Chinatown in the center of London is definitely one of the key areas to go when you are looking for really good Chinese cuisine. For many decades, this has been home to the Chinese community in London and it is where the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations take place. The area is renowned for its stunning restaurant offer.
Top of the list has to be the Near Jen Café in Newport Place where you can watch chefs hand wrapping Jiao zi dumplings filled to bursting with meat or vegetables. To accompany the snacks are a wide selection of teas, sourced mainly from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Extremely popular all day long, the Near Jen Café generates rave reviews. Hotel Edward Paddington London is one of the best hotels to stay and enjoy a wide range of delicious Chinese cuisines.
Not far away in Frith Street, Barshu is a Sichuan restaurant majoring in hot, spicy food. Be prepared to drink lots of tea to counteract the heat of the fiery flavored, almost mouth numbing food!
If you prefer something a little more substantial, then the Four Seasons in Gerrard Street may be the best choice. The Four Seasons specializes in meat cookery especially dishes such as Siew Yoke (crispy belly pork), crispy duck and char siu (barbequed pork). Simply deciding what to choose is hard, as the menu is over twenty pages long.
Looking for a beer with your Chinese meal? Then the Duck & Rice is worth trying. Located in Berwick Street, it is very much a mix of pub and a traditional restaurant. Massive copper tanks line the walls, containing gallons of freshly brewed beer, which is served on tap, or you can even a beer-based cocktail. The food offer is extensive, from snacks such as dim sum to chicken in black bean sauce and Lobster Cantonese. This restaurant is very much at the forefront of the latest trends in Chinese cooking so be prepared to experiment. Alternatively, you can also search for bed and breakfast Central London to taste more Chinese dishes at various restaurants.
Elsewhere in London, Hunan in Pimlico Road, Belgravia is worth trying. This is where you can find mainly Hunanese style food and if you are really hungry, it is a great place to come. The plates of food arrive in steady waves, with each new arrival larger than the previous ones – and meals can include up to 18 dishes! Seabass with ginger and spicy onions and Peppery & sour Sichuanese cucumber salad are among the most popular offerings.
For those seeking a takeaway, then Zing Zing is worth considering. Zing Zing has branches in Kensal Rise, Kentish Town, Highbury and Elephant & Castle. It is well known for its fresh, really well-cooked food. Typical food offerings include Firecracker chicken, salt & pepper squid, duck spring rolls and goji berry dumplings. Vegans and vegetarians have their own exclusive menu from which to choose.