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London’s Chinatown – A cultural experience not to be missed

By February 14, 2014Blog

If you are a fan of oriental food and happen to be living or spending time in the capital, then why not head to Chinatown? This vibrant part of town has so much to offer, providing residents and tourists with a cultural experience like no other.

History of London’s Chinatown                                             

The area in which Chinatown is now situated plays an important role in the capital’s history. It was the birth place of the Post Office, the first site of Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and the home of numerous immigrant communities from the Huguenots to the Maltese. Today it is the city’s vibrant Chinese quarter.

Chinatown’s origins date back to the late eighteen century when the Chinese settled in London after being employed on ships owned by the East India Company. The small Chinese community first established itself around the docks at Limehouse, but after this area was destroyed during World War II, they migrated to the present location. The establishment of Chinatown and its restaurants was helped by the British soldiers who had a new love for Chinese cuisine following the war in the Far East. Over the years Chinatown has become a major tourist site in London which attracts visitors from all over the country.

Dining in Chinatown

With so many authentic Chinese restaurants and rice parlours to choose from, it can be difficult to pick just one place to eat in Chinatown. Here is a quick guide to three of our favourites.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons is a traditional Cantonese restaurant situated on Gerrard Street. Their roast duck dish has been described as ‘the best in the world’ by the Financial Times, but other popular dishes include their crisp pork belly, steamed egg custard and barbequed meats. This affordable Cantonese restaurant is open until 4am daily.

HK Diner

HK Diner can be found on Wardour Street and is open until 4am every day, making it perfect for locals wanting to grab a late night snack. As well as serving fantastic duck and sea food noodle dishes, the restaurant also serves traditional bubble teas, which are currently very popular. Although there prices are slightly higher than other restaurants on the street, the price certainly justifies the great food and great service.

Joy King Lau

Joy King Lau is a fantastic Chinese restaurant located on Leicester Street. It offers great value for money dishes and a reliable service which is hard to beat! If you are looking to indulge in classic Chinese dishes and delicious sweets, Joy King Lau is the place to visit.

 

China DragonConclusion

Chinatown is the capital’s most vibrant area, rich with oriental culture and heritage. Whether you are a fan of Chinese food or are thinking of trying it first time, Chinatown is the best place in the UK, not only to dine, but to immerse into the beautiful culture.

Image credits: feline_dacat & Paolo Camera

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