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Current Best Bets in London Chinatown

I have theatre tickets for the Haymarket in June and will want to grab a bite in Chinatown beforehand. In the past I've been pretty good at sniffing out good places, but I haven't been in London in about 10 years. So what are the places to consider in the Gerrard Street area?


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  1. welcome back to london.

    i'd suggest checking out limsters posts as an excellent first (if not final) step:


    7 Replies
    1. re: howler

      Walk across the road to Soho, I'd definitely recommend Ba Shan on Romilly st. Just fantastic - there's a thread somewhere on here about it, but I would say it's heads and shoulders above the places on Gerrard St.

      1. re: pj26

        Seconded. I've had two wonderful meals there recently.

        The thread about it is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605638

        1. re: DollyDagger

          Ba shan sounds like the ticket! Thanks a million. Should be a fitting prelude to Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart in Godot!

          1. re: Peter Cherches

            Some of us have also enjoyed Haozhan in Chinatown, but I do think Ba Shan is the way to go, and I'm anxious to try it. They have some interesting dishes at the former. I saw a TV clip of a Godot rehearsal - should be a great rendition and maybe superior to the recent NY cast? Godot always comes out in times of recessions. :-)

            1. re: zuriga1

              Unlike everyone else, I wasn't wild for Ba Shan. Prefer the soup dumplings at Leong's Legend. I liked Haozhan when I went there.

              1. re: greedygirl

                One of these days I'll finally get to Ba Shan and Leong's Legend. It's tough not living right in London!

                1. re: zuriga1

                  Went to Leongs legends last night and had a great meal. the soup dumplings were ace, although two of the 8 had split which was a little bit disappointing. they were still ace though. the crispy shredded turnip was also good. the pastry is top class but if i am honest i thought they lacked a bit of flavour. maybe they are not supposed to be too flavoursome. im a cultural retard, so its probably a bit like saying chips are not spicy enough.

                  3 cup chicken was the highlight. tastly chunks of thigh meat with a good kick of chilli and garlic, and a dark sticky sauce flavoured with star anise and basil. sticky rice with dried prawns etc was good quality if a slightly small portion. green beans with minced pork were ok.

                  all in all i think it was a really good meal and will definately go back for more dumplings and to try other things on the menu. i wouldnt bother ordering the crispy turnip again, nor the green beans, but it was still one of the better meals i've had in chinatown. also 28 quid for two including service charge and drinks wasnt bad value. after a disappointing last meal at haozhan, i think its my new first choice for chinatown.

    2. Or Leung's Legend but only for the soup dumplings....

      1. Chinese Experience on Shaftesbury Avenue - food quality second to none (and I have been to a few), modern and clean . Very close to Gerrard Street top end near Curzon Cinema. Seriously go there and forget about the rest!

        2 Replies
        1. re: LotsC

          Excellent choice - just been trying to book there but phone not working - it's still open, yes?

          1. re: Scott_in_London

            AFAIK, Chinese Experience closed several weeks ago. Don't know if it's been reborn.

        2. Personally, I loved Fung Shing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: klyeoh

            Place mark:

            Fung Shing
            15 Lisle St, London, Greater London W1D 6, GB

          2. How about Sunday morning dim sum anywhere in London? I have a late afternoon flight from Heathrow, and would love to sneak in something worthwhile before leaving for the airport. Are any places open at 10AM (like in NY, SF, Hong Kong, Singapore). How about New World? Has anybody been to the Fulham Royal China? They open Sundays at 11 and aren't far from where I'm staying.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Peter Cherches

              Pearl Liang in Paddington is meant to be very good for dim sum. And it's near to the Heathrow Express service from London Paddington.


              1. re: medgirl

                According to their booking system, closed for lunch on Sundays, but thanks anyway.

                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  Hmmm...squaremeal listing seems to suggest that they are open Mon-Sun 12noon-11pm. Perhaps they do not accept online bookings for lunch? Might be worth giving them a call if you are interested but Fulham Royal China is meant to be good as well.

                  1. re: medgirl

                    Anyway, Royal China will be a better bet because of earlier opening & I can leave my things at the hotel & scoot to the airport on the tube.

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      i think pearl liang will serve you miles better than royal china. and its only 15 minutes on the heathrow express to the airport, so you'll make back the time easily. on the other hand, pearl liang is a bit hard to get to unless you take a cab and you do need to know how to get there if you're on foot - its not utterly trivial.

                      1. re: howler

                        Looking at the map I see what you mean about it not being trivial.

                        1. re: Peter Cherches

                          On foot it is really easy. Simply head out of the back of Paddington station (between platform 8 and 9), go past the Hammersmith and City line station, and follow the signs to Paddington Central. There are ramps so wheeling luggage won't be too bad - but better to stow it if you can.

                  2. re: Peter Cherches

                    Just had dim sum at Pearl Liang today (they're open on Sundays). Excellent lunch, will post details later, but particular favourites include the cheung fun/rice sheets with char siu/glazed roast pork or beef, xiao long bao/Shanghai dumplings, and the bean pastry with bamboo pith & mushroom consomme.

              2. I tried Pearl Liang last weekend after reading about it here and while it was good it definitely won't be luring me away from Royal China on Queensway for weekend lunches (I live close to both). While it was nice to have some different dishes from the RC standards, the food didn't have that piping-hot freshness that you get at RC during busy times, nor the fun of the bustling, packed atmosphere.

                1. Hope it's ok to revive this thread. I'm looking for somewhere near Leicester Square for an early evening dinner - preferably dim sum or small plates that we can share.

                  Now that Ba Shan has gone downhill, am I best off heading for Leong's? Could go back to Keelung but am eager to try somewhere new. Any ideas?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: DollyDagger

                    Have I missed something on Ba Shan?

                    I personally think that its excellent, based on what we ate a couple of months ago.

                    We would return in a blink, to wade through the menu ,for some of the tastiest szechuan food on offer in the capital.

                    What or whoever put you off, put to the back of your mind, and put this place on your "to visit list."

                    You won't be disappointed.


                    1. re: fat boy slim

                      I'd tend to agree with Fat boy slim - I dont think Ba Shan has gone downhill at all - was there about a month ago and it was still very good. If you haven't visited it before, I would still highly recommend it.

                      1. re: pj26

                        Nope, sorry, can't agree. Have been 5+ times since week of opening until very recently. Menu has now changed to mimic reopened BarShu across the road and quality has definitely fallen. Dumplings nowhere near as good as before. Very sad as I loved it when it opened - there's been discussions about whether the chefs move on once the hype has died down. I will probably give it another try once I have exhausted other local options.

                        So, with that in mind, does anyone have any recommendations for other dim sum / small eat places in Chinatown / Leicester Sq?

                        1. re: DollyDagger

                          Have you been to Haozhan. I guess they don't do dim sum in the evenings. I've only been there for lunch.

                          1. re: zuriga1

                            It was on my To Do list for a while but I've read some mixed reviews recently. Menu looks good but a bit pricey / fancy for what I need. Will consider it for lunch in the future though.

                          2. re: DollyDagger

                            That really is a shame to hear - both times I have been it's been great (although weirdly the second time we went they had changed the book-like menus to laminated A4 sheets, which just looked cheap). I had dinner at Haozahn a few months ago and it was very good (better than I expected after some very dodgy reviews), but is on the pricier side for Chinatown.

                            1. re: DollyDagger

                              I used to go to Ba Shan once a week and won't be going back except maybe for old times' sake. The menu is now basically the same as BarShu as DollyDagger says. They no longer have many of the best dishes on the menu and the ones that made this place so unusual (nor will they make them if asked) - the five-spice beef salad, the spicy chicken salad, the flatbreads (well, they retained one but it's a shadow of its former self), etc. It's not bad, but definitely not worth a trip across town any more for me.

                              1. re: abryan

                                Not sure if anyone mentioned this before but the original chef from Ba Shan moved to Seventeen - new to Notting Hill Gate. This might explain the drop in quality, though I'm not particularly inspired by the menu at Seventeen. Mixed reviews so far too: