The best Chinese food restaurants in London

Take a hike MSG, this is the good stuff...

Everyone loves a good chicken chow mein, and London certainly has an abundance of Chinese food restaurants and takeaways. However, we're generally rather less keen when it's swimming in axl grease and is served from a questionable vat behind a takeaway counter.

So, ever the gentlemen, we've done the hard work and have sorted the chinese wheat from the chaff; read on for a full list of the finest Chinese cuisine London has to offer...

Royal China
26 Baker Street W1U 3BZ
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Marble Arch (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: The Royal China group of restaurants are well known for their exquisite dim sum and ornate interiors. It’s a little on the pricey side, but their set menus start from £30 and are tailored to vegetarians, carnivores and seafood lovers, the latter being their specialty.

  • USERS 7/10
Yauatcha Soho
15-17 Broadwick Street W1F 0DL
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: We’ve controversially left Hakkasan off the list as its sheer pretentiousness can outweigh the quality of the food sometimes (which admittedly, is very good), but Alan Yau’s other upmarket venture does deserve to be credited. Great for dim sum and a la carte choices alike, the interior looks like a fashionable tea house crossed with a nightclub. Yauatcha was awarded a Michelin star in 2005.

  • 64/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
Barshu Restaurant
28 Frith Street W1D 5LF

Nearest Station: Leicester Square (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: One of the best for spicy Sichuan cuisine, some of which is so red hot you’ll need a fire extinguisher afterwards. It’s not all extra-fiery though, as ginger, garlic and sweet and sour are other flavours that frequently pop up. You can also dare to try the ducks tongues here if you’re brave enough.

Memories Of China
67-69 Ebury Street SW1W 0NZ
Region: Victoria
Nearest Station: Victoria (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Ken Lo’s restaurant has been catering to the wealthy clientele of Knightsbridge for over 30 years, making it something of an institution. The menu has dishes inspired by the Sichuan and Cantonese regions, and while it’s not a cheap eat, flavours are carefully put together and the restaurant is surprisingly understated.

Gourmet San
261 Bethnal Green Road E2 6AH
Region: Bethnal Green
Nearest Station: Shoreditch (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: More of a café than a restaurant, this unfussy eatery on Bethnal Green Road does authentic Sichuan food, so expect there to be plenty of chili and oil, as well as offal and cuts of meat like pig’s foot. Portions are on the large side making Gourmet San excellent value for money.

  • USERS 5/10
Dragon Castle
100 Walworth Road SE1 6SW
Region: Southwark
Nearest Station: Elephant & Castle (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Located in the unlikely location of Elephant & Castle, Dragon Castle is situated in an even more unlikely modern concrete block, but step inside and a lavish banqueting hall complete with fountain in the lobby is revealed. There are two menus, one for the Brits and another supposedly reserved for Chinese diners; request this one and you’ll find genuine Cantonese dishes like sliced abalone.

  • USERS 8/10
Shanghai Blues
193-197 High Holborn WC1V 7BD
Region: Holborn
Nearest Station: Holborn (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Shanghai Blues is a lesson in style, from the clubby bar area to the Eastern glamour of the dining room. Particularly recommended are the dim sum and the adventurous desserts like jack fruit cheesecake and custard and bean paste rice cake with coconut.

  • USERS 8/10
Pearl Liang
8 Sheldon Square W2 6EZ
Region: Paddington
Nearest Station: Warwick Avenue (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: The gleaming Paddington Basin is the location of Pearl Liang. The dim sum is exceptional, particularly the scallop and soft shell crab dumplings. Peking duck and pork dishes are also delightful, and dishes are modestly priced.

  • USERS 1/10
Noodle Street
15-17 Pennyfields E14 8HP
Region: Docklands
Nearest Station: West India Quay (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Noodle Street’s dim sum chef used to work at Hakkasan, therefore the exquisite dumplings are quite a treat given that they’re a fraction of the price of Alan Yau’s upmarket eatery. The menu also features Thai and Vietnamese dishes, all done to a great standard.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
  • USERS 7/10
Good Earth
11 Bellevue Road SW17 7EG
Region: Wandsworth Common
Nearest Station: Wandsworth Common (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Good Earth have been quietly plying their trade for 34 years, with several branches in well-heeled parts of London. The most recent opening in Wandsworth, boasts decor by Albert Kwan (responsible for China Tang among others) as well as exceptional, modern Chinese cuisine.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10

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