Chinese Restaurants in Soho
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. Barshu Chinese restaurant in Soho 28 Frith St - W1
“Spice heaven!” – this “old favourite” is “worth a detour north of Shaftesbury Avenue” to “experience genuinely interesting and mouth-popping Sichuan specials” – so “be brave when you order”. The food-writer, China expert and consultant “Fuchsia Dunlop’s touch makes it a regional Chinese diamond in the Chinatown rough”.
3. Yauatcha Chinese restaurant in Soho Broadwick Hs, 15-17 Broadwick St - W1
“Silky-fine cheung fun, filled with sweet fresh prawns”… “dumplings wrapped in translucent skins”… “delicious venison puffs”… – “you can’t go back to Chinatown dim sum after a trip” to one of these “hip and happening”, Chinese-inspired haunts, whose “addictive bites keep reeling you in”. The “flash” Soho original, created by Alan Yau, “still feels fresh after all these years” – with its moody basement and lighter ground floor – while the Broadgate spin-off is much larger in scale, more conventionally glam, and with a big cocktail terrace overlooking Broadgate Circle. Any drawbacks? Service is “efficient” but “sometimes brusque”. Top Tips – Soho also serves tea, and has a line in “gorgeous, elegant patisserie”.
4. Shuang Shuang Chinese restaurant in Soho 64 Shaftesbury Ave - W1
2017 Review: “Fun, healthy and cheap” new venture from Thai restaurateur Fah Sundravorakul, on Chinatown’s northern border, seeking to differentiate itself from the competition by establishing a trend for Chinese DIY hot pot – you cook the meal yourself using implements provided, grabbing ingredients as necessary from a central conveyor belt.
5. The Duck & Rice Chinese restaurant in Soho 90 Berwick St - W1
This “nice take on typical Chinese dishes”, served “tapas-style in a gastropub” on Soho’s Berwick Street, is the creation of Asian restaurant maestro Alan Yau. Four years on, however – while it’s perfectly decently rated – there is little evidence that he has conjured another winner on the scale of his earlier hits, Wagamama and Hakkasan.
6. Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant in Soho 28-29 Gerrard St - W1
A “straightforward Chinatown classic”: this long-standing, “very authentic” destination provides a “good central location for inexpensive – and always reliable – dim sum” as well as roast meat.
7. Wong Kei Chinese restaurant in Soho 41-43 Wardour St - W1
“Go through the doors and instantly get barked at – how many? Then, an instruction is growled: ‘Upstairs!’” The ritual of a meal at this famous Chinatown veteran, has elements of self-conscious parody (you can actually buy a T-shirt saying ‘upstairs’), but remains relatively ‘real’: a loose pact between its infamously “rude” and dismissive staff and students, theatre-goers and hungry workers in search of cheap, Chinese chow. “You are unlikely to get any smiles as you find yourself at a shared table, in a crammed-in dining area with plates piled high with deliciously smelly food being slammed onto various tables – they want you to be decisive, eat, and get out as soon as possible” – but it’s “a fantastic filler”.
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