There’s something slightly daunting about London’s Chinatown. It’s not because it’s unfriendly or off-putting – quite the opposite, in fact – more that, if you’re a Londoner (particularly the sort of Londoner who, cough, writes about food for a living), it’s a hard place to get to grips with.
It’s a whole new world of dishes, techniques and textures, a sprawl of bakeries, restaurants, cafes and stores. You know there must be all sorts of gems out there but, with 120+ places to choose from, where do you start?
With the caveat that I haven’t eaten everywhere – and would never pretend to be an expert – you could do worse than with this list…
Some Chinese dishes lend themselves well to home cooking, provided you’ve got the right ingredients. The area is dotted with some great stores – the sort of places you can wander for hours wondering just how you use certain items or implements – the best of which is See Woo (18-20 Lisle Street; 020 7439 8325), for everything from dry goods to live fish.