Happy Chinese New Year everyone! We have welcomed the year of the dog, one of the twelve cycles of animals that represent the Chinese zodiac calendar. The dog has been known to bring fortune to those born in the year of the dog. Fortunately for me, I am was born in the year of the dog. Let’s see what the year holds for me…
Chinese New Year celebrations are in full force across London and the rest world, with large feasts of traditional Chinese food and lots of drinks. It’s the perfect opportunity to get together with your friends and family, get merry and bring in prosperous new year to come. After all, the Chinese culture is all about sharing and feeding others before yourself.
Ahead of the Lunar New Year, I partnered up with Visit London and London Chinatown Chinese Association to bring you, my dear readers, the most authentic and yummiest restaurant selection to celebrate Chinese New Year this year in London.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get eating!
1. Imperial China
Imperial China was our first stop on our foodie tour of Chinatown. Imperial China has upheld its fantastic quality food and service in order to be in the ‘Recommended by Michelin’ in the 2018 guide, which makes the sixth year running. Incredible, right? You know you will be getting the best quality experience when dining at Imperial China. The restaurant consists of three floors, including a karaoke room for those of you that fancy a little sing off after your filling yet satisfying meal. Imperial China services some of the highest quality Chinese food, often occupied by some of the leading Chinese government officials. Dim sum is definitely these forte here, from steamy hot shredded chicken red rice cheung fun to the colourful goldfish dumplings filled with fresh, crunchy prawns. The aromatic duck pancakes are a must order, especially with the sweet, rich hoisin sauce it is just perfect.
2. Golden Dragon
Golden Dragon is known to be one of the most loved Cantonese and Peking restaurants in Chinatown and I can definitely see why. The restaurant is beautifully laid out with bright colours and patterns across the walls. The sharing tables at the back of the restaurant with revolving centres makes for the perfect intimate family gathering. Golden Dragon serves some of the most delicious roast duck, a must have on the table during a Chinese New Year meal. They also serve some of the traditional delicacies such as spicy duck tongue and pig trotters. Alternatively, they also have a great selection of steamed dim sum and the most divine whole crab that is cooked in white wine. As someone that doesn’t really enjoy seafood, I tried it and I was so impressed. It was full of flavour and the presentation of the full crab was rather authentic. You can be sure you won’t be leaving without trying some of the sweets at the end, the sesame balls with custard inside were to die for as well as the traditional Chinese New Year nian gao sweet rice cake.
3. Four Seasons
Four Seasons is a restaurant that I have heard a lot about before, but I was yet to try it. If you’re looking for something a little different, I would suggest celebrating with your loved ones over a steaming hot pot. It’s an interactive and communal way to bring people together, as you all contribute to cooking various vegetables and meats in a large boiling pot of well seasoned and spicy broth. We tried the spicy chicken ma lah hot pot which already contained slow cooked chicken inside, but we ordered a platter of Chinese vegetables to add into the mix and enjoy as we helped serve one another. Whilst the hot pot is a fun way to celebrate, it’s not for everyone. Four Seasons offers a large range of traditional dishes too, including the stewed beef brisket which was tender and chewy after being marinated in a black bean style sauce and served with an assortment of vegetables inside too.
If still are not full from all the indulgence, I would suggest stopping my the lovely Chinese bakery ‘Bake’ and pick yourself up some extra goodies to take home for later. The custard filled goldfish are a real treat but if you are after something a little alternative they serve fantastic Taiyaki, which literally translates to ‘baked sea bream’ can be filled with delicious sweet red bean paste, chocolate or even have it turned into a cone and fill it with creamy matcha ice cream. The treats to satisfy your sweet tooth are endless at Bake.
Which are your favourite restaurants to celebrate Chinese New Year?
Until next time…