photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Dim Sum & Duck image

Dim Sum & Duck

ChineseDim Sum

Kings Cross

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesLiterally EveryoneLunchOutdoor SeatingTakeaway
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The first time we ate at Dim Sum & Duck it was a Wednesday evening. The sun was setting tangerine and lilac down King’s Cross Road, James Turrell-ing the empty tables outside this tiny Cantonese restaurant. We ordered some dim sum. Rich and delicate xiaolongbao, slippery cheung fun, artful prawn and chive dumplings. It wasn’t just good. It was fantastic. We devoured it, and then we ordered more.

The last time we ate at Dim Sum & Duck it was a Tuesday night. There was a hungry queue of people waiting for a table snaking down the pavement and a visibly flustered Liverpudlian woman was desperately trying (and failing) to make a booking because “their phone always rings out”. This, reader, is the hype machine. And it’s part and parcel of recommending restaurants. Especially when they’re among the best in the city. 

Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Koray Firat

Getting a table is no mean feat. It’s walk-in only and every day from 12pm there is a queue. Locals, big wheely suitcases, the lot. Now that the masses know about this pokey, 20-odd seater spot, it can be easy to dismiss Dim Sum & Duck as a wardrobe-sized fad restaurant. Yes, there’s barely enough room to roll a cigarette inside and no, the makeshift gazebo doesn't look like it will survive a gust of wind. But in place of niceties, there's the food. You can’t ignore it. The pork xiaolongbao, wobbling with broth inside, is too delicate. Its mountainous plates of wok hei-flavoured beef ho fun much superior to all others. The crispy chilli beef a more lurid-tasting masterclass than the one down your road.

The highest echelon of IYKYK London restaurant hype has long since passed for Dim Sum & Duck, but its food is just as good as when it first opened. For the impatient this is a nightmarish restaurant and for those suffering from teenage, NME-era hang-ups about the coolest band and most unlistenable unreleased demo tracks, there are less busy, lesser-known restaurants in London.

Even if the meaty part of its name isn’t an essential order, Dim Sum & Duck is still worth shouting about. That's the thing about the best restaurants. They’re always compelling and should always be celebrated. And there’s no doubt that Dim Sum & Duck is making the best all-round Cantonese food in London.

Food Rundown

Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Prawn & Chive Dumplings

A trio of delicate glass wrapper prawn and chive dumplings that are ostentatious-looking enough to balance on a person’s head at Royal Ascot. Generous, just like every filling here, the prawn is still chunky and the handful of chives fresh. A delicious dumpling.
Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Shanghai Soup Dumpling

The best xiaolongbao we’ve had in London. Wrappers so delicate they’re virtually translucent on the bottom. All holding a gobstopper-sized ball of soft minced pork in a savoury, scorching umami-ish broth.
Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Jake Missing

Cheung Fun

Glistening and truly packed to the rafters, the FOMO-level on these cheung fun got very real at one point on Instagram. The char siu pork and prawn are both exemplary and at just over £5, an absolute steal. The former probably edges it for us, because of that irresistible caramelised meat.
Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Jake Missing

Pork Dumplings In Chilli Oil

Bathing pork dumplings that have continued to bob around in our heads. The ratio of pork to dumpling wrapper (90/10) is truly outstanding, the mince spiced to perfection, and the sauce with punches of ginger and vinegar and the hum of chilli oil.
Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Roast Duck

DSD’s other namesake can be a mixed bag. Sometimes the fat on the duck is perfectly gelatinous, the skin crisp, and the meat as tender as a maternal embrace. But other times it isn’t quite that: a little chewy, a little dry, and not quite as good as what’s on offer in Chinatown.
Dim Sum & Duck image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Beef Ho Fun

There are so many foods that people are familiar with. In name, in appearance, in flavour and in price. Sometimes you’ll eat a version of one those foods and you’ll realise that all previous versions, all your previous knowledge, was wrong. This beef ho fun is one of those dishes. Once you eat this you’ll realise that all others are, quite literally, pale imitations.

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Suggested Reading


The 10 Best Dim Sum Restaurants In London

Cantonese canteens with glistening siu mai, glitzy restaurants with venison puffs, and buzzing spots with wobbling xiaolongbao.

The Best Places To Eat Chinese Food In London image

From chewy Xi’anese noodles to huge Cantonese spreads, these are London's unmissable Chinese restaurants.

Orient London image

Orient is a classic Cantonese restaurant on Wardour Street with a dim sum menu (and cheung fun) that you should definitely seek out.

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