China

Restaurants in China

China's cuisine is amazingly complex and multi-faceted and travelers will find restaurants in China that specialize in all the various regional styles of cooking. The best restaurants in China range from some that offer white-glove service and banquets with countless courses to humble stalls that may sell only one particular broth or noodle dish. Peking duck is, of course, one of China's most famous dishes and the Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing is one of the best places to taste the duck exactly as it should be prepared and served, in three courses. 

The Donglaishun restaurants began as a food stall in 1903, but now they are famous for their Mongolian hotpots where diners cook their own meat (traditionally, thinly sliced mutton) and vegetables in a tableside pot of broth. The China restaurants scenes isn't limited to just Chinese fare. Miichelle Garnault's M restaurants (M on the Bund in Shanghai, M on the Fringe in Hong Kong, and M Capital in Beijing) are some of the most acclaimed of the many using locally sourced ingredients in European—and Middle Eastern and North African—dishes.

Go to the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, for the sweeping views and gold-plated dim sum such as Wagyu beef–and–black pepper puffs and foie gras-and-prawn rolls.

While there are many choices for dim sum in Shanghai, Soahc makes its mark with Yangzhou-influenced cuisine.

The straightforward fast-food menu of Chinese comfort staples here includes congee rice porridge with chicken, fried tofu with scallions (an ideal savory breakfast), wonton soup with scallops, barbecue pork, and choy sum vegetables in hot broth.

On Beijing's oldest commercial street, established China restaurateur Michelle Garnaut draws the city's glitterati with seasonal, locally sourced dishes such as wild-mushroom-and-truffle risotto.

In Vietnamese, Song means "to live,” and this central district restaurant gives life to Indochinese and Vietnamese fare. The interior is casual but intimate with comfortable chairs and soft light.

Owner Lau Kin Wai once critiqued the work of artists; now he scrutinizes culinary art and invites diners to form their own opinion of the Cantonese fare at his Tin Hau neighborhood restaurant.

The crabmeat dumplings are available at a decadent (for Shanghai) splurge of $14 for a dozen and are thin-skinned with a deeply, sweetly crabby rich broth and meat. The place is one small room with about 30 seats, bright cafeteria lighting, linoleum floors, and a clear view into the kitchen.

This Mongolian hotpot restaurant takes open kitchen to the whole new level, putting the diners in charge of adding ingredients to the simmering pot at table side.

Have a romantic dinner at this delightful spot tucked into a 1914 heritage building. An advertising executive turned Slow Food diva, owner Margaret Xu grows her own organic vegetables, makes fresh tofu, and grinds the flour for her slippery rice cakes.

Irish-born chef Brian McKenna was something of a Continental wunderkind—by his early 20s, he’d already worked in several Michelin-starred European kitchens—before he brought his super-creative cuisine to Beijing in 2007.

This is the only restaurant in Hong Kong to get three stars from the 2009 Michelin guide, and the locals were not all pleased. Sample harangue: “These French [Michelin] people, what do they understand? They only care about the view.

While the restaurant’s name refers to an old alley or lane, nothing could be further from reality. Dark tones, dramatic lighting, red lanterns, and panoramic views set the tone inside this 28th-floor location. The fare is northern Chinese, but made into Hutong trademarks with novel ingredients.

Central Hong Kong neighborhood restaurant Goccia serves Southern Italian cuisine. The bi-level eatery has ambient lighting, panoramic picture windows, orange leather chairs, and banquette seating on the main floor. Outdoor terrace dining is also available.

For authentic local food, try the 20-course small-bite tasting menu, including duck sesame buns.