Life is about taking chances, like skydiving or having unprotected sex. We’re afraid of both, so a far wiser chance to take is to try eating at any of the anonymous-looking Chinese cafes close to Charing Cross road. That’s how we stumbled on Baozi Inn, which looks pretty unassuming from the outside but actually does brilliant bowls of spicy dumplings and noodles from Beijing and Sichuan. It makes for a perfect casual dinner with a few friends, especially if you’re down with amping up the spice factor.
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Ba Shan is a Chinese restaurant with a focus on cuisines from the Hunan province, which means the food is spicy. Very spicy.
Jen Cafe is the easiest dumpling fix in Chinatown. This Chinese cafe is basic i, so you really just want to hit it for a quick snack before moving on.
Olle is a Korean BBQ spot on Shaftesbury Avenue where you’ll get to cook things like like wagyu beef on a grill in the middle of your table.
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Joy King Lau
Joy King Lau is one of the more relaxed restaurants in Chinatown, and one to head to if you have a meal with your parents or relatives in the diary.
Yipin is an upscale Chinese spot in Islington. The menu has a lot of options, but you should focus on the Sichuan and Hunan dishes.
A Wong is a Chinese restaurant in Victoria with a reputation for world-beating Chinese food that, while good, doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
Suggested by our writers
Four Seasons | 文興酒家
The Four Seasons in Chinatown is famous for their roast duck, which is not only excellent but one of the best things you can eat in London.
Leong’s Legend serves Taiwanese dishes that are more interesting than your typical Chinatown joint.
Barshu is the consensus number one option around town when you want to eat spicy Sichuan-style food in central London.
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