Chinese New year is fast approaching – and, with it, comes a host of excuses to eat, drink and dance your way into the Year of the Dog. Set to host some of the biggest celebrations outside Asia, the capital prepares to paint the town red with traditional displays, pyrotechnics and parades of Chinese dragons. Whilst the most customary way to celebrate Chinese New Year is with a traditional tea ceremony, The Sybarite has meticulously prepared a guide to some of London’s finest Chinese restaurants offering style, substance and plenty of delicious cocktails.
Hakkasan – 17 Bruton Street, London, W1J 6QB
What better way to celebrate the Year of the Dog, or perhaps a belated Valentine’s Day, than with a romantic dinner for two at Hakkasan, Mayfair. The exclusive menu, specially designed for the festivities, enjoys classic dishes with a celebratory twist; Wagyu beef with pine nut in a golden cup; grilled Chilean sea bass; and wok-fry lobster in spicy truffle sauce. It’s not a party without a cocktail or two, so why not start your night with a Happy Daisy; Tanqueray No. 10 gin, Chartreuse Yellow, lemon, spiced mandarin jam, egg white and soda water. Hakkasan is giving all guests who dine during Chinese New Year red ribbons on which to write their wishes for 2018 before hanging them on the wooden oak latticework to bring good luck for the coming year – a tradition inspired by Hong Kong’s Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees.
Yauatcha – Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DL
Known for its blend of classically European patisserie and authentic Chinese ingredients, Yauatcha sets itself apart from other dim sum restaurants in London. In celebration of Chinese New Year (5th February – Sunday 4th March), Yauatcha is reinventing the Chinese lantern. Hosting a series of unique art installations with the help from leading London artists: Lydia Kasumi Shireff and Jamie Julian Brown. Spotted in the Met Museum, New York City, Jamie Julian Brown‘s art piece ‘mini totem lights’ showed similarities with the traditional Chinese lantern shape, vibrancy and colour. His art installation at Yauatcha Soho evolves the totem sculptures, creating hanging lanterns inspired by the diverse colour palette of Yauatcha’s dim sum and patisserie.
The Duck & Rice – 90 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 0QB
If you’re looking for a relaxed bolthole away from the hustle and bustle of parades, then this is your pitstop. This hip Chinese gastropub brings together the perfect marriage of pork scratchings and prawn crackers… need we say more. Welcomed by shiny copper beer tanks and the promise of elevated Chinese dishes, this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. So make the weekend even more memorable and enjoy a portion of Dong Po belly pork, whilst taking in, one of the daily screenings of 1970s cult classic Monkey Magic (1st – 8th February), or animated film Monkey King: Hero is Back. Look out for live lion dances that will further jazz up the celebrations (6-7th February)!
Park Chinois – 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA
Club Chinois is devoted to indulgence, offering the most decadent food and devilishly curious entertainment to satisfy the hungriest of appetites.The saying goes that ‘curiosity killed the cat’, but seeing as we’re celebrating the Year of the Dog, indulging in some hedonistic dining sounds like just the perfect way to do it! This year, Park Chinois will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a variety of seasonal menus, cultural performances, and contemporary entertainment, from Thursday 15th – 19th February. The special eight-course Chinese New Year Menu includes celebratory dishes made from the finest ingredients from around the world; from Australian abalone and Hokkaido scallops, to Spanish carabinero prawn and Chinese supreme mushrooms, to name a few. Park Chinois showcases Chinese cooking at its best! £150pp
Chai Wu – 5th Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge
If you’re hitting the shops hard in search of the perfect Chinese New Year party outfit? Then a perfectly timed, pre-party pitstop is essential to your shopping trip. Chai Wu is located adjacent to ‘shoe heaven’ on the fifth floor of iconic department store, Harrods. Housed in a stylish, comfortable setting, the design is inspired by the five elements of Chinese philosophy: wood, metal, water, earth and fire. Chai Wu presents a contemporary watering hole with a diverse and modern Chinese menu. Sit up front and sneak-a-peek into how the food is prepared with the restaurant’s open kitchen and dining bar.
Duddell’s – 9A St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Duddell’s London is the first restaurant of the Duddell’s brand to open outside of Hong Kong, set in the historic St.Thomas Church in the heart of London Bridge, just minutes from Borough Market and the backdrop of The Shard. Head Chef Daren Liew, previously Executive Sous Chef with the Hakkasan Group, has created a celebratory Lunar New Year Menu, showcasing authentic Cantonese cuisine and hand-crafted dim sum. Ring-in the New Year in style, with an array of Asian-inspired cocktails and luxurious produce cooked to perfection. £88pp