Seven Chinese Restaurants for Celebrating Lunar New Year

Book that restaurant table now for Lunar New Year which starts on Feb. 1.

© Shutterstock


Book that restaurant table now for Lunar New Year which starts on Feb. 1.

© Shutterstock

Red Farm, New York, US

It’s not necessarily authentic – the rainbow har gow shrimp dumplings, for starters, are modelled like an edible Pac-Man. But this contemporary restaurant with outposts in New York and London isn’t trying to be true to the classics. From the pastrami-stuffed egg rolls to the grilled salmon, Red Farm is all about riffing on well-known Chinese dishes using surprising ingredients and methods. Whatever you order, keep your phone at the ready; this place feels made for the ‘gram.

David’s Restaurant, Melbourne, Australia

A Melbourne staple since 1999, this restaurant in Prahan offers up old-school Chinese favourites that have been made the same way for generations. Saying that, Shanghai-born owner David Zhou, who grew up on the city’s buzzing Nanjing Road, isn’t afraid to be innovative. To welcome in the Year of The Tiger, David has devised a five-course feast paired with specialty teas, though you can also choose from his array of crafted cocktails. The entertainment? A traditional lion dance, no less.

Qi – House of Sichuan, Singapore

The Singaporean outpost of a lauded one Michelin-star restaurant in Hong Kong, Qi – House of Sichuan specialises in the fiery cuisine of China’s southwestern province, around the city of Chengdu. Expect dishes infused with plenty of chilli: bang bang chicken in peanut sauce, dan dan noodles and kung pao prawns all included. The slinky, loungey atmosphere and flashes of red give the space a date-night feel, perfect for a Lunar New Year tête-à-tête.

Pearl Harbourfront, Toronto, Canada

There are two reasons to come to Pearl Harbourfront for dim sum. Firstly, the spectacular daytime views over Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands, enjoyed through the restaurant’s wall of windows. And secondly, the top-notch dumplings. Things are done here the proper way; tick off your picks on the menu, then steaming bamboo baskets land on your table within minutes. Think pork and shrimp siu mai, beef balls and BBQ pork buns…

Sazenka, Tokyo, Japan

While Tokyo has some first-rate traditional Chinese restaurants, this three-Michelin starred spot in Minamiazabu approaches things differently. Chef Tomoya Kawada’s 12-seater space – it’s a rather intimate vibe – fuses Chinese and Japanese cooking practices and ingredients, for a hybrid experience which celebrates the best of both cuisines. Expect the likes of expertly prepared pheasant wonton soup, chashu pork belly marinated in sweet-savoury soy and braised Hokkaido lamb chop.

Dumpling Home, San Francisco, USA

The name’s a bit of a giveaway: this San Francisco spot in Hayes Valley is turning out some of the city’s finest dumplings. From the moment you arrive you can see the chefs at busy work, folding delicious parcels from behind a glass wall, so you know everything is going to taste super fresh. Come hungry and work your way through the menu, from soupy, porky xiao long bao to chewy vegetable dumplings and bouncy pork and chive mouthfuls.

Hunan, London, UK

Food savvy folk know that when you’re looking for a memorable Chinese meal in London, it pays to head to Hunan. At this Pimlico restaurant, a city stalwart since 1982, diners don’t order from a menu; instead, they’re presented with a parade of tapas-sized dishes that don’t stop until they tell the kitchen they’re full. While you’ll dictate your preferred level of spice and have the chance to relay allergies, everything else is a surprise. You may get anything from crisp fried green beans to tea-smoked duck over around 18 courses.