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Is there good Chinese food in London.

OK it's our own fault for not doing research first. We were in London last week, but where are the good Chinese restaurants? We tried mightily to avoid Chinatown, but succumbed finally. One dim sum place was not that bad. One place that advertises that they just hired a BBQ chef from HK actually had very good BBQ duck. But otherwise no.

So for the next time we are in London, where are the good Chinese restaurants?

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  1. I like Haozhan.. in Chinatown.

    1. Mr Kong on Lisle Street, I love Taiwan Village on Lillie Road (more szechuan/taiwanese) and also the place at the ROyal Garden Hotel....

      1. I forgot to mention Min Jiang in Kensington. Their dim sum and food is above a lot of other places - and good views of Kensington Palace.

        9 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1

          So there is no second concentration of Chinese restaurants in London away from Chinatown? (Like L.A., NYC, Toronto, Vancouver, or SF?)

          1. re: PeterL

            Heck, I'm just a lowly ex-New Yorker who now lives over here. :-) It seems to me there are Chinese restaurants all over London and it's neighbouring areas... just a matter of finding out which are the best, and that's an individual matter. Does NYC have a second concentrated area outside Chinatown?

            One of my favorite places here is in far-off Croydon. The food is mostly Cantonese and tastes like what I grew up with. I think that influences my preferences a lot, but I'm trying to be more adventuresome.

            1. re: zuriga1

              Regarding a second concentration in NYC, yes, Flushing has a pretty amazing concentration of Chinese places. I always tend to do my dim sum trips out to Flushing and avoid Manhattan Chinatown. :)

              1. re: bdachow

                Yes, Queens has a lot of good ethnic places. I lived way up north of the city, so I didn't get there very much at all.

            2. re: PeterL

              I dont think there's any reason to 'avoid' Chinatown - there's some pretty good places there and nearby - for starters Golden Day, Haozahn, Bar Shu, Leongs Legend. Search the board for more options.

              And as zuriga1 has mentioned, there's a huge amount of Chinese restraurants all over London - some more concentrated than others, but not on the same scale as Chinatown.

              1. re: PeterL

                maybe queensway/baker st/paddington area could be described as a second concentration, but as pj says there's no reason to avoid chinatown as there area some very good places in with the bad. in the "second" area, lots on this board about pearl liang, royal china, gold mine, four seasons...

                1. re: PeterL

                  I dont know that there is a sub-Chinatown but I would agree with the other people here that there is no good reason to avoid Chinatown in principle. Just follow the reviews. There are a lot of good Chinese places in areas where you might not expect them (Golders Green, a hotel lobby in North Greenwich....)

                  1. re: PeterL

                    London's Chinatown is a very artificial creation and as a result it has only recently blossomed into a real center for Chinese food. That said, literally all of my favorite Chinese restaurants in London are further afield. Aside from maybe Golden Day but I've only eaten there once.

                    London has a really large Chinese community that is growing along a crescent from Elephant and Castle down and around via Rotherhithe as far as about Canada Water. I suspect a Chinatown of sorts will naturally form somewhere around there in a few years.

                    But Chinatown does have some good places. Haozahn (thanks Limster!) is pretty fantastic if an altogether different and more upmarket experience. Their black cod is quite good and the portions are very generous. I still need to properly write that place up...

                    1. re: JFores

                      Haozah makes a very different style of sweet and sour chicken. At first it surprised me, but I've really come to like it a lot. Their Malaysian wide noodles and beef dish is also first rate. I might move in next door. :-)

                2. Went to Pearl Liang on Sunday for dim sum, was excellent, especially the xiao lom bao.The other stuff on the menu looked pretty good to.

                  Or you can never go wrong with Royal China.

                  And for low key Four Seasons on Bayswater is brilliant. I think it won a award for best roast duck in the world in the Financial Times. You'll see the article in the window if you go.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: nikinoodle

                      Any difference between quality of the ducks among the Four Seasons branches (2 in Chinatown, and one in Bayswater)? I remember liking the duck more at Gold Mountain than the Bayswater branch, but it's been a while since I've eaten at either.

                      1. re: nikinoodle

                        I thought the roast duck at Four Seasons was the best in London - back in the 90s. But ever since the chef left to open Gold Mine, both restaurants have had their own loyal clientele base. Personally, I liked Gold Mine better. Four Seasons' marinade can be a bit overpowering!

                    2. Mr Kong's in Lisle Street has to be the best spot in my opinion. There are certainly more fancy places, more Eurocentric places, but when you're surrounded by Chinese diners and not tourists it must be the place to be.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Steve_K

                        Mr Kong was full of non-Chinese diners when I went, far more so than Golden Day, for instance.

                        1. Had a very good dinner at Plum Valley in Chinatown last night. It's a bit on the pricey side, but the claypot dishes in particular were excellent. Also enjoyed the roast duck and the black cod dumplings.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: greedygirl

                            Did you find the service OK? I looked Plum Valley up on london-eating.co.uk, and most of othe complaints were about the awful manager and service, certainly not the food. That said, it's nice to know of a new place to try.

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              It was rather bruaque, but fine. We had a Chinese speaker with us though.

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                I'll remember that. :-) My family loves to eat Japanese food with my husband who is fluent in that language. It's helped us on more than one occasion.

                          2. I love the dim sum at chinese experience on shaftesbury ave, its the best in london I have had. Used to go every week, and mid week they had half off...royal china gets raves, but it isn't as tasty and its more expensive.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: JNW

                              Have you been there recently? Their website is still up but london-eating.co.uk says the restaurant has closed.

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                Chinese Experience is now Golden Day.

                                1. re: Sharmila

                                  Well that settles *that* question! Thanks.

                                  1. re: zuriga1

                                    Chinese Experience was always very good, so if Golden Day is like it and same cook etc. then I will add that to my list of "go to" places

                                    1. re: LotsC

                                      It's now the best Hunanese place in London.

                            2. Royal China on Baker Street. Good food in general, but especially dim sum.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Gustofers Travels

                                i've had good (but inconsistent) dimsum at the Royal China in Queensway...but my recent dinner at RC Baker Street was dreadful -- bad fish, bad fried oysters, good Chinese broccoli, bad dumplings, good bottle of wine -- 98 pounds...would never return for dinner...

                              2. Imperial China in China town is very good!

                                1. If I'm in Chinatown, I liked the crispy duck from Fung Shing, and fried milk fritters from New Mayflower. Been going there > 2 decades & counting.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                    A propos oldies but goodies, what ever happened to Lee Ho Fook? Also, it appears that Chinese are buying a lot of London real estate now, so the Chinese food scene should be getting even better.

                                    1. re: Joebob

                                      Yes, I was also non-plussed to see that Lee Ho Fook had vanished (replaced by a Northern Chinese eatery?) when I passed by last Nov.

                                    2. re: klyeoh

                                      I have just started to go to Mayflower following a recommendation on this site, possibly yours. Thank you.
                                      I have enjoyed the milk fritters with prawns and had a pretty good chicken with crispy bones. What else would you recommend?

                                      Of Golden Day, where I have had three excellent meals, also thanks to this board, I had my best ever Chinese meal in UK there the other week: spicy pork haslet, pickled cucumber, beef with pickled chilli, filleted sea bass with garlic and chilli, home style cabbage. The pork haslet is, judging by the waiter's sign language, either stomach or intestine and rewards on chewyness, meatiness and subtle chilli. Sadly, I shall now give up on the Golden Day smoked meat mixed platter, it is merely interesting.

                                      1. re: TLC_Tim

                                        Definitely their lobster noodles - braised lobster with ginger & scallions, served over springy egg noodles!!

                                        Mind you, these are by no means the best Chinese food you'd get in London - for more up-to-date recs, read CH limster, the go-to guy for good eats in London!

                                        For me, visits to Mayflower & Fung Shing are more for nostalgia - it's very reassuring to see that some things never change, and some old places are still there, just as you remembered.

                                        1. re: TLC_Tim

                                          Do however try the smoked pork with sun dried white chili pepper. Excellent.

                                      2. In my experience Cheng Cheung Ku(spelling?) was good and also Fung Shing, Royal China and also out in the sticks on the Edware Road near Staples Corner is Wing Yip Chinese superstore, they have built quite a smart restaurant on the corner of the centre that is packed most evenings with Chinese guests, the food is outstanding, pains me to say it may be better than Royal China which I have loved for many years!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: UK2004

                                          We eat at the Wing Yip in Croydon since that's not too very far a drive for us down in the south. I never have had a bad meal, and it reminds me so much of the Chinese food I grew up eating in the States, so I guess it's one reason I enjoy it so much. Despite it being a huge restaurant, the quality is always top-notch.

                                        2. ROYAL CHINA my dear foodie friend..also, hunan balcony and yauatcha