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Mar 12, 2012 01:18 PM

which dim sum restaurant in China town London


am taking some colleagues into China town on Saturday and as i no longer go into town preferring instead to have dim sum at yi-ban, i was wondering where is good and reasonable for dim sum in town

my choices are

joy king lau - it's an old family favourite but i haven't been for like 4 years
Lido (didn't know they did dim sum)
Chuen Cheng Ku although not been since I was a small child- many moons ago :)

been to jade garden and was not impressed

I kinda want somewhere where the food is v authentic but not too much msg..i don't mind if service is crap as its more about the food as being chinese myself and growing up going to chinese restaurants i don't expect good service but good food :)



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  1. Haven't been to many in Chinatown, but between Yi-Ban and Peninsula around Greenwich and the Docklands, both of which are very good, one would be hard pressed to find something even close in Chinatown.

    I suspect Joy King Lau might be your best bet (haven't been but passing along what I've heard from chowy folks).

    8 Replies
    1. re: limster

      hi Limster

      cool thanks for letting me know. I did try to book Joy king Lau earlier today for Saturday but they told me they were fully booked and to just show up...hmmm! not great as there are 6 of us and she never even asked how many people and literally slammed the phone down at me. Knew i should have used my pigeon cantonese but my colleague b,ooked 5 mins later and spoke in perfect Cantonese and got me a table. Terrible..shouldn't be discriminated but my Chinese is not so good so didn't want to chance it so speak English instead


      1. re: sichuanjunkie

        BTW, have you been to Grand Imperial in Victoria? There were great reviews, but I might have taken too long to eat there, as it was merely pretty good by the time I had a chance to try the dim sum. Was wondering if I was there on a bad day, or if it's genuinely downhill.

        1. re: limster

          oh i haven't ..i tend to just go where i know which is usually yi-ban..on the off chance i did go somewhere different it was never that good :( although of course with chowhounders' recommendations its always great to try different places knowing that others have enjoyed it :)

          1. re: limster

            Are Grand Imperial still offering the Eat-As-Much-As-You-Like Dim Sum lunch for £16.80 (£18.80 at weekends)? I''d be more tempted to try it again if that offer is still on...

            1. re: YSL

              It was available when I ate there a few months ago.

              1. re: limster

                i've checked their website and could not see the eat as much.
                recently bought a groupon voucher for Grand imperial, so trying to book for next weekend £16 for two people for a cantonese afternoon tea (no idea how much we will get but prob not much)

                1. re: sichuanjunkie

                  Excellent! Please report back on what you thought of it

                  1. re: YSL

                    defo - hoping they have emailed me back at work for booking next week

                    will let you know :)

      2. So where did you end up and how was it?

        I have to find somewhere for 9-10 people around Chinatown and I was going to go to either Jade Garden, CCK, Joy King Lau or the Beijing Dumpling for Dim Sum tomorrow.

        Why were you not impressed with Jade Garden? I also prioritise food over service but my family disagrees...

        Any other suggestions as Pearl Liang is just too far?


        9 Replies
        1. re: frogprince

          hiya frogprince

          ended up in joy king lau and it was really nice. The service was good..we sat on 3rd floor and arrived around 1pm. We did try to book which my colleague did for me but when we got there they had no note of our booking so i suggest if there is 9-10 of u to get there early (just in case as its v busy on Sundays for dim sum in China town)
          Also the Shao long bau wasn't that great - no juice in the dumpling (must have juice in my book) but other than that most of the dim sum we had was nice

          Didn't like Jade Garden because you are really squashed together and the food is very hit and miss; first time I went was great but second time was poor...the only nice dish is their shao long bau- lots of juice :)

          I personally recommend if you are near E London, I will go Yi-ban always good you can book hassle free or via top table. I always see large groups there.

          otherwise for me in china town it will have to be Joy king lau...we ordered loads and the bill came to about £12 a head for 6 of us and we had double of everything as most of the dim sum came in 3's, plus we had a plate of seafood noodles

          let me know how u get on - this is making me hungry :)

          1. re: sichuanjunkie

            Thanks SJ, I have booked JKL but as you suggest will pop in earlier to make sure that they have the booking sorted...

            ...have not been to JKL for more than 6-7 years so it will be good to see how it compares with Pearl Liang. I will try Yi-Ban but it's a long way for me...might try Grand Imperial if you think it is worth it!

            1. re: frogprince

              hey frogprince how was joy king?

              will let u know about grand imperial once i have tried it :)


              1. re: sichuanjunkie

                Meant to post after JKL...which turned out to be good/competent. Booking & service was actually pretty good and they accommodated all our requests but the quality of the dim sum was mediocre compared to Pearl Liang or Yauatcha. But location & timeliness was important on the day and for that, it was perfect.

                Grand Imperial? Though apparently they do not include Cheung Fung in the AYCE deal...

                1. re: frogprince

                  Hey Frogprince

                  glad u managed to get a booking at Jkl- i guess you pay for what you get with places like Yauatcha being pricey but better quality of food and more contemporary

                  Grand Imperial was was their Cantonese afternoon tea we had which wasn't bad- about £14 for two on a groupon offer with limitless tea.
                  Restaurant itself was gorgeous(reminds me a bit of Shanghai Blues)..inside a hotel by Victoria Station and service immaculate.

                  The food came out on those 3 tier cake stands you have for afternoon tea. The top tier consisted of
                  dim sum included two pieces of lobster dumpling which was divine, two cod rolls that were deep fried in vermicelli, two bbq pork baked puffs

                  2nd tier we had two veg lettuce wraps and two shredded duck with hoisin sauce with spring onions/cucumber on prawn cracker

                  3rd tier had dessert which was two green tea creme brulee which was gorgeous and not too sweet and for the life of me can't remember the other dessert

                  my friend and I were stuffed after.

                  we love to try their proper dim sum menu but its pricey. Still not see their AYCE deal though and no cheung fung? thats terrible-its a staple :)

                  1. re: sichuanjunkie

                    Do you know the regular price for the tea if one doesn't have the Groupon offer?

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      hi Zuriga

                      as per frogprince its normally about £18-20- more if you want champers :)

                    2. re: sichuanjunkie

                      Was it the 'Chocolate Dim Sum'?

                      Lobster & Cod Rolls sounds like good value for £14. I think the regular price is £18-£20 per person.

                      Think this might warrant a visit...

                      Thanks for the info.

                      1. re: frogprince

                        hi Frogprince

                        no it wasn't the choc dim sum - i am guessing they did a special 'groupon' dim sum platter

          2. Can't remember exactly when I first went to Chuen Cheng Ku, one of London's oldest restaurants - it must have been in the late-60s or early-70s. They served the most FABULOUS roast duck I'd ever had up till then.

            I walked past its location last night and realised it's not there anymore. When did it close?