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Journey Through Chinatown: An East & Southeast Asian Culinary ‘Getaway’

This Summer, take a journey through East and Southeast Asia right here in the capital. Located in the heart of the West End, Chinatown is a cultural hub for an abundance of ESEA cuisine with over 50 restaurants, bars and shops.

Wander through Chinatown’s 11 streets and you’ll be transported to nine regions of East and Southeast Asia – no passport required.  

 Explore and discover vibrant flavours and fusions, delve into culinary traditions and thrill the senses with modern food and drink innovations from the likes of China to Vietnam, Malaysia to Japan. It’s the season to discover new things and take your tastebuds to new and exciting places!  

Chow Down in China

There is a common greeting in China “Have you eaten rice yet?” (“Have you eaten?”) that encapsulates how centric food is in the spirit of the country. Food is at the heart of Chinese culture. For centuries food has signified cultural triumph and struggle; from ancient times through to the modern day.   

What to eat, where to eat: 

Filipino Feels…

Filipino cuisine has developed from the different cultures that shaped its history; it is like other Southeast Asian cuisines but with heavy Spanish influence. Neighbouring countries including Thailand and Vietnam have also influenced Filipino cuisine and cooking. 

What to eat, where to eat: 

  • Bilog -Tuck in at Mamasons located in Chinatown’s very own ‘Dessert Alley’ 
  • Halo Halo – A popular cold dessert made up of crushed ice, evaporated milk, available at Candy Cafe

Head Across to Hong Kong

Hong Kong cuisine encompasses the city’s rich history, diverse population, and unique geographical location. From traditional Cantonese dishes to international fusion cuisine, locals and visitors can enjoy an array of flavour experiences.  

What to eat, where to eat: 

  • Congee – Grab a spoon and get stuck in at the likes of Lotus Garden
  • Char Sui – Sit down for some mouth-watering roast meats at Cafe TPT and New China
  • Hairy Crab – Discover at JinLi
  • Egg Waffles (Bubble waffles) -  Bubblewrap serves up a waffle-y cone
  • Pineapple Bun – Pick up one made fresh at The Eight
  • Egg tarts – Baked fresh daily at Chinatown Bakery

Journey to Japan

Japan is divided into distinct geographic regions, each of which has developed its own unique culinary traditions. Its cuisine offers an array of gastronomical delights and has broadened the culinary knowledge of the West with the influence of its mastery, techniques and flavour fusions.  

What to eat, where to eat: 

  • Sushi & Sashimi – Grab your chopsticks at High Yaki 
  • Tonkatsu – Head over to Misato to savour flavoursome pork or chicken katsu 
  • Mille crepe cakes – Stop by Sakurado and KOVA for this Japanese delight 
  • Matcha – Chinatown London has it’s very own matcha haven Tsujiri 
  • Gyoza – Available at Haozhan 

Malaysian Musings

Without doubt, Malaysians are passionate about food! Malay cuisine is strong, spicy and aromatic, combining the rich tastes of the many herbs and spices commonly found in Southeast Asia.  

What to eat, where to eat: 

  • Nasi Lemak – Savour this iconic dish at Rasa Sayang
  • Laksa – Try C&R Café’s Penang Asam laksa
  • Satay, Rendang and Char Kuay Teow are also available at Rasa Sayang and C&R Café  

K-ruise Through South Korea

The diverse offerings of Korea’s street food and the enjoyment of communal eating have influenced global gastronomy. From humble market stalls in Seoul to cosmopolitan cities worldwide, people are embracing bold flavours and textures, feeding their curiosity for new and exciting food experiences.  

What to eat, where to eat  

Step Into Singapore

The soul of Singaporean food lies in its multicultural roots. Singaporean cuisine is a combination of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other influences. It is characterised by its use of spices, herbs and other flavourful ingredients.  

What to eat, where to eat  

  • Roti Canai, Hainanese Chicken, Chilli Crab all available at Rasa Sayang and C&R Café  

Take A Trip to Taiwan

Taiwanese food is a blend of flavours and innovation. Taiwanese cuisine itself is often associated with that of the mid to southern provinces of China, most notably from the province of Fujian, as well as significant Japanese influences.  

What to eat, where to eat  

Taste of Thailand

Thai cuisine typically features vibrant vegetables, seafood, and meats, served with rice or noodles and seasoned with herbs and spices such as turmeric, galangal, Thai basil, and lemongrass.  

What to eat, where to eat  

  • Pad Thai – Enjoy this all-time favourite at YiQi.
  • Tom Yum – Lap up Speedboat Bar’s Tom Yum Mama
  • Pad Kra Pao – Also available at Speedboat Bar

Venture to Vietnam

Vietnamese food is known for its distinct use of fresh, fragrant and aromatic flavours with a balance of sweet and sour, spicy and cooling, fresh and salty flavours.   

What to eat, where to eat  

  • Bánh Bao – Salivate over BBQ pork belly and confit pork belly at Pho & Bun 
  • Pho – Slurp up Viet Food’s Rare Beef Pho  
  • Vietnamese Spring Roll – Also available at Viet Food   

Where will your journey through Chinatown London take you?  

Enter our Instagram Giveaway for a chance to WIN a trip for two to the dazzling city of Hong Kong plus an authentic ESEA experience right here in Chinatown London.⁣

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