The UK’s top 20 Chinese restaurants

Delicious Chinese meal

The celebration of Chinese New Year and the dawning of the Year of the Monkey is just around the corner. This year the movable lunar festival begins on Monday 8 February, although festivities in London (the biggest outside of China) will start in earnest on Valentine’s Day. If you’re planning to welcome the Year of the Monkey in style, or you want somewhere to enjoy a cheap n cheerful meal with friends, look no further than our top 20 list of Chinese restaurants in the UK. We’ve got suggestions to suit every budget…

 

UK Chinese Restaurants

Wing’s, Manchester

£50

This “always brilliant” city-centre spot is “still the best Chinese dining experience in Manchester” for its large fan club, for whom it’s “overtaken The Yang Sing”; there are “lots of interesting people to see”, too (if you like rubbernecking Man U footballers and their WAGS)!

 

Screenshot 2016-01-20 12.39.56Yu and You, Copster Green

£49

Expect “Chinese food light years ahead” of the competition at this “busy” and “fun” Ribble Valley spot – a former ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’ winner; it’s “expensive, yes, but so, so worth it”.

 

Screenshot 2016-01-20 12.43.09Trongs, Ipswich

£33

“The best Chinese in the area by far”; even after all these years “Trongs never fails to deliver”, offering “top-class” cuisine “with a slight Vietnamese twist”; it’s “not a very large restaurant and always busy so you must book to get a table”.

 

sojoSojo, Oxford

£41

In contention as the venue for “the best Chinese food in Oxford” – this “busy, buzzy, authentic” spot serves some “awesome” dishes and is “spot on with the heat”; it “can be hard to get a table and it’s rather noisy, but those are almost the only drawbacks”.

 

My SichuanMy Sichuan, Oxford

£41

“For taste, wow… just wow!” – “amazing” dishes “with lots of exotic items like frogs’ legs and ducks’ tongues” are all part of the “unabashedly in-yer-face” culinary style (“some stuff you’ll need to pluck up courage for”) of this centrally located, former school house, next to the bus station. “It’s not a good option if you don’t appreciate chilli heat”, but “it’s the closest thing to Chinese food, outside of China” and “the clientele are nearly always over 50% Chinese”. Top Menu Tip – “the cumin ribs are really, really good”.

 

Xian, Orpington

£37

“Continuing to nail it time after time”; this “cramped, but efficient and still-wonderful” Chinese “remains the benchmark” for many, many miles around – “we’re so lucky to have it on our High Street, it’s so much better than anything in Chinatown!”

 

shanghai shanghaiShanghai Shanghai, Nottingham

£31

“The real deal” – a “so different” venture serving “truly first-rate Sichuanese cooking that makes no concession to the British palate” (and as such is “packed to the rafters with Chinese students”); as for the “workaday” décor, well, “nobody is there for the stylish surroundings”!

 

Screenshot 2016-01-20 13.03.15Happy Gathering, Cardiff

£33

“Still trucking on after all these years and still the best in South Wales”; this “barn-like” stalwart Cantonese, amusingly located in its namesake Canton, is just “so consistent”, although there has been one change of late… “the stairs have got a new carpet (after what feels like 25 years!)”

 

yang singYang Sing, Manchester

£42

“Still the best in Manchester (and very probably further afield)” – the Yeung family’s vast Chinatown beacon (est. 1977) remains one of the UK’s top Chinese destinations, and its “joyous” dim sum is particularly notable for its “gorgeous delicacy and refinement of flavour”. Even one long-term observer who feels this “not amazing-looking, but comfortable place” is “currently on one of its recurring downswings” still thinks it nothing short of “brilliant”. Top Tip – “the banquets are especially good – tell the staff what you do/don’t like and let them take care of the order…”

 

Glamorous, Manchester

£39

“HK in Manchester!”; this venue, located atop the Ancoats branch of supermarket chain Wing Yip, is “great for Sunday dim-sum” – just remember to “get there early!”

 

London Chinese Restaurants

£55 and over

HKKHKK EC2

£70

“Challenging, interesting and fun” – the Chinese cuisine (much of it served from extensive multi-course tasting menus) at this Hakkasan-cousin, near Liverpool Street, is London’s highest rated; the interior “looks lovely” but is “a little quiet”. Top Menu Tip – “the best duck ever”.

 


yauatchaYauatcha W1

£76

“Perfectly executed” and “creative” dim sum – probably “the best in London” – have made the “trendy” Soho basement original a “classic” destination, and its new more “airy” sibling in Broadgate fully lives up. W1 also boasts an “HK-style pâtisserie selection – both breathtakingly beautiful and very delicious”.

 

Hunan SW1

£79

“Let the owner order for you”, then sit back for “a roller coaster ride of endless one-mouthful plates” when you visit this “cramped” Pimlico veteran. The “truly original and exciting” cooking is arguably “London’s best Chinese food” and the Peng family’s “haphazard, grace-under-pressure” service helps create “an experience like no other”.

 

hakkasanHakkasan W1

£89

“Dark”, “seductive” and “very sexy” styling – “like a nightclub” (and with “loud” noise levels to match) – provide a “funky” backdrop to a meal at these “dramatic” venues (the cradle of what’s a growing global franchise). Though “not cheap”, the Chinese cuisine’s “top notch” too, especially the “superbly original” dim sum.

 

min jiangMin Jiang W8

£77

“Peking duck to die for”, “fantastic dim sum”, and “a superb panorama as a bonus” – that’s the “rare combination” at this 8th-floor dining room overlooking Kensington Gardens, which – as one of London’s top Chinese destinations – breaks all the rules for rooms with a view.

 

Under £55

silk roadSilk Road SE5

£24

“A whole new take on Chinese food” – the “bold” and “amazingly unusual” Xinjiang dishes shine at this Camberwell café; “it’s all a bit spit and sawdust” though, and “the line of hipsters outside the door can be tedious”.

 

A WongA Wong SW1

£35

“Beats Chinatown any day!”; “stunningly good” cooking (not least “fabulous dim sum”) and “helpful, non-hassling” service have helped win a huge fan club for this canteen-style Chinese two-year-old – “part of Pimlico’s improving food scene”.

 

pearl liangPearl Liang W2

£47

A hotspot for dim sum – this big, dim-lit basement Chinese has an out-on-a-limb, Paddington Basin location, but is worth truffling out for its “top notch” cooking.

 

barshuBarshu W1

£54

It’s “not for the faint-hearted”, but for a “fragrant chilli fix”, the “uncompromisingly” fiery Sichuan cuisine at this Soho café makes it “one of the best Chinese options in town”; you don’t go for the ambience however, and service is “curt”.

 

Taiwan VillageTaiwan Village SW6

£34

“Amazing value, hidden gem off the gritty North End Road”, with supremely “helpful” service, and where the “consistently delicious” Chinese cooking comes with “interesting” – and spicy – Taiwanese variations; “go with the superb let-us-feed-you chef’s menu”.

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