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Chopsticks at the ready! There’s Cantonese dim sum, classic Beijing-style roast duck, spicy Sichuan cuisine and plenty more to choose from. Do you agree with the choices? This is a list that London Design Agenda recommend for you, go visit and than give us the feedback.
Long known as a specialist in northern Chinese cuisine, Princess Garden also has a range of dim sum that stands comparison with London’s best. As you would expect from the Mayfair address, the menu offers plenty of opportunities to splash out. Peking duck, lobster, shark’s fin and abalone are all available in a range of northern, Cantonese and inventive fusion dishes.
8-10 North Audley Street, W1K 6Z | Main courses £7.50-£12.
Royal China Club is among the best places in London for dim sum. The elegant dining room, adorned with fine glassware and linens, and furnished in sleek black lacquer and gold decor, is an impressive place to bring guests. Both the dim sum and main menu feature plenty of luxury ingredients. If you sit at the front of the restaurant, you may find yourself eye-to-eye with a crab or lobster pottering about in the large fish tank that divides the dining area from the bar.
40-42 Baker Street, W1U 7AJ | Main courses £9.50-£120.
At first glance, Yauatcha may look like a swanky cocktail bar, and with its celebrity – or sometimes just attractive – guests, the place can often resemble a nightclub. Nevertheless, it also serves some of the capital’s best and most innovative Cantonese food. Slide into a booth in the edgy ground-floor dining room, chicly accented with bright coloured lights and Chinese ceramics, or lounge around a table in the cavernous sexy brown room below.
15 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DL | Dim sum £4-£15. Set meal (3-6pm Mon-Fri) £14.44
London dining doesn’t get much camper than China Tang. Sir David Tang’s flamboyant take on Chinese design (bold colours, shiny woods, giant paintings of carp) has met its match in the art deco temple that is the Dorchester, creating the perfect subterranean scene in which to be seen. Everything – including international sugar daddies with sexy dates half their age – is gilded and lacquered to within an inch of its life.
The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA | Main courses £12-£48.
Don’t let the Crossrail construction works around Paddington station or the less-than-lovely glass and concrete tower blocks put you off coming here. The spacious room is a real looker – sexy enough to get even a panda in the mood for love – with its dark slate flooring, mauve chair covers, and flower blossom designs that appear on lampshades and a long wall mural.
8 Sheldon Square, W2 6EZ | Main courses £8.80-£60.
A notice from Chairman Mao, one of Hunan province’s better-known sons, greets you on arrival at this Hunanese restaurant: ‘If you don’t eat chillies, you won’t be a revolutionary.’ Chillies, in their various Hunanese interpretations, feature prominently on the menu, which offers a wide range of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes from the region.
24 Romilly Street, W1D 5AH | Main courses £7.90-£16.50
This bustling restaurant has been serving no-nonsense Cantonese food since the late 1980s, and attracts a large, loyal band of regulars (including visitors from overseas). They definitely don’t visit for the basic dining room with its well-worn carpets, scruffy red chairs and plain walls adorned with paintings of bucolic Chinese scenes. The rear ground-floor section is the brighter and quieter part of the restaurant, and preferable to elsewhere.
100 Queensway, W2 3RR | Main courses £6.50-£18.
When it comes to Sichuan cooking, the gang of three – Barshu, Ba Shan and Baozi Inn, all under the same ownership – lead the London pack. Barshu, the original restaurant, is spread over three floors, but we prefer to sit at ground level. Although the dining area isn’t large, the burly wooden furnishings and intricate wooden carvings add to the allure. Young, hip Chinese like the place too.
28 Frith Street, W1D 5LF | Main courses £8.90-£28.90
More than a decade after it started wowing London’s big spenders with its classy Cantonese cooking, this Michelin-starred trendsetter remains a benchmark against which all high-end Chinese restaurants should be judged. The basement’s stylish interior (all dark wood lattice screens and moody lighting) still attracts the kind of beautiful people who might suppress their appetites – though there was little evidence of restraint on our midweek night visit.
8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD | Main courses £16-£61.
Beyond the opulent five-star hotels of Hong Kong, ‘Cantonese fine dining’ can seem an oxymoron. Cantonese restaurants in London are better known for garish decor, abrupt service and slapped-together dishes shared by noisy families. HKK reinvents the entire experience. The Hakkasan Group describes its latest venture as ‘bespoke Cantonese fine dining’.
88 Worship St, EC2A 2BB | Around £110 (lunch), £240 (dinner).
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