauce, or minced pork with spicy green beans. There’s familiar crispy duck with pancakes on the menu, but also Malay lamb curry pimped with grated coconut and galangal. Steamed sea bass with ginger and garlic is expertly dissected at table by nimble waitresses. To drink, choose from an apposite list of wine, beer, saké, and posh coffee and tea.
Unashamedly flash, Arkady Novikov’s double-handed celebrity magnet, touting both Asian or Italian dishes, comes with a broad remit for the big-money crowd. The headlining pan-Asian option might seem a tad heavy-handedly “exotic”, though the menu is ripe for cross-border plundering – from Padrón peppers to prawn tempura or sweet-and-sour chicken. Sashimi salads, spicy tuna rolls and various dim sum might open your account, while other dishes such as seared Wagyu sirloin or a porcini and truffle rice hotpot represent a line-up rich in eccentricities. Purists seethe at the very idea, but it’s supposed to be fun – albeit of a kind that’s not universally accessible. In the lounge, you can get Italian and Asian food, alongside a slightly overworked cocktail list. The heavily hyped private jet menu is one of Novikov’s more novel ideas, although any super-rich takers will miss the opportunity to see and be seen.
Novikov - Asian Restaurant
The paparazzi don’t stalk this Notting Hill landmark as they did in the glory days of models and movie stars, but a slick, well-heeled crowd is still drawn to Will Ricker’s concept of fashionable pan-Asian small plates. Mouth-watering dim sum include scallops with lemongrass, black cod and king prawn gow gee, various dumplings, ribs and the ever-popular chilli-salt squid, while the roll call of sushi, sashimi, curries, tempura and larger plates of whole crispy sea bass with ‘three flavours’, Wagyu strip-loin or Korean lamb with kimchi will make a sizeable but delicious dent in your bank balance. The restaurant’s interior is restrained and minimalist, with dark wood and crisp white linen, although a lively flash of pink in the bar announces great cocktails and a terrific buzz. Outside are neat banquettes set into the frontage, along with a few pavement tables where you can smoke and dissect your latest deal or shopping spree.
Dark and atmospheric with velvet seating, heavy brocade curtains and a waft of incense, this sultry Pan-Asian bar and restaurant exudes a decadence and opulence redolent of the 1940s – think Parisian opium den (mmm). The food fits the bill too: staff (all kitted out in cheongsams) deliver the likes of king prawn and squid tempura with tamarind guava dressing, or jasmine tea-smoked pork ribs, with toasted sesame seeds and honey. At the bar, you’ll find specially created concoctions pepped up with fiery Asian ingredients, including the Shanghai Alley (ooo-er) which blends Tequila, Maraschino cherry syrup, rice syrup and grapefruit. Fill up on drinks before hitting the (dance) floor.