Chinatown in London, always has amazing aromas of delicious food, is always buzzing and vibrant. It is one of my favourite places to walk through and a real treat for the palate.
This year, to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, Visit London and London Chinatown Chinese Association organised a gastronomical tour for a group of us to experience some of the fabulous restaurants in Chinatown, which are popular and perfect for Chinese New Year celebrations or as a useful guide, if you fancy some authentic and delicious Chinese food any time of the year.
We started off our tour at Imperial China, which had a beautiful entrance and stunning decorations to mark the celebration of the new year.
We had quite a feast of a selection of colourful Dim sum, including a gorgeous pink Shredded Chicken Red Rice version of the Cheung Fun, made especially for the Chinese New Year. All the Dim Sum we tried were just sensational.
It happened to be pancake day on the day we visited, and so Crispy Aromatic Duck with Pancakes was a definite delight, and the duck was just perfectly cooked and it was so much fun to fill the pancakes with the sauce, greens and shredded duck and wrap it all up and indulge!
Our second stop in Chinatown was The Golden Dragon restaurant, where we experienced much more authentic dishes on their special Chinese New Year menu, such as Spicy Duck Tongue, the most incredible roast duck, steamed crab which is HUGE, divine dim sum and Nian Gao for dessert.
My favourite was the steamed crab, which was made with egg which had a lovely flavour to it, and unlike anything I had tried before.
The roast duck was so good I may have to pay another visit!
The sesame crusted custard buns were to die for and literally just morsels of happiness.
The Four Season’s Restaurants are known for their Roast Duck (which is definitely on my list to try in the near future), but they also do the most incredible Hot Pot! This is best shared with your best pals or family, and is a fun concept where you immerse the food, whether vegetables or meats, into a large pot which is simmering away with a delicious broth of your choice on a hot plate in the middle of your table.
As someone who loves spicy food, the Spicy Chicken Ma Lah Hot Pot was heavenly for me. We tried so many lovely vegetables I had never tried before as well as a Chinese potato. The turnip tasted particularly good in the broth as did the lotus root.
We also tried Stewed Beef Brisket in the Hot Pot which was also incredible.
It is such a fun experience and definitely one to try if you have never experienced it before. It is so reasonably priced too.
There are several branches of the Four Seasons restaurants, and the one we visited which specialises in Hot Pots can be found on 11 Gerrard Street, Chinatown.
We ended our remarkable tour with dessert of course and at one of the most popular bakeries in Chinatown, Bake 麵包屋, which specialises in baked delights from Malaysia, China, Japan and Korea. There were some queues as well as lots of mesmerised passers by staring in to the glass window, as there was a machine making and filling the cutest custard filled fish shaped Taiyaki Buns at the shop front.
They also do a fish shaped ice cream waffle cone as well as the very Instagram worthy Bubble Waffles, which are just scrumptious.
All I can say is that it smelt like heaven in there and there was no way you could visit without buying any treats.
We were lucky to have been given a Chocolate fish shaped bun as well as the mini custard buns to take home, and oh did I enjoy them that evening!
If you have never tried the Taiyaki Buns or the Bubble Waffles, get yourself there pronto, but be patient as it is very popular! After all, all good things come to those who wait 😉
If you are looking for some lovely restaurants to eat Chinese cuisine, I would definitely recommend any of these, with of course a stop at BAKE for dessert. I know I will definitely be back for more of the Hot Pot as well as roasted duck!
Have you been to any other fabulous Chinese restaurants in Chinatown that you would recommend? I would love to know in the comments section below.
Our tour and food was complimentary thanks to Visit London and The London Chinatown Chinese Association. All views and photos are my own.