5 Amazing Places To Eat Asian Food In Central London

5 Amazing Places To Eat Asian Food In Central London

Jeff Tan, the Michelin-starred chef and founder of Chinatown's Viet Food, selects five of his favourite places to go for Asian food in central London.

A glazed Peking duck
Imperial Treasure's delicious Peking duck. Image: Imperial Treasure

Imperial Treasure, St James's

Dish: Peking duck
Drink: Bourgogne Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau red wine

Imperial Treasure — a fine dining restaurant which also has places in the likes of Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong — really knows how to do Peking duck, sourcing the meat from Silver Hill ducks. The dish requires advance pre-ordering, and there's a daily limit on availability, making it all the more special.

My family and I frequently visit Imperial Treasure for dinner, particularly during Chinese New Year. Each bite offers a delightful exploration of the intricate flavours of Chinese cuisine. The wine pairing options are exceptional (pair the duck with a glass of the Bourgogne Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau red).

Imperial Treasure, St James's

The various components of the salad
A New Year's 'prosperity salad' at Rasa Sayang

Rasa Sayang, Chinatown

Dish: Mee gograng
Drink: Teh tarik

Rasa Sayang, located in Chinatown, serves authentic Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine, and is my go-to restaurant because it reminds me of my childhood in Malaysia and my teenage years working in Singapore.

Their Mee Goreng (sticky noodles tossed with all kinds of delicious morsels) holds a special place in my heart. Paired with their famous teh tarik (a sweet tea, made with condensed milk) it's sublime. Dining here feels like embarking on a culinary journey through the vibrant streets of Southeast Asia. Every sip and every bite narrates a tale of tradition and innovation, crafted with passion and precision.

Rasa Sayang, Chinatown

Jeff Tan
Jeff Tan knows the best places to east Asian food in London.

Donia, Kingly Court

Dish: Lamb shoulder caldereta pie
Drink: Milo

Donia recently opened in Kingly Court, serving up Filipino food which the Standard referred to as 'astonishing'.  What truly captivates me is the creativity and artistry that infuses each dish; the restaurant is led by a young and immensely talented chef. I always want to explore and learn more from the younger generation. The menu is very simple, just 18 dishes, very focused on every single one. With each bite, you're transported to the idyllic landscapes of the Philippines, where culinary tradition meets contemporary flair. The lamb shoulder caldereta pie is as delicious as it is unexpected. Wash it down with Milo, a chocolate malt drink, and you're in heaven.

Donia, Carnaby Street

 Ais kacang
The mountainous ais kacang at Med Salleh Kopitiam. Image: Med Salleh Kopitiam

Med Salleh Kopitiam, Bayswater

Dish: Satay chicken skewers
Dessert: Ais kacang

A 'kopitiam' is an Indonesian coffee shop where they also serve up all kinds of delicious street food, and Med Salleh Kopitiam offers perhaps the most authentic version of this in London. Go for the charcoal-fresh grilled satay chicken skewer — it evokes memories of my childhood; every weekend, my parents would take me to enjoy satay, a dish I still cherish to this day. As for dessert? A refreshing ais kacang — a mountain of shaved ice covered in nuts and sweet sauce. There's also a Vietnamese outlet of Med Salleh near Westbourne Park.

Med Salleh Kopitiam, Bayswater

A plate of noodles
Siam Central's cuisine reminds Jeff Tan's of his grandmother's. Image: Siam Central

Siam Central, Fitzrovia

Dish: Drunken noodles
Dessert: Thai milk tea

This restaurant serves incredibly authentic Thai cuisine. How authentic? Well, my grandmother is from Thailand, and the pad Thai here tastes very similar to hers. Any dish is complemented by an order of their Thai milk tea. What I especially like about Siam Central is that it's an independent restaurant, not part of a franchise. I often seek out small, cosy, traditional restaurants like this one.

Siam Central, Fitzrovia

Last Updated 16 February 2024

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