Chinese New Year in London is the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia, so this is a holiday you’re not going to want to miss.
This year, we celebrate the Year of the Dragon – the Chinese Zodiac’s only mythical creature and a symbol of power, prosperity, and strength. In London, Lunar New Year celebrations will be back in full force, with the annual parade kicking off on Sunday, 11 February, in Soho’s Chinatown.
But the parade is just the start. No celebration is fit without a feast, and there’s a heap of spots in Chinatown and beyond serving up the most roar-some feasts to commemorate the year of the fire-breathing beast.
From a 30-dish banquet at A.Wong and free gua bao at BAO to limited edition shui jiao at Poons Wontoneria and baskets of wealth at MiMi Mai Fair, these festive feasts are not to be missed.
Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in London
70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
For one night only, celebrated chef Andrew Wong and Dom Pérignon join forces for a show-stopping 30-dish banquet dining experience paired with Dom Pérignon Vintages at his Michelin-starred outpost A.Wong. On 8 February, guests can enjoy this behemoth of a feast, tasting dishes from across China’s 14 international borders. The menu celebrates 3,000 years of technique and culinary history, and highlights include tangerine fish with chiu chow beef broth, braised daikon and Oscietra caviar. If you want to go the whole hog this Chinese New Year, A. Wong is calling your name.
23 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RW
To celebrate Chinese New Year, Poon’s Wontoneria by Amy Poon will add limited edition shui jiao 'Water Dumplings' to the menu throughout the festive period. Filled with a drool-worthy combination of pork, shrimp and Chinese mushrooms, these parcels of joy will be available alongside the Wontoneria’s signature selection of handmade wontons and soothing noodle bowls at lunch, or a menu of vibrant Chinese small plates at dinner time. Plus, to welcome Chinese New Year in classic Poon's style, Amy will also be hosting an intimate dinner at the wontoneria on 12 February, inviting diners to try a one-off menu of some of her favourite dishes.
113 Mitcham Road, SW17 9P
Bringing the traditions of Taiwan to Tooting, Daddy Bao will host an all-day feasting celebration to mark the lunar new year. On 11 February, Daddy Bao will put a spin on tradition with an informal feast designed to be shared with the ones you love. Kick things off with a cocktail and lotus root crisps before diving chopsticks into chicken sui mai, venison and plum bao, roast duck with crispy kale and finish off with fried nian gao with clementine and pandan cream. With the option for a vegetarian menu or to add a whole grilled seabream if you’re feeling decadent, Daddy Bao promises a feast to savour.
MiMi Mei Fair
55 Curzon Street, W1J 8PG
From 1 to 24 February, Mimi Mei Far, the Chinese restaurant that leans luxury, will transform into a floral paradise to celebrate Chinese New Year. To accompany the floral foray is a special celebratory menu featuring traditional festive dishes. The feast commences with a 'basket of wealth' filled with a bounty of dim sum, followed by mouth-watering dishes like gigantic tiger prawns with black bean sauce, ginger soya silver cod and crispy Norfolk pork with tangy pineapple and pomelo. Finish the meal with the flourless chocolate bar with mandarine and pecan crunch and a glass of Courvoisier XO cognac, and you’ll feel like the cat (or, er, dragon) that got the cream.
BAO will kick off Lunar New Year celebrations on 5 February at 11 am by encouraging guests to “eat gua bao for good luck” – slinging out hundreds of Classic baos on the house across all its restaurants. These aren’t any old bao either – stuffed with twelve-hour braised pork, fermented greens and peanut powder, these fluffy buns are the perfect snack to welcome in the new year. Plus, to wish their guests happiness and good fortune in 2024, BAO will be serving Year of the Dragon BBGs, shaped like a dragon claw and filled with molten chocolate and cherry. A limited number each day will be available to purchase individually at all BAO restaurants on the 10 and 11 February. Can’t make it to a BAO? No problem because it’s bringing back a limited edition run of its favourite lockdown make at home kits which can be ordered for delivery from February 5. Packed with plenty of BAO’s new year treats, including classic or daikon bao, dan dan “longevity” noodles and dragon BBGs.
Canteen Food Hall
7 Soames Walk, SE10 0AX
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This Lunar New Year, Canteen Food Hall will take visitors on a culinary journey highlighting traders like Juk Pou, who are London’s very first congee and youtiao street food concept and Choy House, who showcase lip-smacking Vietnamese food – plus there are plenty of DJ sets and traditional Chinese workshops taking place to welcome in the Year of the Dragon in style. Pop down from 9 to 11 February and get your hands on a free fortune cookie, or take part in the traditional Chinese woodblock printing and calligraphy workshop by Yi Crafts on 10 February. Ink-credible!
Med Salleh Kopitiam
35-39 Inverness Terrace, W2 3JS
Celebrate the year of the dragon festivities at Med Salleh Kopitiam with a delicious yusheng salad. This traditional dish is a colourful mix of shredded carrots, mooli, yellow radish, cucumber, pickled ginger, pickled onion, pomelo, crispy yam, crispy wanton pastry, and crispy vermicelli and is perfectly paired with plum sauce, tuna and salmon sashimi, caviar, and edible gold leaf. Alongside this special are some menu must-haves, including Hainanese chicken rice, satay chicken skewers and the legendary tanjung rambutan nasi ganja, aka addictive curry rice.