London’s thriving food scene has seen an incredible amount of new Asian restaurants in the capital. While you’ve got the traditional and classics in China Town, small pockets of great authentic restaurants are popping up all over the city. With the wet and windy month we’ve had, I’ve been on a journey to determine the best dumplings London has to offer. So far, these have been my favourites!
1. Ping Pong
Ping Pong is definitely one of London’s most iconic restaurants for their dim sums. There are multiple branches spread all across the city. While the menu is Pan Asian and has a variety of dishes on offer to suit most palates, their dim sums are still their best sellers and have been for many years. Try some of their classics like Char Siu Bun or Prawn and Chive dumpling, or if you’re feeling more adventurous try their Har Gau or Black Prawn Dumpling.
2. Dumpling’s Legend
While this is based in China Town, it is definitely not one of those tourist trap restaurants with mediocre food. Service is curt and the food comes out in record time. The dumplings are, of course, the stars of the show (as the name would suggest). Specifically known for their soup dumplings or ‘xiao long bao’, this restaurant is busy almost every day of the week. These are pretty exceptional, hand made and fresh with bursting filling and a wonderfully rich broth. While the skin may have been a bit thick, this is still a definite must try if you’re a dumpling lover.
3. Tai Tung
This may be off the beaten track, but this is based in a Chinese food lover’s paradise. Based in Croydon, South London, Tai Tung is part of the Chinese food megastore. Here, you will find quite possibly one of the best dim sum lunches in the city. Feast on prawn Cheung fun or the Siu Mai. Fantastic flavours and quick service.
NumNum is a relatively new restaurant in the London scene but their food is definitely up there with some of the best. They serve classic Chinese dishes with a twist and their pan fried gyozas are some of the best in the area. Deliciously soft interior with a good amount of filling and crispy skin, they go brilliantly with their homemade chilli oil with black beans. Not an extensive menu and so not too many dumplings on offer, however, the quality is pretty exceptional.
5. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is one of those ‘must visit’ restaurants in London. Only opening earlier this year in Covent Garden, snake-like queues around the block is a regular feature. With over 160 restaurants across the globe, Din Tai Fung is probably considered a luxury affair. This restaurant is known for its legendary xiao long bao soup dumplings. Din Tai Fung is spread over two floors and you can watch through the glass pane as their team of 15 something experts carefully fold each dumpling 16 times to create the perfect xiao long.
They even provide you with instructions on how to eat the dumplings, and the soup is truly wonderful. Also recommended is the delicious wontons in black vinegar and chilli oil which have a deep umami flavour and the spice leaves your lips tingling.
This is by no means the end of my hunt. I am determined to continue my search and find the best dumplings London has to offer, and this is only part one! Stay tuned for part two, I am sure to find some true Asian gems.