It’s Chinese New Year this week, 3 February, with lots of celebrations going on Sunday 6 February. Considering that Chinese food was the prototype for sharing platters and that a steaming parade of dim sum so fits how we like to eat now, the Chinese New Year is plenty of excuse to book up a Chinese restaurant, text some friends and get together. And if we’re not planning on being right up in town, no worries. Chinatown’s fun, but there are so many truly excellent Chinese restaurants around that can you choose a location that suits you.
For instance, Ken Lo’s Memories of China near Victoria on the Belgravia side is a haven of taste and elegance and really fine Chinese cuisine. The late Ken Lo was among the very first restaurateurs in the UK to lift Chinese food out of the cheap and cheerful domain where it had settled thirty years ago. The restaurant that bears his name stilloffers authentic, excellent Chinese food in a fine dining milieu.
High above Kensington High Street, ten floors above, in fact, glamorous Min Jiang restaurant at the Royal Garden Hotel is a Chinese spot that’s literally on top of the world. The decor is smart and very now, with a cool creamy colour scheme and classic black and white photographs lining the walls. But all we want to do is gaze at the view and enjoy lovely dishes from Szechuan and around provincial China. The dim sum here is a treat, too.
Special offer alert! The Chinese Cricket Club just over Blackfriars Bridge off Farringdon Road in the City is offering a pretty irresistible four course menu to invoke a prosperous New Year with a glass of prosecco to toast your prospects as well, all for £48. Set in the City Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Chinese Cricket Club is a subtle and sophisticated dining place with, somewhat unusually, an excellent wine list.
Award-winning Tai Pan has been winning and keeping customers for more than fifteen years in its Limehouse location and is a five-time winner of the Docklands Good Food Awards. The decor is smart without formality and the long menu has all your favourites, freshly prepared and bursting with authentic flavours. The service is friendly and expert and the location, practically opposite the Limehouse DLR station, couldn’t be bettered.
Finally, we come full circle to end up back at Victoria again, this time literally at Victoria station. Grand Imperial London restaurant is new and gorgeous and, as its name implies, very very grand indeed. The setting is a vast Victorian space now superbly decorated with gold and black and all on a scale that makes the most of the glorious space and how often can you say that in London? The focus here is fine Cantonese cuisine made from the freshest ingredients and served with real style.