8 of the best Chinese and Asian restaurants to visit
Join Shu Lin – a British-Chinese food, travel and lifestyle presenter and vlogger – on an epic food tour around England as she shares some of her favourite East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) eats. She’s got everything covered, from plump souffle pancakes and bubble tea to mouthwatering roast meats and big bowls of glossy noodles.
Dig into in-demand dim sum
King's Cross, London
Searching for the best soup dumplings in London? Look no further than Dim Sum & Duck in King’s Cross. If the queues outside aren’t already a giveaway of how good the establishment is, then the steaming towers of dumplings piled high on each table will. Come here early for freshly made xiao long bao (soup dumplings), plump har gow (shrimp dumplings), succulent roast duck and slippery beef ho fun (flat rice noodles). Make your way through the menu for an exemplary example of quality Cantonese food.
Spice things up with a bowl of laksa
Spicy food lovers, rejoice! Transport yourself to the streets of Malaysia at C&R Cafe, arguably one of the best-kept secrets in London’s Chinatown. From firing up heaving bowls of seafood laksa (spicy noodle soup) to recreating nostalgic street eats, you can tuck into the likes of everything roti canai (flatbread), beef rendang (dry curry), Hokkien Mee (Hokkien fried noodles) and sambal udang (prawns in a chilli paste known as sambal) here, just to name a few.
Order Peking duck at Imperial Treasure
Treat yourself to a lavish fine-dining experience at Chinese restaurant, Imperial Treasure. Pre-order the signature Peking duck 24 hours in advance and watch your chef prepare the first course in front of your eyes before giving you the choice of how you’d like the second course to be cooked. The baked lobster with black truffle is also a delectable choice.
Drool over Cantonese roasted meats
Happy Seasons have long been hailed as a cult favourite in Manchester’s Chinatown and after my visit there, I can see why. For starters, there’s a separate menu in Chinese boasting a plethora of Cantonese classics. Must orders include their three-roast meat combo comprising crispy pork belly, roast duck and char sui pork (thank me later), salt and pepper pork chops and their spicy aubergine claypot with minced pork.
Make a beeline for Gerry's fried pancakes
Mosley Street, Manchester
Jianbing literally means fried pancake in Chinese and this crêpe-like dish is just that – yet so much more. Choose your protein (braised duck, prawn, chicken or beef), add toppings like potato slices, latiao (fried dough), crab sticks, pork floss, spicy beef and kelp, and watch the team expertly shovel the ingredients into a generously sized, blisteringly hot wrap finished off with egg, coriander, sesame seeds, hoisin and lettuce.
Try a mango mochi ice cream at Lazy Sundae
Northern Quarter, Manchester
Excite your sweet tooth with instagrammable desserts at Lazy Sundae. Forget your classic trio of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Instead, embrace a colourful line-up of soufflé pancakes, bubble tea and ice cream flavours like mango mochi, Vietnamese coffee, taro, Thai milk tea, milo and sesame. All are aesthetically pleasing – and taste even better than they look on the menu.
Enjoy a taste of Hong Kong by the sea
Preston Street, Brighton
It’s always the unassuming hole-in-the-wall eateries that excite the taste buds the most. Don’t let this tiny shopfront fool you, HK Place is big on flavour and has an eclectic menu to match. From Cantonese classics like beef brisket, won ton noodles and sweet and sour, to celebrated street food snacks like curry fishballs, spicy skewers and crispy egg waffles, make sure you come hungry.
Devour quality sashimi at Sushi Garden
Preston Street, Brighton
Brighton is famed for its seafood but if you’re looking for something beyond fish and chips with a side of swarming seagulls, head to Sushi Garden for an exquisite selection of sashimi (sliced raw fish or meat), nigiri (thin slices of raw fish on top of oblong rice balls,), donburi (rice bowl dish), udon (rice noodles) and bento boxes. Better yet, the Japanese-inspired cocktails are a fantastic way of washing down a delightful meal here. There’s something for everyone – and you’ll be hard-pressed not to want to order the entire menu.