Chinese Restaurants in Mayfair
1. Kai Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 65 South Audley St - W1
“A cut above any Chinese restaurant I have been to” – Bernard Yeoh’s “attentive but not overbearing” Mayfair stalwart celebrates its 20th birthday in 2023 and continues to offer a luxurious mix of “absolutely fantastic contemporary Chinese cooking” (what Yeoh describes as ‘liberated Nanyang cuisine’) twinned with an impressive wine list (swelling with Premiers Crus from Bordeaux, Burgundy and beyond). Even those who say the food is “lovely” though, feel it comes at “eye-watering prices”.
2. Hakkasan Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 17 Bruton St - W1
“Fantastic, modern Chinese food” has long driven this famous Asian phenomenon. Launched in 2001, it has gone from a big, “overly dark” and nightclubby basement (“horribly loud music”) near Tottenham Court Road to spawn a very glam Mayfair offshoot; as well as 12 international spin-offs from NYC to Mumbai. “Eye-watering prices” and a mixed record when it comes to service, have always inspired jibes of “style over substance” here. But perhaps due to post-Covid challenges, such problems are in the foreground this year. Given that there have been blips before, they will probably get a grip. But it’s hard at present to ignore the many former fans saying “these ageing stalwarts need a refresh” (“I used to love it, but I think the bill now is silly and unjustified and the service is half-hearted and surly”).
3. Park Chinois Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 17 Berkeley Street - W1
Flamboyant décor and regular live entertainment aim to recreate the decadence of 1930s Shanghai at this showy Mayfair mandarin. As in previous years, it takes some flak for its pricing, but ratings for its luxurious cuisine (which includes Scottish Rib-Eye and imported Wagyu steaks, alongside Peking Duck, dim sum and more evidently Chinese dishes) were consistently good this year.
4. China Tang, Dorchester Hotel Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 53 Park Ln - W1
The late Sir David Tang’s take on 1930s Shanghai in the basement of this famous hotel divides opinion: some praise its “sublime food” including “wonderful Peking duck” (with the option of caviar) and other luxurious dishes to share (such as suckling pig or abalone) for £200-£300; others complain of “crazy prices” for “average meals” that are “no better than the standard Cantonese”. On the plus side, the more affordable dim sum selection is available in the evening as well at lunchtime, and plenty of guests have a good time (to the point one reporter found it “rowdy”). Top Tip – plan on a cocktail in the superbly atmospheric bar.
5. MiMi Mei Fair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 55 Curzon Street - W1J
“Tucked away in a lovely Mayfair conversion”, Samyukta Nair’s (who studied in China) year-old Shanghai-inspired venture has suffered some tough press reviews (notably from Giles Coren in The Times) but generally pleases diners. OK, even many fans concede that it is “super-expensive”, but “apart from the bill, everything else is amazing”, including the superior dim sum (from an ex-Hakkasan, Chinese-Singaporean chef, Peter Ho) and “fabled Peking duck” (which you must pre-order).
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