Top 5 Chinese restaurants in London

Dragon Boat Festival – one of the three most important Chinese Holidays, together with Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival – falls on the 2 June (the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar).

Also known as the Double Fifth or Duanwu festival, the event commemorates the death of Chinese poet, Qu Yuan, who lept into the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C with a stone attached to his ankle.

Local people admired the poet so deeply that they took to the water to save him, in their boats. Unable to located Qu Yuan’s body, the Chinese dropped balls of sticky rice into the water so that the fish could eat the rice rather than the poet’s body.

Today Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by tucking into zongzi (sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) and racing dragon boats.

Wondering where to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival in the capital? Panic not. Haute Time has done the hard work for you. Here’s the low-down on five of the best Chinese restaurants in town…

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    1. China Tang

    Located on plush Park Lane, China Tang is where Kate Moss and the rest of the Primrose Hill set head for perfectly executed Cantonese cooking (although you’ll also find Sichuan specialities such as mapo tofu on the menu). After dinner, live it up like the Last Emperor at the glamorous adjoining bar. You’ll need to book (China Tang can be as busy a a bookie’s on Grand National Day) but it’s worth it: Sir David Tang’s decadent dim sum parlour and moody Shanghai restaurant ranks as one of the capital’s finest Chinese restaurants.
    The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1
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    2. Hakkasan

    This Michelin starred restaurant – created by celebrated restaurateur Alan Yau - set a new standard for Chinese fare in London when it opened in 2001 showing that Chinese cuisine could be part of the fine dining scene. 13 years on and this basement den remains an excellent destination for delicate dim sum (handcrafted or steamed, braised or fried) or chef Tong Chee Hwee’s more high-end offerings (succulent fish roasted with champagne anyone?), in opulent surroundings. Hakkasan has gone on to open branches in America and India but in our humble opinion, they compete with the original.
    8 Hanway Place, W1
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    3. Hutong

    To celebrate the traditional Chinese ‘Double Fifth’ Dragon Boat Festival on the 2 June, award winning restaurant Hutong located in The Shard, will be offering a special menu of five dishes from five different regional Chinese culinary traditions. Hutong’s Double Fifth menu will include customary dishes such as spicy abalone and seafood salad from the Dongbei region; Ma La chilli prawns and braised beef in aged vinegar and ginger with pumpkin mash from the Sichuan region. For dessert, try traditional sweet zongzi dumplings of steamed sweet glutinous rice dumplings with red bean paste wrapped in bamboo leaves. Hutong will also be offering a platter of zongzi dumplings, including golden sesame dumplings filled with apple paste and cinnamon and mango pancake rolls. Both menus will be available from 27 May – 2 June.
    Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, SE1
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    4. Imperial China

    This seriously good-looking restaurant has done much to popularise high end Chinese cuisine. Cross the wooden footbridge to reach a spacious, low lit room decorated in dark wood and cream hues. The food is equally stylish: enjoy an a la carte menu of Cantonese seafood dishes (lobster, sea bass, crab and abalone all feature), washed down a wonderful assortment of fine wines, champagnes, cocktails or sake. All told, this a wonderful place for authentic Chinese food – something the reassuring number of Chinese diners, suggests- and acts as a little oasis in the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.
    White Bear Yard, 25A Lisle Street, WC2
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    5. Yauatcha

    Yauatcha might have opened its doors a decade ago but is still one of the capital’s most fabulous and fashionable Chinese dining venues. The Soho stalwart serves innovative dim sum - think roast duck & pumpkin dumplings, or pear & taro croquettes -that continues to thrill, as well as range of teas and delicious pastries to a see and be seen crowd. Carrie and the girls would feel right at home here. Bottom line? We wish there were more restaurants like Yauatcha.
    5-17 Broadwick Street, W1F