photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The Eight image

The Eight



$$$$Perfect For:Catching Up With Mates
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You can tell when the internet has a restaurant in its clutches and The Eight is the perfect example. More often than not, especially in the evenings, there’s an impatient queue snaking down Shaftesbury Avenue, full of white knuckles gripping trusty screens waiting to get a table at this casual cha chaan teng. This is a stan crowd. The Hong Kong-style teahouse's pineapple buns and volcanic eggs have done the rounds on TikTok, so people are happy to wait in the name of what gets us all going most: content creation. But for all the hype, The Eight is just fine.

The Eight image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Once inside, this Chinatown spot feels like a Muji mood board come to life. Pine wood, neutral tones, and an all-round clean aesthetic reigns supreme. In the daytime, this makes it a peaceful venue for a swift lunch as there’s little to no queue midweek. The constant crowd—some of whom are Balenciaga-clad, others who are much more B&Q—seem to think similarly. While a few tables immediately have cameras zooming into curry, upstairs is mostly a heads down, chopsticks up, in and out within an hour kind of place. The basement, with two booths big enough for a double-page spread photoshoot, feels like somewhere you can settle into.

Given the menu is over 150 dishes deep it’s worth having a game plan, particularly as some of the food can be very average. You’ll see the whipped volcano egg—a whirling, swirling, mound of eggs with curry on the side—on most tables, and it’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is flavour-wise. Pineapple bun with butter is a sweet butter-smearing delight if you’re down to get your hands dirty. The best of the bunch is the heinously saucy baked pork chop and fried rice in curry sauce. It’s not a light lunch, but at least you don’t have to wait around for it either.

Food Rundown

Spicy Wonton In Red Oil

The sesame-heavy sauce that these ping-pong ball-sized dumplings are in, is the star—oily from chilli but nutty enough to have a slurp. The wontons themselves are generously filled with pork, and together it’s a winning combination.
The Eight image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Pineapple Bun

Although there are a few pineapple bun options on the menu, we’d recommend the most simple. The sugar-crusted bun is a big, bulbous thing, sliced off centre for a slap of cold butter to sit inside. It comes with a pair of disposable gloves for you to tear and smear the butter into the sweet dough but, frankly, we’d just go at it. It’s perfectly baked and a sweet vehicle for sauces.
The Eight image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Signature BBQ Rice

A signature dish can be a misleading thing and, unfortunately, this char siu pork and fried egg on rice is just fine. The mustard greens bring a bit of something but it’s not the most tender, nor the most flavour-packed meat. It’s a bit meh.
The Eight image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Volcano Egg Curry Beef Brisket

Probably the restaurant’s most popular dish and a mostly satisfying one. The artfully swirled volcano egg and rice tastes of, well, egg and rice. The beef brisket curry is mild and easily spoonable. It’s cool-looking comfort food.

Crunchy Garlic Chilli Ho Fun

Crunchy, garlic, and chilli is an enticing combination of words, but these noodles under-deliver. The crunch is a cursory handful of chopped crispy onions, and the garlic and chilli are nowhere to be seen. Disappointingly bland.
The Eight image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Baked Fried Rice With Pork Chop In Curry

A cheesy, meaty, carby puddle of a dish. The kind of thing that could keep you full and leave you sofa bound for 48 hours. Light? No. A protector against cold weather and SAD-induced thoughts? Absolutely.

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

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