Craving

ASIAN FOOD HOTSPOTS

Steamed buns, curries & all that good stuff 

Below is a round up of Asian food spots I’ve been  to in London town that range from decent to really damn fine. I’ll keep adding to this and updating it, so make sure to check back for the latest juice. View Map


CHINESE & TAIWANESE


bao-bun-chicken

BAO

Steamed Buns | x2 Locations | ££

Style and substance at play at this much hyped Taiwanese small plates joint. Only been to the one on Lexington Street but they have a Sat pop up at Netil Market and opened up another permanent spot in Fitzrovia. The fried chicken bao is criminally delicious, order several. Reservations possible only at Fitzrovia (basement). Read more here

china-tang-website

CHINA TANG

Upscale Chinese | Mayfair | ££££

Upmarket Chinese located in the Dorchester. I went here for a cousin’s birthday and they picked up the tab. Lots of dishes were ordered and from what I recollect, it was a all pretty good. I would go always pick Hakkasan for Chinese fare in a high end setting but I’d certainly go back here, if someone else is paying  🙂 Reservations Recommended.

Hakkasan

HAKKASAN

Upscale Chinese | Mayfair | £££££

1 Michelin star Chinese restaurant founded by Alan Yau; has outposts across the globe. Have been to the one in Hanway Place and most recently went to the Mayfair branch recently for my birthday – the food was topnotch (decor feels a little outdated but I don’t go there for that, I go there for a ducking good time). Reservations Recommended.

yauatcha-website

YAUATCHA

Dim Sum | Soho | ££££

Another restaurant founded and sold on by Alan Yau. I’ve only ever been to the one in Soho but there’s another in The City. The decor in the Broadwick Street branch is a little dated but the dim sum is bang on as are the cocktails and desserts. Always consistently good. Reservations Recommended.

JAPANESE & KOREAN


image

ANZU

Ramen  & More | Piccadilly | ££

Anzu, Tonkotsu’s posh big bro is in St James’s Square sandwiched by Veneta and Ole & Steen – 3 mins walk from Piccadilly and for you fashion folk, about 1 min from Dover Street Market. I’m genuinely baffled why every time I’ve been it’s been near dead; the dumplings are brilliant, the ramen decent, the staff friendly and the price point really damn good for the setting and the area. Piccadilly’s very own ‘hidden’ gem. Walk Ins & Reservations

image

BONE DADDIES

Ramen | Various Locations | £

Describes itself as Japanese soul food. Had the chicken ramen and kushikatsu skewers at the Old St spot; both enjoyable albeit a little on the salty side. They’ve got a group of restaurants dotted around the city with different offerings e.g focus at ‘Flesh & Buns’ is gua bao buns whereas at Bone Daddies, ramen is king. Walk Ins & Reservations.

Kurobuta

KUROBUTA

Small Plates | x3 Locations | £££

Pitches itself as a Japanese izakaya (small plates drinking den). I’ve been here loads and there are some really good dishes (e.g the sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts) but I actually think it’s somewhat overpriced. Scott Halsworth and all his staff are pretty stellar though – great customer service. Walk Ins & Reservations. Read more here

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ON THE BAB

Korean | Various Locations | £

Korean street food joint. Have been to the one near St. Paul’s and had the fried chicken steamed bun slathered with sweet chilli sauce and shredded cabbage which was very sloppy but rather tasty. Their bibimbap is less impressive. You can eat in and there are a couple of spots across town. No Reservations.

tonkotsu-interior-blenheim-design

TONKOTSU

Ramen | Various Locations | £

Decent ramen noodle bar serving up other Japanese bites. I really dig their ‘Eat The Bits’ chilli oil which is really flavoursome but could just do with a bit more of a fiery kick. I’ve only been to the one in Bankside but they have a station in Selfridges and branches in Notting Hill and on Mare Street. No Reservations. Read more here

THAI


Busaba Eathai: Image from heartoflondonbid

BUSABA EATHAI

Thai Chain | Various Locations | £

Brainchild of Alan Yau (yet another!). I tend to find myself at this chain thai resto a fair bit because it’s usually conveniently located. It’s not amazing but there aren’t many Thai spots in town that I know of that I can go and get my Thai green curry fix. Oh and their squid with peppercorns is pretty good. Reservations possible at some branches.
Image Credit: Heart of London

KILN-LANGOUSTINE

KILN

Thai Grill | Soho | £££

Kiln has had mad hype since it opened in Sep 2016. So, expect queues (you can book for tables of 4+ though). The food is regional Thai with influences from Yunnan and Burman. Dishes are fresh and fiery – the langoustines with kaffir lime, sweet mint and chilli was fabulous; the clay pot baked glass noodles were nice enough but didn’t wow me. I certainly enjoyed my meal a great deal but I have to admit Kiln didn’t totally bowl me over. I’d love to sample more of a menu and then make a more rounded assessment. FYI portions are tiny, so you do need to order a number of plates. Limited Reservations.

mango-tree

MANGO TREE

Dim Sum | Knightsbridge | £££

This is a Thai restaurant but the outpost in Harrods which is the one I’ve been to, offers up food that’s very much on the Chinese end of the scale. The dim sum I’ve had here is very decent, so if I’m craving that and in the Knightsbridge area, I’d swing by. They have a standalone joint in Belgravia. No Reservations.

patara-instagram

PATARA

Upscale Thai | x4 Locations | ££££

Haven’t been to Patara for yonks but I have good memories of this Thai restaurant. A little on the expensive side but consistently flavourful food. Went to the one on Sydney Street mostly and once to the one in Knightsbridge. x4 locations: South Kensington / Knightsbridge / Oxford Circus / Soho. Reservations Recommended.

som-saa-fish

SOM SAA

Top Rate Thai | Spitalfields | £££

Som Saa started life as a pop up, then took up a residency at Climpson’s Arch before managing to crowdfund £700k that allowed them to set up permanent shop in Spitalfields. The result? Banging plates of Thai food in a pared back tropical setting. Reservations only avails at lunchtime / for groups of 6 or more. Reservations available at lunch and for large parties only at dinner. Read more here

VIETNAMESE


cay-tre-website

CAY TRE

Vietnamese | x2 Locations | ££

I last went to this Vietnamese spot in 2012– back then I used to really enjoy their curries which reminded me of my favourite Nigerian soup, banga. It’s the same peeps that own Keu and Viet Grill. There are two branches, one in Hoxton, the other on Dean Street in Soho. Walk Ins & Reservations.

tay-do-website

TAY DO

Vietnamese | Shoreditch | £

Fairly grotty looking Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsland Road. Only been here once. The pan fried chilli sea bass dish I had was absolutely banging but I may have lucked out! BYOB (corkage £1 per head) = happy days. Lots of Vietnamese restaurants in the area hence the nickname ‘pho mile’. Reservations available for large groups.


Viet Food

VIET FOOD

Vietnamese | Chinatown | ££

Viet Food is a good ‘back-up’ restaurant, it’s not somewhere you’d leave and be like “damn, that curry was mad delicious”. However, when you can’t be arsed to queue for one of those super hyped no reservation restos in Soho with a 2hr waiting list (Hoppers), you go here. Walk Ins & Reservations.

viet grill

VIET GRILL

Vietnamese | Shoreditch | ££

Decent Vietnamese on Kingsland Road. More conscious of its branding than other Vietnamese restaurants in the area. It’s the same folks behind Cay Tre. They have a cocktail bar (Little Red Staircase) in the basement that I’d be keen to check out on my next visit. Walk Ins & Reservations.

Key

AVG MEAL INCL. AN ALCOHOLIC BEVVY
[£] £25 AND UNDER
[££] £25-35
[£££] £36-45
[££££] £46-55
[£££££] £56 AND OVER

Map

To find the closest ‘Asian food hotspot’ on my map whilst you are out and about:
+ Simply click the extend button on the top right hand corner of the map
+ This will take you into Google Maps where your location will be pinpointed
+ Click on a pin that is close to you, the name of the cafe / deli will appear in the bottom band
+ Then, click on the walking man icon
+ This will then show you the route to get there and approx travel time
NOTE: Even though, I have included all the branches of chains I’ve profiled, I obviously haven’t been to all, so can’t verify if standards vary radically – let’s hope not, eh?

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