Is there any better way to carb load (or indeed administer an at-table facial) than by ordering a selection of steaming dumpling baskets? From Din Tai Fung's famous xiao long bao to Titu's latticed gyoza, today we've gathered together the best dumpings in town for you.
70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE
One of the best reasons to clear your diary and go for a long lunch is the daytime dim sum menu at Andrew Wong's Victoria restaurant. The clear shrimp dumplings with sweet chilli sauce and topped with a rice vinegar cloud are amazing and come in a platter along with sui mai with pork crackling.
Photo by John Carey
Chinatown, Soho, Victoria and Borough
This Northern Chinese restaurant burst onto Instagram with their colourful dumplings which taste every bit as good as they look. Our favourites were the ruby prawn dumplings in beetroot pastry
5 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8PT
Since opening their first London restaurant in Covent Garden, Din Tai Fung have sold over 1.1 million Xiao Long Bao. Even better, now you don't need to queue as there's a handy phone app that does that for you. If you come here, you're definitely going to want to order those soup dumplings.
Old Spitalfields Market, Brushfield St, Spitalfields, London E1 6BG
The fried shengjianbaos from this East London street food trader are just fabulous - filled with pork and leek, these soup dumplings are a sturdier cousin of the xiao long bao and every bit as good.
15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
Before Din Tai Fung burst on to the London scene, there was this Chinatown staple and it still turns out exemplary xiao long bao - if a little less delicate than DTF.
15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
There's really only one must-have option when it comes to Duddell's dumplings - the Cantonese dim sum symphony - a hugely appealing looking collection consisting of jade leaf king crab dumplings, scallop and prawn dumplings and goldfish-shaped prawn dumplings.
8 Hanway Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HD
If you're bored bumping into Kim and Kanye at their Mayfair location, head to Hakkasan's original Hanway restaurant. Order the supreme platter which goes big on luxury ingredients - gold leaf and lobster, abalone and chicken shui mai with Prunier caviar but it's the Dover sole with black truffle you're really after.
9-10 Waterloo Pl, St. James's, London SW1Y 4BE
Best known for their very highly rated Peking duck, this high-end Chinese restaurant also does a mean line in dim sum. Available for lunch every day, highlights are "Seafood Dumpling Consommé with Dried Scallop and Bamboo Pith" and a "Baked Snow Mountain Bun with Ibérico Char Siu Pork". When she reviewed, Fay Maschler's dining companion said it was "arguably the best dim sum he’s ever had".
159A Mare St, London E8 3RD
Proving that vegan Chinese food can be every bit as powerful a taste bomb as its meaty cousin, this Hackney Chinese restaurant serves up one regular vegan dumpling - "meaty" veg and Chinese chive dumplings with chilli oil.
Hackney and Victoria Park
This family-run dumpling and sake house prides itself on the freshness of its house-made dumplings, and there's always a few interesting specials to look out for. But the classic, always-on Prawn Har Gau are just plump and gorgeous and unmissable.
8 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ
If you're looking for vegetarian dumpling options, then Pearl Liang's daytime dim sum menu has a pretty decent selection, the best of which is their monk's vegetable dumpling with a hefty mushroom umami hit.
Baker Street, Queensway, Canary Wharf, Harrow, Fulham
We couldn't very well do a London guide to dumplings without including the group which feeds dim sum to thousands of Londoners every day. But if you are trying to work out what to have, we'd say start with the Fried Yam Paste Meat Dumplings.
Shepherds Bush and Aldgate
Any Chinese restaurant that gets the Standard's Fay Maschler to describe their xiao long bao as 'superb' has to be doing something right. So obviously go for their rainbow-coloured soup dumplings while you work out what else you want.
49 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8TR
This popular Camberwell spot focuses on Xinjiang cuisine. Go for a meaty double pairing, starting with their popular lamb skewers and following with beef and onion grilled dumplings.
1A Shepherd St, Mayfair, London W1J 7HJ
This dinky gyoza bar on Shepherd Market has an ex-Novikov chef in charge of serving up exemplary fried dumplings. As it's Mayfair you might as well plump for the chicken and foie gras option.
399 Edgware Rd, London NW9 0FH
Xi Home specialises in North-Eastern Chinese dumplings at their kiosk in the huge North London food market Bang Bang Oriental. Our favourite? The classic pork and chive.
117 Benwell Rd, London N7 7BW
Best known for their biang biang noodles, this unassuming spot opposite the Emirates stadium also turns out excellent open-ended potsticker dumplings. Our tip - go for the chicken and mushroom option.
30 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DL
You'd expect anywhere that looks as gorgeous as Xu to turn out equally fabulous looking dumplings and the veggie option of sweet potato and miso taro dumplings in bright green Kow Choi (Chinese chives) oil are just the ticket.
Soho and Broadgate
This Cantonese tea and dumpling house has two branches - the original in Soho, and the larger spot in Broadgate in the City. All the dumplings are very good, but the veggie options are worth seeking out, particularly the edamame and truffle dumplings.
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