UK’s Top 10 Chinese restaurants

Yu and You, Copster Green

“An unremarkable building on the A59 between Preston and Clitheroe houses this remarkable Chinese-inspired restaurant”, where the food – “a westernised style” of Cantonese cuisine “like no other” – is “not heavy or greasy”, with “higher quality ingredients than you’ll find in many Chinatown based operations”. Service is “impeccable” too, and even if “the decor is slightly dated” there’s a “buzzing” atmosphere.


Xian, Orpington

“Victor and his team produce top-notch Chinese food” at this well-known but value-for-money High Street staple – “so popular that you sometimes can’t even get a takeaway!”.


Sojo, Oxford

“The best Chinese in Oxford” (some would say “by a margin”) – this “always busy” venture “in the ‘Little Asia’ area close to the railway station” is “popular with both locals and Chinese/Hong Kong students and visitors” thanks to its “extensive and consistently excellent menu”. “When they’re swamped they will apologise for the delay in serving”.


Yang Sing, Manchester

New Year banquet £45 pp Sunday 18 February from 12.30 pm

“Take your taste buds out of this world!”, say fans of Harry & Bonnie Yeung’s famous Chinatown landmark, which celebrated 40 years in business this year with a refurb to bring it “bang up to date”(well nearly…). In recent years, its longstanding claim as “the best Chinese outside London” has sometimes been disputed – most notoriously in the last year by Giles Coren at the end of 2016 – but none of our reporters agree with The Times critic’s assessment that results here are “absolutely minging”, and such doubts as were expressed this year (“rather flat and average”) were swamped by a wave of positivity for its “utterly delicious dim sum and Beijing duck”. The overall verdict remains: “if you want the most innovative and creative Chinese food in the north, go to ‘Yang Sing’!”

Dishes include: Baked venison pastry with sweet soy; Steamed xiaolongbau pork dumpling with black truffle; and Sizzling topside of beef with ginger and spring onions.


Shanghai Shanghai, Nottingham

A “run-of-the-mill setting” (“bit of a café atmosphere”) doesn’t seem to deter anyone from a visit to this Lace Market gem, beloved for its “incredible, authentic Sichuanese cooking”; it’s “always well-frequented by Chinese students – must be a good sign”.


Wing’s, Manchester

Wing Shing Chu’s well-known destination in a city-centre office block “attracts the celeb set with its well-executed Cantonese and extensive wine list”. “Yes, it is more expensive than Chinatown, and if you happen to want the less salubrious bits of the various animals (which I do now and then) you do need to go elsewhere”, but both the “crossover cooking” and service are “excellent”.


Trongs, Ipswich

“Trongs never disappoints!” – not only are staff “exceptional”, but it’s “a constant source of amazement that Ipswich has such a good Chinese” (with a “Vietnamese take on many dishes”).


Zheng, Oxford

“Giles Coren is a fan”, and so are all who comment on this “very noisy” and “cramped” (yet “efficient”) Pan-Asian “in Jericho, close to the Phoenix cinema”, where the “Malaysian and Singaporean dishes are especially good”, and the fare generally is “very reasonably priced”. (See also its brand new, rather smarter Chelsea sibling).


Tai Pan, Manchester

This shed-like operation continues to please, even after several decades in business; “lots of Chinese eat here, especially university students and café owners which must indicate its authenticity!”


Red Chilli, Manchester (Portland Street)

“The hottest gong bao chicken this side of Chengdu” and “delights such as pigs’ intestines and other anatomically less salubrious bits” star at this “excellent value” Sichuanese, which “is one of the more authentic options in Chinatown”. “I have not had a better Chinese meal for some time and it cost just under £20!”


If you’re in London then you’ll want to check out our definitive list of the capital’s Top 10 Chinese restaurants.

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