Chinese New Year celebrations may be cancelled this year but you can still welcome in the Year of the Tiger with a celebratory feast at one of London’s top notch Chinese and Taiwanese restaurants – many of which will be hosting festivities of their own. Here’s our pick of where to go to celebrate the Lunar New Year in London…
Photo: Park Chinos
1 Park Chinos, Mayfair
One of Mayfair’s most luxurious Asian restaurants has created a Chinese New Year menu boasting eight festive dishes for you to ring in the Year of the Tiger with, and a list of Hennessy X.O. cocktails to complement each dish too. The menu is designed to be shared between at least four people and includes indulgent dishes such as stir-fried Australian wagyu beef with taro and braised fresh Australian abalone with French cornfed chicken and kai lan. Separate to the festive menu, Park Chinos is also offering a whole suckling pig stuffed with glutinous rice, shrimp, chestnut, salted egg and red date (£328 and ordered 48 hours in advance), should you want a showstopping centrepiece for your meal.
Date: January 28 – February 6
Cost: The eight-dish menu is £125 pp and must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.
Address: 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA
2 Poons x Maslow’s Mortimer House, Fitzrovia
Family restaurant and wonton specialists Poon’s takes over Maslow’s Mortimer House for a two-night residency to mark the Chinese New Year. Choose from two one-off menus that are designed to be shared. The first night’s feast is centered around a steamboat – a Chinese hot pot – in which you can cook your deep-fried tofu puffs, marinated pork fillet, and chicken, prawns and greens in. The second evening has a five-course tasting menu filled with some of Poon’s most-loved dishes including pork and bamboo shoot wontons with crack sauce; braised beef flank with start anise and Chinese radish; drunken chicken and tofu pudding. Both menus have vegetarian options.
Date: Wednesday & Thursday, February 9 & 10
Cost: £55 pp including a welcome Poona Colada cocktail
Address: 37-41 Mortimer Street, W1T 3JH
Website: mortimerhouse.com; poonslondon.com
3 Hakkasan, Mayfair & Fitzrovia
Michelin-starred Hakkasan has a set menu featuring auspicious dishes such as the Trio Happiness Dim Sum Platter with a baked truffle duck puff, tiger prawn dumpling and a wild mushroom puff, as well as salt-crusted fortune baked chicken and a host of orange and black sweet treats to finish the decadent meal off. Hakkasan is also running a month-long collaboration with stylist Bay Garnett highlighting sustainable fashion which will then be auctioned off to raise money for environmental causes.
Date: January 18 – February 15
Cost: Year of the Tiger set menu £118
Address: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair W1J 6QB; 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
4 BAO, Soho & Fitzrovia
Taiwanese BAO will celebrate the Year of the Tiger by handing out traditional red envelopes filled with prizes to lucky BAO diners – from crates of BAO beer and free hire of BAO’s karaoke rooms to winning daily free BAO for a year. The Shoreditch and Fitzrovia venues will serve a special Lunar New Year menu offering coin-shaped dumplings representing family reunion, prawn rolls and beef nuggets, as well as sharing plates of YCM chicken, daikon cakes, Yushiang sea bass, tofu balls, and Taiwanese crepes. For dessert, you’ve got the striped Tiger Claw baked treat filled with molten chocolate.
Date: January 28 – February 13
Address: 31 Windmill Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2JN; 1 Redchurch Street, Soho E2 7DJ
5 Barshu, Soho
With a recent makeover and a brand-new menu to mark 15 years in the trade, Sichuan restaurant Barshu is another ideal spot for a Year of the Tiger feast. The stalwart restaurant has gained a rep for plating up authentic, fiery regional dishes which has made it a hit with Londoners and visitors alike. Dishes include salt and pepper soft shell crab, pounded aubergines, stir-fried lobster with ginger and spring onions, and seabass fillets with Sichuan pickles in golden soup.
Address: 28 Frith Street, Soho W1D 5LF
6 The Tiger Who Came For Tea & Buns at Bun House, Chinatown
The Cantonese-style steamed bun specialists have created an afternoon tea for the occasion that is a twist on the classic meal inspired by both British and Chinese traditions. Tuck into a pillowy bao buns, including the savoury Tiger Bun which comes with a tail, as well as a white chocolate bun which you can decorate with condensed milk before you eat it. A sesame mille fuille layered with clotted cream and spiced plum jam stands in for the much-loved scone and there is a range of traditional Chinese teas to wash it all down with. The restaurant also has a celebratory savoury menu should you be looking for a dinner, featuring confit duck, crispy tempura oyster mushrooms among other tasty sounding dishes.
Date: February 1-27
Cost: £36 pp, 2 person minimum and must be pre-booked
Address: 26 – 27 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA
7 Fatt Pundit, Covent Garden & Soho
Celebrating Indo-Chinese culture and cuisine, Fatt Pundit’s fragrant and flavoursome dishes incorporate Chinese cooking style with Indian spices – it’s a heady mix. The venue’s menu features hefty momo dumplings; dishes flavoured with coconut and saffron, as well as the heat of Szechuan peppers and chilli. Top dishes to try include the Malabar monkfish curry, shredded chilli venison and honey chilli duck. Cocktails (which can all be made as a mocktail) are flavoured with the likes of tamarind, Szechuan chilli syrup and Himalayan salt.
Address: 77 Berwick st, Soho W1F8TH; 6 Maiden lane, Covent Garden, WC2E7NA
Date: January 24-February 15
Cost: £98pp including a glass of champagne
Address: 55 Curzon Street, Mayfair W1J 8PG
Slick Cantonese dim sum restaurant Yauatcha City have a Year of the Tiger menu in addition to its regular range of set menus and a la carte offerings. Get stuck into a smattering of dim sum and sharing dishes including drunken chicken and prawn wontons, sea bass dumplings, smoked duck shui mai, Szechuan style rib-eye beef, and crab meat and pineapple fried rice. Vegan dishes and dim sum are available too. There’s plenty of herbaceous cocktails to quaff along side your meal as well, including a Lychee Ginger Collins and a Szechuan Margarita, and a weekend brunch offering that comes with Moët & Chandon Imperial champagne.
Date: January 18-February 15
Cost: £60 including a cocktail and macaron; minimum 2 people
Address: Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS; 15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho W1F 0DL