One thing that I miss having in London is the Chinese New Year eve dinner. Not so much the dinner itself but the fact that it's one dinner that you are suppose to have with your family. And that's why it's literally known as the Reunion Dinner in the Chinese language.
The choice of restaurant, however, is yet another thing. Obviously, food is not the main thing we are looking for; service and ambience play larger parts here. For the very same reason, Four Seasons with its no frills service and cram interior would not make the cut. The last thing you want is to have a hungry queue bidding your every bite and the bill shoved under your nose the moment you finished the last grain of your rice. So here are the five recommended Chinese restaurants for Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner.
Min Jiang (read Min Jiang review) at Royal Garden Park Hotel boosts a breathtaking view over London Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Known for its wood fired Peking Duck, which has to be pre-ordered, this Singapore based restaurant has a special menu for Chinese New Year eve and Chinese New Year Day itself for £58 per person.
In order to get the most out of your meal, do book early and secure a table by the window. If possible, start your meal when there's still some sunshine so as to enjoy the view.
A short stroll from Baker Street Tube station, Phoenix Palace (read Phoenix Palace review) has its fair share of fans. Without a doubt, with its heavy wooden Chinese interior settings, Phoenix Palace is the place to dine at over the festive period. There'll even be a Lion dance performance scheduled between 7.15pm-7.45pm during Chinese New Year's eve. Expected to be popular, reserve early for this time slot.
This new kid on the block (read Goldfish City review), which opened for business in 2010, offers decent Chinese fare, which include mocha ribs, its signature dish, in the heart of the City. The restaurant is equipped with karaoke facilities in its basement, handy if you would like to belt out some festive songs after dinner.
This institution (read Royal China review) is one of the most established chains in London. With branches in Baker Street, Canary Wharf, Queensway, Fulham and Harrow, Royal China is invariably crowded during weekends when Londoners and tourists alike flock there for dim sum.
Pearl Liang (read Pearl Liang review) serves a mean lobster noodle, which I consider as one of two "must try" (the other is the roast duck served at Four Seasons. Tucked at a corner of Sheldon Square, a short distance from London Paddington station, the restaurant offers private rooms for hire - a plus if you are looking for some privacy.
That's my top five recommendation. Where would you recommend for Chinese New Year's eve dinner? Where would you have yours?