IN Australia we are often spoilt for choice when it comes to Asian food. Growing up on the doorstop of Asia, we all had our favourite places to guzzle gyoza, sample sushi and dine on dumplings. Here in London however, we’ve had to start afresh, seeking out the best places to get your pho fix or a spicy curry amidst a huge array of new and exciting cuisines. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you — collating a readers choice sample menu of the best Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese in town.
Essex Road, Islington
This restaurant in Islington is called an izakaya — a Japanese style pub where drinks are served accompanied by food. In a space which actually once was a bar, it certainly retains that relaxed casual feel, whilst serving up authentic dishes at reasonable prices.
Recommended by James
Near Leicester Square
This cosy restaurant on based in Newport Street sells authentic, quality Japanese food for a great price. The “Please don’t tip” sign may seem a trick but it’s true, Tokyo Diner have a ‘no-tip rule,’ meaning that if you leave your change they will donate it to charity, rather than accept it. Our reader Allison recommends the chicken katsu curry.
Recommended by Allison
Covent Garden and Shoreditch
Dishoom is a traditional Bombay Café in the heart of London serving up delicious local dishes which are a step above your stock-standard butter chicken and naan. With a fun, vibrant atmosphere, a bar to wait at when battling the inevitable crowds, and cheap beers, Dishoom is a great place to bring visiting family or lots of your friends. Jenni says she can never say no to the okra fries — a delicious starter to snack on while making your choices.
Recommended by Jenni
Kingsland Road, Hoxton
It may not have the fanciest faÃ§ade of the many Vietnamese restaurants that line Kingsland Road between Hoxton and Shoreditch, but it is certainly one of the most popular. It serves up authentic, top quality and traditional Vietnamese with minimal fuss. Just don’t expect your food to be served with a smile.
Recommended by Neil
Branches across London
Ping Pong is a dim sum restaurant like no other. This restaurant is stylish and modern and sells some delicious cocktails. Whilst on the pricier side of the dim sum restaurants in London, it’s a fun experience. Just tick off your choices on your own menu, and then sit back and let them arrive steaming hot one after the other.
Recommended by Jonathon
Chinatown, near Soho
Wong Kei is your archetypal Chinatown restaurant. It’s certainly not fancy, but the extensive menu would have something to suit anyone’s taste buds. It is one of the biggest Chinese restaurants in UK and holds seating for up to 100 diners. The food is cheap, fast and surprisingly delicious.
Recommended by Catherine
The Boys Café
The Boys Café boasts on their website that they have take-away prices with restaurant quality. With the most expensive meal on the menu being less than £10 and their fantastic reviews, this North Kensington restaurant is well worth a visit. Amazing food, great eat in or takeaway, and the best service in London says our reader Paddy.
Recommended by Paddy.
And there’s more …
Baozi Inn @Chinatown, hands down.
Got to be Hakkassan for best espresso martini’s and can’t go past the dim sum platter 🙂
Banh mi bay. The salads are to die for and the baguette choices range from traditional vietnamese and thai to exciting.
K10Restaurant in Appold St. Amazing kaiten food.
Chop Chop – Fulham Broadway
Old Saigon in Putney. The cafe east of the west.
Cay Tre in Hoxton, London for Vietnamese (also in Soho).
On the Australian Times website
The most charming Indian is the lovely Malabar restaurant near Notting hill tube station in Holland Park. They have a good website with recipes too. Gorgeous pumpkin curry available as I remember.
East Street provides a great mix of Asian food including Malaysian, Thai and Japanese. Be sure to try the Tahu Goreng… Delicious!