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The best vegetarian dishes available in Chinatown

Thought Chinatown was only for carnivores only? Think again. Its restaurants are hiding a multitude of vegetarian delights.


It’s safe to say China loves its meat, in fact the country consumes over a quarter of the world’s output of it. BBQ roast pork, crispy duck, you name it, almost every famous Chinese dish is meat orientated. But these times they are-a changing and now plenty of vegetarian dish options are available in China and, of course, Chinatown London. If you’re of a vegetarian persuasion and want to experience the best of meat-free Chinese cuisine then check out these amazing vegetarian dishes in Chinatown, and where to find them.

Vegetarian Hot Pot – Shuang Shuang

Choose Shuang Shuang’s unctuous, vegan Temple Brew broth

This cool eatery has brought traditional Mongolian hot pot into the 21st century thanks to natty, sushi-joint-style conveyor belts to pick your ingredients from. Choose their unctuous, vegan Temple Brew broth made with soy milk, mushrooms, white turnip and dried liquorice root then load up with as many veggie ingredients as you fancy. Expect some seriously unique ones too – kailan (Chinese broccoli), choi sum and chrysanthemum leaves and tofus galore.

Vegetarian Dim Sum – Dumplings’ Legend

Dumplings’ Legend does exactly what it says on the tin: legendary dumplings. Their expert chefs handcraft 8,000 of the little pillowy parcels a day so rest assured they know what they’re doing – and you can even check them in action via their awesome open-plan kitchen. Their Vegetarian Siu Loung Bao (round, plump, tightly pinched buns) and Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings (ovular parcels in a fine skin) are both packed with perfectly seasoned, finely diced carrot, spring onion and ginger. For some of the best veggie dim sum in Chinatown, head here.

Vegetarian Summer Rolls – Viet Food

Viet Food has a veggie offering so good even carnivores won’t miss the meat!

Vietnamese cuisine is always ultra-fresh with light, elegant flavours so lends itself perfectly to vegetarian food. Michelin-starred chef, Jeff Tan (of Hakkasan fame, no less) conceived Viet Food’s menu of traditional Vietnamese street food with a progressive twist. From vegetarian summer rolls, vegetarian spicy soup with wild mushrooms and vermicelli to vegetable curry with lemongrass rice and mixed green salad, Viet Food has a veggie offering so good even carnivores won’t miss the meat!

Archar Awak – C&R Café

This may be just a cheeky side dish but it sure packs a powerful punch. Starring pickled vegetables (carrots, cabbage, green beans), the dish is served with spicy marinated peanuts and sesame seeds. Archar Awak is a traditional Malaysian staple you need to make friends with – especially if you love the tang of Korean kimchee. You’ll find C&R Café tucked away on Rupert Court.

Myanmar Green Tea Salad – The ShanState

Also known as laphet (Myanmar’s signature dish) The ShanState’s Myanmar Green Tea Salad is a unique vegetarian salad like no other thanks to its curious addition of tea leaves. The leaves are slowly fermented giving them a powerful flavour. Served with plum tomatoes, fresh garlic, freshly sliced ginger and rice, the umami balance of textures and tastes is off the scale. The ShanState is Chinatown’s first and only Burmese restaurant so pay a visit to experience something new.

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