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5 Things You Never Knew You Could Do in Chinatown London

Karaoke cinema? Calligraphy classes? Chinatown has them all – and plenty more to boot.


Of course, sensational pan-Asian food is what keeps folks coming back to Chinatown and again and again, but there’s far much more to this captivating corner of London. From karaoke-cinema to Chinese calligraphy courses, here are 5 amazing things you never knew you could do in Chinatown but should try now!

Play mah-jong

Play mah-jong in Chinatown London

Be sure to order their Omakase tasting menu of three cocktails while you play

Make like you’re in 1930s regency Taiwan with a challenging game of mahjong in one of XU’s two private mahjong rooms. The elegantly appointed rooms with sleek mahogany paneling and hand-painted murals come fully kitted out with the ancient board game. Be sure to order their Omakase tasting menu of three cocktails while you play.


Sing along cinema in Chinatown London

Holler ‘till your heart’s content

Leicester Square may be home to London’s mega-multiplexes, but tucked away on Leicester Place, the cool and quirky Prince Charles Cinema showcases independent films and repertory flicks. One of the indie picture house’s most popular screenings are their karaoke-esque Sing-A-Long-A events. Go wild in the aisles and holler ‘till your heart’s content to A Rocky Horror Picture Show or join in the French romance of Moulin Rouge.

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Buy your seafood… live!

Live seafood supermarket in Chinatown London

Tank-to-plate in no time

Here, fishy fishy! Fresh seafood doesn’t come much fresher than still live and at Asian food wonder-emporium See Woo, you can select your fish straight from their live aquariums. From crab and lobster crustaceans to tilapia and 5-foot-long eels, simply choose what you want and voila, it’ll be from tank-to-plate in no time.

Try your hand at Chinese calligraphy 

Calligraphy workshops in Chinatown London

Make sure you attend one of their regular calligraphy workshop

Try dipping your quill, or brush, into the compelling world of Chinese calligraphy at Guanghwa Bookshop. The small but perfectly formed literary space is a treasure trove of Chinese tomes, from novels and prose to history and philosophy. Downstairs, it’s dedicated to Chinese craft, as well as being able to purchase beautiful stationary you can attend one of their regular calligraphy workshops.

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Drink your star sign

Opium Bar Zodiac Drink Menu - Chinatown London

What zodiac sign are you?

To celebrate their fifth birthday, slinky drinking den Opium have launched their astrologically themed Zodiac Menu. Each of the drinks is inspired by the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac’s unique characteristics. To make them especially special, you’ll sip from hand-crafted vessels by Bespoke Barware.

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