Chinatown can be rather daunting if you don’t know where you’re going but hopefully our little roundup will make things a little more easier.
Offering lots of yummy food options, all the saucy dumplings you could want and some Chinese supermarkets to inspire you at home, Chinatown is brimming with foodie wonders and delights so get yourselves down there. It’s the closest thing we’re getting to a return trip to China so you may as well navigate it knowing where you’re going, right?
1. Loon Fung Chinese Supermarket
If you’re looking for a new marinade or just some general inspiration on how to jazz up your homemade Chinese cuisine, this massive Chinese supermarket will do the trick. They have everything from noodles to fresh fish, meats, vegetables and lots of impressive snacks that’ll guarantee you’re the most popular person in the office.
42-44 Gerrard Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 5QG.
We included this place in our list of great cheap eats in the capital and rightly so. If you’re looking for one of the best Katsu curries you’re likely to have in London, then this really is the place to go. What’s better is that a huge plate of the stuff with sticky rice and salad will only set you back £6. Be sure to get there early though as there’s nearly always a queue out the door.
11 Wardour St, Soho, near Leicester Square station, W1D 6PG.
Wagyu blend burgers bigger than your face dominate the menu and our happiest moment came when we got to tuck into The Hokkaido. Think perfectly pink meat patties, mushrooms, red onion and a blue cheese fondue that’ll have you reaching for more napkins. The Panko Meatball is wonderfully coated in breadcrumbs and who knew wagyu cheeseburger harumaki (that’s spring rolls to you and me) were so damn good? Get a side of ridiculously moreish fries, multiple fruity cocktails in takeaway-style cups and a green tea profiterole to finish, then thank us later. With some seriously cool interiors, a basement that basically turns into a nightclub with an inhouse DJ, and authentic vibes that’ll transport you to the centre of Japan and hey presto, you’ve got the newest (and coolest) place to be on a Friday night in Chinatown.
22 Wardour Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 6QQ.
4. Bubble Wrap
If you’ve ever been to Chinatown and seen a massive queue forming, it’s more than likely for Bubble Wrap. They come in those well-known red cones for easy eating and look pretty impressive for the ‘gram. Get yours and fill it with all sorts like chunks of Cadbury chocolate, Oreos, gelato and if you’re trying to be healthy, then some fresh fruit and sauce.
24 Wardour Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 6QJ.
5. Good Friend
This humble fried chicken shop is set to change everything you thought you knew about takeaway chicken. This Taiwanese night market staple is the main premise behind Good Friend and won’t make you feel like a ball of grease afterwards. Opt for some of their popcorn chicken pieces that are cooked fresh in front of you and doused in seasonings of your choice – opt for chilli, lemon and salt for a real mix of flavours that’ll probably have you wanting to order another bag. Winner winner chicken dinner.
14 Little Newport Street, near Piccadilly Circus station, WC2H 7JJ.
6. The Chinatown Bakery
If you’re looking for fluffy Chinese baked goods and some of the yummiest pillows of cake, this is the place for you. The smells of the bakery will be enough to tempt you in but their Taiyaki machine (which makes those adorable little filled pastry fish) will surely have you gawping through the window in awe then proceeding to order multiple bags of these little lovelies. There’s even pork floss rolls for those days when baked goods and meat are all you need. You heard us, pork floss rolls.
7 Newport Place, near Piccadilly Circus station, WC2H 7JR.
7. Dumplings’ Legend
If you haven’t tried a Chinese Xiaolongbao, what are you doing with your life? These gorgeous soupy dumplings are notoriously hard to eat but once you get over the scolding hot soup, they’re damn delicious. There’s an impressive 47 varieties of dim sum to choose from and nine types of dumpling, so if you’re new to the delightful world of dumplings then this is definitely the place to educate yourself.
15-16 Gerrard Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 6JE.
8. Wong Kei
It was once described as “the rudest restaurant in London” but the service here has improved somewhat. All of the shouting and noise is kind of forgiven as the food here is super yummy and well-priced too. The menu can be rather daunting but skip to the back of it for some seriously hearty dishes that’ll leave you rolling out of the restaurant. They also give you free tea so who’s really complaining. We recommend opting for a bowl of warming beef brisket ho-fun, this warming soup is laced with chunks of tender beef so it’s pretty much like a hug in a bowl.
41-43 Wardour St, near Leicester Square station, W1D 6PY.
If you’re looking for a place to refuel and glug down some milk tea, then you’ve surely heard of Chatime. They’re at the forefront of the iced drink game and offer lots of liquid treats such as mango frappés, matcha tea lattes and chocolate mousses. We’ve spent many an afternoon pondering all the options on this extensive menu but you can’t go wrong with a Chatime milk tea after all the inevitable feasting you’ve been doing in Chinatown.
4 Gerrard Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 5PE.
10. Four Seasons
If there’s one thing you’ll see a lot of in Chinatown, it’ll be roast duck hanging temptingly in the windows. Four Seasons is famous for it and rightly so, order a quarter per person for a substantial offering and of course, go off the bone. Less hassle and more time spent chowing down on some of the best roast duck you’ll get in the capital.
12 Gerrard Street, near Leicester Square station, W1D 5PR.