The Best Chinese Restaurants in Covent Garden

Dim sum at Ping Pong, London | © audinou/Flickr
Dim sum at Ping Pong, London | © audinou/Flickr
Covent Garden may be right next door to Chinatown but there are some great Chinese restaurants to be found just over the border, ranging from traditional to regional to late night.

Bai Wei

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$

If you can handle your heat then Bai Wei is the Chinese restaurant for you. Sichuan cuisine, renowned for its use of numbingly hot chillies and pepper, is the focus of here and they crop up in most dishes from dan dan noodles to beef tripe (though there is a chilli chart on the menu for some guidance). The interiors are on the basic side, with just some Maoist era wall paintings for decoration, but there’s more than enough going on in the food to grab your attention.

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Lanzhou Noodle Bar

Restaurant, Chinese

It’s no surprise that noodles are the specialty of the house at this small shop by Leicester Square. You can see them being hand-pulled before tucking into them stir-fried or in a soup with a host of other toppings. And not only is the service fast here, the prices are low and they stay open late.

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Ping Pong Covent Garden

Restaurant, Chinese, Dim Sum, $$$

The Ping Pong chain, which now stands at nine sites across town, celebrates three things; dim sum, cocktails and tea. Steamed, fried and griddled dim sum make up most of the food menu alongside contemporary and seasonal small plates like rice burger sliders and crispy aubergine bao. The cocktails also draw on Asian flavours, putting an Eastern twist on classic drinks, and there’s plenty on the tea list to keep the non-drinkers interested.

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Shu Xiangge Chinese Hotpot

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$

Shu Xiangge is a no-frills yet authentic hot pot restaurant that’s popular with the area’s Chinese community. You order a broth and then a variety of meat, seafood and veggies to cook in it – things will get messy, especially if you go for a spicy broth, but it’s all part of the fun. It’s best to go to Shu Xiangge in a group though, not least because there’s a base charge for the soup and it’s quite easy to rack up the bill as you order extra ingredients.

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