Did you know ‘Dim Sum’ simply translates to ‘Touch the Heart’? See, you learn something new every day… Whether you’re looking for an informal place to tuck into your bamboo baskets, or somewhere a little bit more special, we have rounded up our favourite dim sum restaurants in London, from the Michelin-starred to the humble street food.
Michelin-Starred Dim Sum With an Intimate Feel
The thing with Hakkasan, is it’s just unashamedly cool. It attracts the Londoners and A-listers alike with its chic, dark interiors who are looking for an intimate place to hang out and feast on Michelin Star food. The baked venison puff is incredible and the char sui bun is one of our favourites too. Love them or hate them, Kanye and Kim are fans and so are we.
Dim Sum, Cocktails and DJs
With most traditional dim dum restaurants in Shoreditch only serving at breakfast and lunchtime, this is the place to go if you’re craving the cuisine well into the evening. The Drunken Monkey offers a massive selection on its dim sum menu, our favourite being the ‘And Then Sum’ menu. Visit at the weekend and take full advantage of the 8-hour Saturday ‘Happy hour’ (12-8pm) and the even better ‘Happy all dayer’ on Sunday. With a different line up of DJs each night playing a mix of funk, soul, house and disco, can anyone else feel a Drunken Monday morning coming on?
Don’t shy away from the fact that Novikov is more typically designed for those who like to splash the cash, as dim sum is at a totally accessible price point at this Italian and Asian fusion favourite. Not only is the dim sum intriguing in selection, ranging from Xiao Long Bao and Spicy Prawn Moneybags, but it’s also presented in a picture worthy manner, with bulging colours and sleek layouts.
Traditional and Fresh
It’s always a good sign if there is a queue outside a restaurant don’t you think? Royal China is a popular restaurant that can be seen all over London, with Baker Street being the flagship restaurant. With its gold and black lacquer it offers to host the smallest of family gatherings or up to 200 guest banquets. Here you can enjoy traditional dim sum and Chinese tea in a lively atmosphere. To ensure maximum freshness, the Dim Sum here is freshly steamed or fried just after you place your order. For pudding you have to try the black sesame dumplings in peanut crumbs… delicious.
Japanese Street Food
An understated gem in the heart of Pop Brixton, Koi Ramen’s gyozas gives you serious reason to get yourself to SW9. Choose from pork, chicken or veg and whether you want 3 or 6 of the Japanese grilled dumplings and you’ll get change from a fiver. Douse them in chilli sauce and a sprinkling of spring onion and you’re good to go. We’d go as far as saying they’re up there with the best dumplings in London.
Immaculately Presented Michelin Starred Dim Sum
Yauatcha has made as much of a name for itself for its dim sum as it does its beautiful puddings. The Michelin-starred spot in Soho should be your go-to for all things steamed, fried, grilled and baked… as well as cheung fun (rice noodle rolls). Order a round of scallop shui mai, striploin beef and enoki mushroom cheung fun and Wagyu beef puff and you’re off to a good start… In fact anything you order here will be impeccable. Just remember to save room for something sweet.
Beijing Street Food
Ning Ma brought her grandfather’s traditional recipes from his Beijing market stall to Brixton Village, Shoreditch, Clapham and beyond… in fact there are now 6 Mamalan restaurants across London serving affordable, authentic dumplings, noodles, snacks and salads. Our pick of the dumplings is the pork and Chinese leaf, but you’d best get some of the king prawn and Chinese water chestnut boiled dumplings just to say you’ve tried them. At these prices it’d be rude not to.
Mayfair Dim Sum
Fancy dim sum for lunch or brunch? Then head to Mayfair’s opulent restaurant, Park Chinois. You’re going to need to book in a long lunch, because the menu is extensive to say the least. Currently on the menu there are 35 items…including the likes of kingfish dumplings, scallop xo dumplings, prawn beancurd roll and baked char siu bao.
Where: Park Chinois, 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA
Nearest station: Green Park (0.2 miles)
Cheap and Cheerful With Unbeatable Views
Here you can enjoy a variety of steamed bamboo baskets, each being under £4, while taking in the fantastic views of the River Thames and Tower Bridge. With an informal and modern atmosphere, you can simply just stop here for Dim Sum or if you wanted to be creative with your tastebuds, the Noodle Bar allows you to choose exactly what you want from Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Thai. If you’re looking to create a special dim sum night with friends at home, or if you hadn’t planned on getting out of your onesie all weekend, there is a takeaway option available here too.
South Kensington Dim Sum
Winning the approval of critics, Bō Làng in South Kensington serves up both traditional and avant garde dim sum. It’s the work of Dim Sum Master Kai Wang who has over ten years experience and the menu includes the likes of steamed spider crab legs with marinated glass noodles and chicken, black truffle shui mai.
Royal Garden Hotel's Dim Sum Restaurant
Found on the top floor of the Royal Garden Hotel, Min Jiang serves up dim sum and a lot of it – the menu is extensive, it’s going to take several visits to work your way through it. You’ll find the likes of steamed Min Jiang char siew bun, poached Beijing dumpling with lamb and deep fried yam croquette with seafood. They are also known for duck so make sure you order that too. And a fun fact to impress your guest when you’re there every day they make 490 dumplings and get through 17 litres of soy sauce a day….