The AGI team believe that the quality and scope of pan-Asian cuisine available in London simply cannot be bettered in Europe. Today, regular contributor CheRima gives us her pick of London’s finest eastern fare.
Jin Long Xuan, Leicester Square
With all the Chinese restaurants lining Leicester Square, it can either be a burden or a paradise when deciding on where to eat when craving authentic Chinese food. Jin Long Xuan, a restaurant whose name means “Golden Dragon,” is a popular Cantonese style eatery for local Londoners and those adventurous types in the know. Jin Long Xuan, is nothing like a Western Cantonese restaurant, with a menu that includes Cantonese style noodles, stir fried hairy gourd with dried shrimp and cellophane noodles, chicken feet, frog legs on lotus leaf, and salted duck. A London favorite which satisfies the appetites for those homesick for China, Jin Long Xuan is a must go when craving authentic Cantonese style cooking.
Tucked behind the British Museum lies a Japanese restaurant that surprises the taste buds with more than sushi. Specializing in cooking food right in front of you, Japanese Okonomiyaki literally translates as “what you want”. Abeno is known for its egg based pancake creations filled and topped with chosen delicacies of kobe beef, scallops, shrimps, and or vegetables fillings. Each 5-8 inch across and inch thick concoction is glazed with Abeno’s special sauce topping of Worcester-like sauce and mayonnaise that gives the meal a twist of East meets West authenticity. With sides like lotus chips, agedashi (deep-fried) tofu, and dumplings adding to its eastern flair, Abeno is a definite London attraction. Although reservations are necessary to dine here, the planning is worth the food and the pan food flipping style entertainment.
Known as the only halal restaurant in Chinatown, this Malaysian restaurant is raved about as an authentic Malaysian & Singaporean restaurant serving only traditional dishes filled with rich spices. Spicy being one of the main adjectives describing the dishes, bringing restaurant goers back to memories of their homeland or exotic holidays. A menu that includes a tasty oyster omelet, beef rending, kueh pie tee (crispy turnip and carrot topped with egg strips, caviar, and chili sauce), and filled with curry, spicy sweet dip, and spicy peanut sauce. Rasa Sayang is a Malaysian hot spot you cannot miss.
An all time Sunday favorite, Brick Lane is one of the best spots to go to for a plethora of Asian cuisines. This chaotic street market is home to many of the best Asian food vendors. From Indian, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and everything in between, it is a foodie’s day trip. Opening at 9am, many start the day with Malaysian pancakes as they walk through the stalls of many vintage vendors, and can gorge themselves until 5pm. It’s a hedonist gastro philosophy here, as one follows their hearts desire for tastes of cuisine from all over Asia.
By CheRima Manayan