Chinese Restaurants in London
1. Yming Chinese restaurant in Soho 35-36 Greek St - W1
“William (the maitre d’) always has a warm welcome” at this “long-term favourite”: a Soho “oasis” whose “calm and friendly” atmosphere (“without the feeling we need to rush and free the table”) provides a quiet-but-stark contrast with the frenzy of Chinatown a couple of blocks south. Foodwise “it attempts nothing new or extraordinary – just good Chinese cooking that’s always wholesome and satisfying”, with “decent wine at un-greedy prices”.
2. Uli Pan-Asian restaurant in Notting Hill 5 Ladbroke Road - W11
This “popular and unpretentious” Singaporean/pan-Asian near Notting Hill Gate has earned a very solid local following in its 22 years – boss Michael Lim “makes it special”. The original All Saints Road site closed down in 2015, but the venture was resurrected three years later in this “cool new setting”.
3. Mei Ume Japanese restaurant in City 10 Trinity Square - EC3N
Delectable Asian-fusion delicacies – combining dishes of both Chinese and Japanese inspiration – win nothing but bouquets for this palatial dining room in a City five-star hotel, near the Tower of London. On the downside, cynics say “it feels like a business hotel restaurant”, and one or two diners “expected more, considering the big-ticket prices”.
4. Kai Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 65 South Audley St - W1
“If you want Chinese food at its best”, numerous reporters award top marks to Bernard Yeoh’s luxurious Mayfair fixture, which has held a Michelin star for the last 10 years now, and which is unusual in boasting a heavyweight wine list featuring many of the world’s most famous vintages. Even those who say it’s “brilliant” acknowledge it’s decidedly “not cheap” however.
5. A Wong Chinese restaurant in Victoria 70 Wilton Rd - SW1
“He’s won my heart, and my taste buds…” – Andrew Wong’s Pimlico venture “a short walk from Victoria Station” is the survey’s No. 1 Chinese nowadays due to its “absolutely amazing”, “elevated cuisine, beautifully plated and full of flavour”. At lunch time, the attraction is “dim sum as you’ve never tasted it before” – “mouthwatering and so delicate”, with special mention to the “incredible soup dumplings” – while at night there’s “a brilliant tasting menu, taking you on a whistle-stop tour of Chinese culinary delights”. “Happy” and “super-efficient” staff also rate special mention. “Plush the decor is not” – in fact the ground floor can seem “an oddly canteen-ish environment” – but, by contrast, the basement bar “has a beautiful ‘secret club’ feel to it”. See also Kym’s.
6. Min Jiang, The Royal Garden Hotel Chinese restaurant in Kensington 2-24 Kensington High St - W8
“With such delightful views of Kensington Gardens, the food could so easily become secondary”, but the impressively glam 8th-floor of the “luxurious” Royal Garden Hotel has long been acknowledged as one of the capital’s best destinations thanks to its “consistently excellent” Chinese cuisine (“better than I had in Hong Kong!”). Its ratings came off the boil slightly this year however, amidst some unfamiliar accusations that “it’s going downhill and becoming very expensive”: “if this is the best Beijing Duck in town, then I’m the Emperor of China!”
7. Unwined Chinese restaurant in Wandsworth 21-23 Tooting High Street - SW17
“Little wine bar and kitchen, with a great vibe in Tooting Market” – “a consistently delightful gem” with “regularly changing guest chefs” and “a fun and quirky wine list to accompany whatever’s on the menu”. (There’s a spin-off wine bar in a shipping container by Waterloo station.)
8. China Tang, Dorchester Hotel Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 53 Park Ln - W1
“Excellent, but expensive” – the late Sir David Tang’s stunning take on Art Deco-era Shanghai has always had vertiginous pricing, but its dependable cooking and “buzzy vibe” have silenced its sterner critics over the years, and the worst anyone has to say about it this year is that it’s “good but not spectacular”. Set in the basement of the Dorchester Hotel and newly refurbished in early 2019, arguably its best feature is its “wonderful cocktail list” and beguiling small bar.
9. Royal China Club Chinese restaurant in Marylebone 38-42 Baker St - W1
Some of the “best Chinese food in London” is on the menu at the Marylebone flagship of the Royal China group, including “fine quality” Cantonese classics and dim sum. It’s certainly “not cheap”, but a four-month refurb last year seems to have addressed the concerns expressed by reporters in previous years: marks for service and ambience are both up in the latest survey.
10. Singapore Garden Malaysian restaurant in Swiss Cottage 83a Fairfax Rd - NW6
“Consistently excellent food with friendly service” – all “at reasonable prices” – ensures that this cramped, pan-Asian veteran, tucked away in a parade of shops near Swiss Cottage, is “always busy”. Giles Coren of The Times claims to have eaten here more than a thousand times, drawn back by the Malaysian and Singaporean specialties.
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