Happy Chinese New Year! Or “Gong Hei Fat Choi” as you’ll be hearing among the hustle and bustle of London’s Chinatown this coming weekend.
The annual celebration has grown from a humble procession along Gerrard Street and Lisle Street to a spectacular event in Trafalgar Square and parade through the West End. With restaurants and shops bracing themselves for a busy weekend, here’s a few tips on where to eat and shop:
The original dim sum trolley – Probably the only restaurant left with the real estate to accommodate carting food indoors, New World on Gerrard Place is a Chinatown institution.
Quick and reliable – Golden Pagoda on Gerrard Street serves up fast, reliable, value-for-money dim sum. They’re also only one of a handful of restaurants that has a pictorial menu to save a few embarrassing blushes from ordering something you really didn’t want to eat…
Fire in your belly – For authentic Sichuan fare, Bar Shu on Frith Street has an infamous dish: sea bass with sizzling chilli oil. It's literally a huge bowl of chillies swimming in oil and aromatic spices... good luck finding the fish!
Have your cake and eat it – The Golden Gate Cake Shop has an array of brightly coloured cream cakes and baked goods made fresh daily on site.
Grocery shopping – Don’t be shy to enter Loon Fung supermarket. That small packet of ‘pak choi’ you bought for £2 in Tesco is half the price and twice the amount in here.
Kid in a sweet shop – Oriental Delight is an emporium of boxed treats from all over China, Hong Kong and Japan. Check out what you fancy, and go buy it at Loon Fung. The mark-up in here is crazy!