Discover – Chinatown
This energetic and bustling restaurant on Gerrard Street with 風味食堂 above the door (translating to Food House) is a hub for fiery Sichuan specialities. Its huge bowl of wide and hearty handmade noodles smothered in chilli oil with tender lamb is the stuff dreams are made of.
From this small takeaway joint on Little Newport Street, you’ll find Taiwan’s iconic hammered and fried chicken breast – and it’s a mighty size. Light and crunchy, get it dusted with a powdered seasoning for an addictive cheap treat on the move.
Golden Gate Cake Shop
It’s hard not to marvel at the 80 types of cakes available at this Cantonese bakery on Macclesfield Street. There’s a lot to choose from, but for a sweet fix I can’t resist its terrific creamy custard buns. Soft and pillowy bread conceals the sweet and rich filling. Warning: don’t be surprised if you scoff two in one sitting.
The Chinatown outposts (on Gerrard Street and Wardour Street) of this small group of Cantonese restaurants are perfect spots to sample some of the best roast duck in town. The grain-fed free-range birds yield juicy flesh and exquisite crispy skin, seasoned with a secret blend of spices. I’ve hardly eaten Cantonese roast duck anywhere else since my first visit.
You will find classic Malaysian fare inside this relaxed restaurant in Rupert Court, with a fan base that even includes one of the country’s harshest food critics: The Guardian newspaper’s Jay Rayner. Don’t miss the delicious Penang staple of buttery and flaky roti with a glorious curry dipping sauce for an excellent light bite. This is pretty much as good as the ones that I enjoyed when I visited Penang a couple of years ago!
Experimental Cocktail Club
Hidden behind an unassuming black door on Gerrard Street, you will find one of the most exciting bars in London and a place you would not expect to find in the depths of Chinatown. With an arresting interior and a thrilling stock of vintage and hard- to-source spirits, its classic Negroni is quite unlike any other. Expect 1970s Campari and gin hailing from the 1950s. This is one of my favourite places to visit, as it feels as though you are time travelling via the medium of cocktails. Make sure you get in touch and book a table in advance to avoid disappointment – it is very popular.
Little Wooden Hut
Representing regional dishes from across China, Little Wooden Hut on Lisle Street may be tiny, but I love how its menu packs a serious punch. The Chongqing noodles, with a bright red chilli oil soup base laced with prickly Sichuan pepper, stampede across your tastebuds.
Specialising in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, this halal venue on Macclesfield Street does Hainanese chicken rice – Singapore’s national dish – so well. Do not stray from the soft poached chicken and fragrant rice as it is comfort food in its truest form.
This epicentre of pan-Asian baked goods on Wardour Street isn’t a place in which to exercise restraint. I tend to leave with a few items, but never without its version of Japanese taiyaki in hand. A fish-shaped waffle cone filled with matcha ice cream, it’s a bestseller for a good reason. For London areas and the #SeeMoreLondon campaign, go to www.visitlondon.com/areas