Best for: small plate tasting menu
Dish to order: French chips
Offering a small plates concept since 1982, this Pimlico stalwart is known as the Chinese restaurant without a menu. Opened by chef Peng and now run by his son Michael, diners here are asked what they don’t eat, then, instead of ordering, are brought a series of dainty, well-executed dishes based on what’s in season. The French chips, fried French beans with garlic and chilli, is always a favourite for regulars, as is the bamboo cup soup. Surrendering menu control in this way is surprisingly relaxing and makes for a meal to remember.
Address: 51 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8NE
Best for: classic dim sum
Dish to order: roast pork buns
The patient lunchtime queues trailing out of the restaurant on weekends say it all – this is dim sum worth waiting for. Come in a group so that you can order more dishes and, once inside and seated, choose from a tempting array of steamed and fried dim sum. This is the place to enjoy exemplary dishes of different textures, such as fluffy barbecued pork buns, slippery cheung fun rice noodle dishes and delightfully crisp sesame prawn rolls. For pudding, try the made-to-order black sesame dumplings – a house speciality.
Address: 24-26 Baker Street, London W1U 3BZ
Other locations: Chinatown, Canary Riverside, Fulham, Harrow on the Hill