Afternoon tea, Chinese·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Gouqi

Gold Award

Some might think seven Michelin stars are enough to earn you a comfortable retirement somewhere. Chee Hwee Tong clearly isn’t one to embrace life in the slow lane. After his 18-year tenure as Hakkasan’s executive chef, he’s back on the London restaurant scene, this time under his own steam.

Gouqi quietly arrived in Trafalgar Square in 2023, but news soon spread. Not least due to the swish, contemporary interiors and the deeply glossed Peking duck, which is carved tableside. It is given the respect of its own tray, its own clever-wielding chef. With astonishing delicacy, the skin’s removed. It’s almost brittle and a simple sugar dip accentuates its richness. Next, plump slices of breast come to be stuffed into steaming pancakes with all the trimmings. The less obvious course is the stir-fried minced leg meat, destined for lettuce cups.

Aside from the duck, beautiful dim sum act as starters in a characterful procession of steaming baskets and plates. Pitch perfect – and often chopstick evading – prawn cheung fun is generously stuffed and the buttery venison puffs from Hakkasan have been resurrected and are as brilliant as ever. There are more prawns for mains. This time, the fist-sized crystal kind which come dressed in an electrifying XO sauce. Just don’t ask the price (or do, they’re £42).

It’s not only the food that’s spellbinding though, it’s also the all-star cast that has been assembled to meticulously guide guests through the delightful experience with warmth and personality. There’s attention paid to every detail for a joyous run of miniature moments of surprise. From the ice that’s frozen to the bottom of the cocktail glasses (so it doesn’t unceremoniously whack you in the face when you drink) through to the individually designed tableware, with duck-shaped chopstick rests, nothing is left to chance.

As Charles Eames famously said, ‘the details are not the details. They make the design’. And Gouqi has been so carefully designed that it’s s work of art in itself. It’s the most exciting Chinese restaurant that’s opened in London for years.

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Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Afternoon tea, Chinese
Cosy, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Romantic, Unique
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Gouqi is a fine dining Chinese restaurant from seven Michelin-starred chef Tong Chee Hwee, where he brings innovative contemporary Chinese cuisine to St James’s in London. Tong helped to open Hakkasan Hanway Place in 2001, which gained its Michelin star two years later in 2003, before later becoming the executive chef of the entire Hakkasan Group in 2010. Over the years, he’s also led the kitchens at Hakkasan Mayfair, Yauatcha Soho and HKK, before leaving the group in 2019.

Gouqi marks the chef’s return to London’s dining scene and is his first solo venture, where he offers a contemporary take on Chinese cooking with a range of la carte, tasting and dim sum menus. The name Gouqi (pronounced like ‘goji’) originated as a play on goji berry, traditionally viewed as a symbol of health and vitality and which informs the ethos of the restaurant. As such, dishes are made using the freshest possible seasonal ingredients and offer a fusion of flavours, techniques and ingredients drawn from across China, as well as parts of Europe.

On the a la carte menu, diners are able to tuck into its ‘legendary’ peking duck with Oscietra caviar, as well as other luxurious dishes such as eight treasure crispy chicken with foie gras and a steamed royal dim sum platter. While the eight-course tasting menu combines modern European influences with Chinese flavours to create dishes such as chargrilled silver cod with yellow bean sauce and passion fruit, and black truffle roasted duck with honey-glazed Iberico char siu with salted egg yolk.

Meanwhile, its cocktail menu is inspired by the four Chinese mythological creatures: the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North. Discover four collections of drinks, each offering their own distinctive flavour profile, from floral and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Elsewhere, a premium wine list features a lengthy selection of bottles from across the globe.

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For all diners to this restaurant, spending over £60 on Mondays to Fridays, for evening diners.

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Does the restaurant offer private dining?

Yes, there are two private dining rooms for eight and 10 guests respectively. These rooms can also be combined for larger parties.

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Do you need to book a table?

Yes, it is recommended to book a table online before visiting.

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Meet the team

Chef Tong Chee Hwee

Chef Proprietor

Known around the world for his industry-leading Cantonese cookery, chef Tong Chee Hwee is famous for having headed up the Hakkassan group for 18 years. During this time he managed menus across the brand’s clutch of restaurants and earned an impressive seven Michelin stars collectively. Gouqi is the first restaurant he’s opened under his own steam and serves contemporary Chinese food in a luxurious setting just off of Trafalgar Square.


Alan Tang

Restaurant Director

Restaurant Director Alan Tang MIH brings front of house experience from an impressive collection of luxury, Michelin-starred and global brands, including Hakkasan, Four Seasons, Imperial Treasure and Shangri-La The Shard. Along with being a member of the Institute of Hospitality and a former judge for the Young Chef Young Waiters for the China/South-East Asian category.


Pedro Santos

Head Sommelier

Head Sommelier Pedro Santos is certified from the Court of Master Sommeliers. His career history spans high end restaurants and members clubs, including Scott’s, Annabel’s and The Twenty-Two, and he now oversees the restaurant’s traditional wine cellar featuring fine, Chinese and Goji wines.


Amy Stoyel

Head Pastry Chef

Head Pastry Chef Amy Stoyel spent several years of her career in Hong Kong where she developed a passion for Chinese cuisine. Amy has worked at a variety of Michelin-starred and fine dining restaurants across London and is skilled in traditional French and British cooking which she combines with South-East Asian flavours.

This venue also offers

Private Group Dining


Event Party Venue


Videos and 360 tours

3D Tour


25-34 Cockspur Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 5BN

020 3771 8886 020 3771 8886


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun 12:00-15:00
Mon 17:30-22:00
Tue 17:30-22:00
Wed 17:30-22:00
Thu 17:30-22:00
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun 17:30-22:00


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4 Reviews 

George D

01 January 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Stunning food with incredible well matched flavours. Warm & cosy atmosphere, and a friendly attentive staff. 

An absolute treat.

Claudia S

04 November 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Petros K

09 October 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4

Julia H

12 June 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 3.5
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