The Square Mile plays host to some of the very best Chinese restaurants in London, from luxury fine dining destinations to your more relaxed and homey interpretations.
The year of the rat is upon us. It is meant to symbolise new beginnings (as it is the first of the zodiac animals) and can be incredibly lucky for many. But we mostly see it as a good excuse to revisit our favourite Chinese restaurants around the Square Mile.
And like those born in the year of the rat, we’ll eat just about any kind of food – from the incredibly luxurious dishes to the more traditional staples. That’s why this list includes a good blend of high-end Chinese dining institutions alongside smaller, less assuming local spots.
Be sure to indulge yourselves this year, eating all manners of noodles, dim sum, fried rice and roasted meats (for those not partaking in Veganuary). Each of the below dining destinations will give you what you need.
The Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square is too often overlooked for its food and drink offerings. It is a proper luxury dining destination in the Square Mile. We could go on for days about La Dame de Pic with its two Michelin stars but Mei Ume (located just across the hall) is more than worthy of proper praise. Their Chinese and Japanese fusion is simple and unproblematic, with flavours never fighting one another. Here, you can sip on sake all night, and feast on an entire Peking Duck. And, in celebration of Chinese New Year, they will be serving a special menu full of traditional Chinese treats. They’ve even decked the entire restaurant with handmade lanterns, gossamer peonies and chrysanthemums. It also runs from 23 January to 6 February so there’s plenty of time to book a table.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square EC3N 4AJ
It’s no secret that we’re a little obsessed with Yautacha in Broadgate Circle. It is one of our very favourite restaurants in the City of London. Much of this comes down to not only the quality of flavours but also the incredibly creative presentation of each small and large dish. Nothing is an afterthought here. The perfect introduction to Yauatcha would have to come in the form of their traditional yum cha (dim sum) experience. Either head there for lunch or dinner during the week or for their brunch alternative on weekends. If you haven’t been here yet, make sure you do this month.
1 Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS
Master Wei and Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles
Chef Wei Guirong and Zhang Chao opened Highbury’s tiny Sichuan noodle restaurant, Xi’an Impression, a few years back. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to get a table here, but this success has allowed each of the founders to open up their own restaurant. Chao runs Biang Biang Noodles in Spitalfields while Wei runs the kitchen at Master Wei in Bloomsbury. Both specialise in biang biang noodles which are of the thick and wheaty variety (much like a pappardelle pasta). They are then served in a thick spicy, garlicy sauce with meat or in a room temperature broth full of fresh herbs and spices. They’re perfectly situated for those of us who don’t want to line up outside their popular Highbury haunt.
13 Cosmo Place, Bloomsbury WC1N 3AP & 62 Wentworth Street, Spitalfields E1 7AL
A trio of friends hailing from Hong Kong have set up this small eatery by Liverpool Street Station, serving up damn good Cantonese roasted meats, noodles and dim sum. They’re bringing Takeaway-friendly Chinese food out of China Town and into the Square Mile. And we all get to benefit from this. The duck is delightful, but we are all about getting the mixed meat platter and a side of char siu bao buns for an extra dose of delicious gluttony. Try these guys next time you need to dash out for lunch – it will give you all the inspiration you need to get on with the rest of the day.
12 Devonshire Row EC2M 4RH
We’ve been to Kym’s at the Bloomberg Arcade a few times now. Dinner is bustling here, with people flooding into Andrew Wong’s eatery. Grab a few Chinese-inspired cocktails beneath the massive cherry blossom tree before sitting down for a tapas-style array of small Chinese dishes – being sure not to miss all of the mouth wateringly good roasted meats. But, in a bid to draw more people into the Square Mile on weekends, they’ve created their decadent bottomless lobster brunch menu. They’ve got prawn toast, entire lobsters cooked two different ways, roasted meats, Bloody Mary’s, and even a little cake to finish things off. At £45 each, it isn’t the cheapest brunch option out there, but you get so much lobster that it is a proper bargain too.
19 Bloomberg Arcade EC4N 8AR