All the best bits of London life have taken somewhat of a beating in successive lockdowns, but we miss the city’s restaurants the most. We miss London’s Italian restaurants. We miss its vegetarian restaurants. We miss its set menus. And – in spite of the bitter cold – we miss its restaurants where al fresco dining is not only possible but advisable. Honestly, it’s like Eat Out To Help Out never happened. But since Lunar New Year is upon us, all we can think about is Chinese food. So what are the best Chinese restaurants in London that are delivering for Lunar New Year?
Here are our favourites. And they all double as perfectly suitable options for Valentine’s Day.
We assume you like noodles and we assume you like beer. By that logic, you’ll probably like Noodle & Beer. Allegedly the first restaurant to bring tian shui mian (sweet water noodles) to London, you can either order their New Year specials via Deliveroo – which include things like wheat noodles served with double-cooked chicken, pak choi and three varieties of chilli – or DIY with their Home Noodle Kits.
With over 160 restaurants in 14 territories, Din Tai Fung is somewhat legendary. While celebrating the Year of the Ox can’t currently happen at its Covent Garden branch, you can order their Prosperity Set Menu online. It features honey and vinegar short ribs, prawn and pork shao mai, tianjin cabbage and chicken gyoza, crispy fried chicken with spices, broccoli with garlic, XO sauce prawn fried rice, and salted egg yolk custard lava buns (in case you weren’t tempted already).
Vegans of Hackney and Holloway, assemble! Mao Chow is your safe space. Although the set menu created especially for this weekend’s festivities has sold out, their other delicious food will still be available via – you guessed it – Deliveroo. We’ve got our heart set on the smacked cucumber and the dan dan noodles.
If you live in Clapton, we are jealous of you. Largely because Lucky & Joy is one of your local Chinese restaurants. The Chinese New Year Feasting Kit is sold out, but if you’re willing to postpone your plans by a day, the Valentine’s Dinner Feasting Kit should suffice. It includes eight dishes, a bottle of Casa Belfi Rosso and a jar of homemade fragrant and crispy chilli oil.
A night out at Hakkasan is fun, but so too is a night in with Hakkasan. And you can make this happen in a number of ways. Occasions by Hakkasan provides everything you need to recreate Hakkasan food in the comfort of your own kitchen. If you can’t be bothered with that, it’s also available on Deliveroo. Their Year of the Ox set menu includes crispy kumquat chicken, scallops, abalone fried rice and broccolini – amongst other things.
Obviously we weren’t going to forget south London. With an extensive menu that will appease everyone, Jin Jiang is a Deptford darling. If you want to do things properly with regards to Lunar New Year, we suggest ordering the grilled fish chongqing style.
Like rice? Then you’ll love Rice Guys. For Lunar New Year, they’ve collaborated with Sambal Shiok to create a special Prosperity Toss. The original version features smoked salmon, but the luxury version tops that up with jellyfish and abalone. If fish is not your thing no matter how luxurious it is, you can also order dry aged Cantonese roast duck and crispy roast pork belly – all from PEZU.
Imperial Treasure is a treasure indeed. Both omnivores and vegetarians get a set menu especially for Lunar New Year here. While the former can anticipate delights such as pan-fried silver cod and braised abalone, the latter have a vegetarian Peking duck to look forward to. Unsurprisingly, it’s all accessible via Deliveroo.
Header image | hakkasanmayfair