8 Tasty Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year

By Malika Dalamal  |  January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year is the most important of all traditional holidays in China. In the mood to celebrate? Luckily you're never far from a good Chinese restaurant in London. Loosen your belt to find the right one to suit you and your mood in our eight-step guide. Happy New Year!


    Royal China
    Weekend lunch at this Hong Kong chainlet is often a stampede (they don't take reservations), but go early or late - or be prepared to wait - because their reasonably priced dim sum is arguably the best in London. Service is rushed and not all that friendly, but one bite of sesame-paper prawn rolls or steamed dumplings and it simply won't matter.

    Various locations


    Lose yourself gazing out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at panoramic views across London - from the winding River Thames to the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Battersea Power Station and everything in between. But don't forget to bring your focus back inside and onto the food. The fiery menu - inspired by the Peking, Shandong and Sichuan provinces of China - includes lamb rib meat thrice marinated for 24 hours and then crisped in a wok, as well as the show-stopping Red Lantern, crispy pieces of soft-shelled crab served in a basket of Sichuan dried peppers.

    31 St. Thomas St., SE1 9RY; 020 3011 1257


    Four Seasons
    There are no frills at this Cantonese restaurant with branches in Chinatown and Bayswater where the service and decor might leave a lot to be desired but the roast duck and crispy pancakes will leave you - and your wallet - totally satisfied.

    12 Gerrard St., W1D 5PR; 020 7494 0870


    HK Diner
    It's not easy to navigate the hundreds of restaurants in Chinatown - especially late at night - so next time you are in the area look for this one on Wardour Street. Open till 4 AM, the menu at HK Diner covers all the Chinese standards - roast duck, noodles and plenty of shellfish, as well as a long list of bubble teas.

    22 Wardour St., W1D 6QQ; 020 7434 9544


    There's no menu at this family-run Pimlico Chinese restaurant where the chef just works with basic dietary requirements to whip up delicious tapas-style dishes like Shanghainese soup dumplings, Sichuan noodles, pork belly buns and crispy Peking duck. The food keeps coming until you are done eating, although there is an extra charge once you hit more than 18 dishes.

    51 Pimlico Rd., SW1W 8NE; 020 7730 5712


    Ping Pong
    Looking for a quick bite? This lively dim sum chain feels like a workplace canteen with a genius ordering system, speedy service, tasty small plates and appealing prices.

    Various locations


    While this gourmet Chinese restaurant in Mayfair serves top-notch meaty dishes (crispy duck and spare ribs are to die for), it is the vegetarian offering that really impressed us. Classic duck rolls are made with layered, paper-thin, aromatic, crispy beancurd that looks and tastes surprisingly similar to the meat version. Shanghai noodles, 'Chai' cooked with three chiles and vegetable lettuce wraps, are also equally good veggie options.

    65 S. Audley St., W1K 2QU; 020 7493 8988


    China Tang
    Possibly the poshest Chinese restaurant in London, Sir David Tang's decadent space beneath The Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair is inspired by Shanghai in the 1920s. Expensive Cantonese dishes including the melt-in-your-mouth Peking duck and steaming baskets of dim sum can also be ordered in the more casual bar area.

    Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Ln., W1K 1QA; 020 7629 9988