Difficulty level: Eating dumplings
October 1, 2016 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I eat out in London loads, but every year I struggle to find a place to host a birthday dinner - please rec me somewhere central where I can book a table for 8. Off-menu requests inside.

This should be the easiest thing to solve, but I'm swamped with Google reviews and terrible website menus and my brain has slowed down to nothing. I want Korean, or Chinese, or something in the dumpling-range, in central London, that's not mad expensive - like, Dishoom-level prices would be fine - which does a decent range of booze (cocktails would be ideal, but I will settle for a glass of house white that doesn't taste entirely like meths), where I can get a reservation for 8 people on a Thursday night without us clustering around a food truck.
posted by Gin and Broadband to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Opium in Chinatown, which is more a cocktail bar but does do all day dim sum. I won't recommend it for the food particularly, but it is a great place to do birthday drinks (catches the overflow from Experimental Cocktail Club). On the flip side it is right in the heart of Chinatown, so you could always go for a cheap and cheerful Chinese dinner, and then head to Opium for drinks.

Shuang Shuang, which is more hot pot than anything, really.

Yauatcha, Hakkasan, which is definitely a lot more pricey. I found that Yauatcha is not that bad if you are ordering non-set menu items, and sharing. Good cocktails though.
posted by moiraine at 9:24 AM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ping Pong is pretty much the dim sum equivalent of Dishoom isn't it? Loads of branches, I like the Southbank one personally.

Myunga (behind Liberty) is a traditional Korean place we go to for family birthdays. Hazuki in Covent Garden is our Japanese birthday choice. Both have decent drinks menus, both are big enough for large groups, but they are both quiet - perfect for "dinner with the in-laws" birthdays, not really good for rowdy "big group of uni mates" birthdays, not sure which yours is.
posted by tinkletown at 11:21 AM on October 1, 2016

When I lived in Islington a few years ago I really liked New Culture Revolution for dumplings. It was never busy, not very expensive and the food was great.
posted by simonw at 2:49 PM on October 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding Ping Pong -- the one on Southbank has an upstairs room where I have booked birthday dinners before. All the dumplings your little heart desires, and a nice cocktail menu OH LOOK I SEEM TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY COMING UP.
posted by stuck on an island at 4:18 PM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have also had a pretty great meal at Ba Shan in Chinatown, but I think the price might be a bit steeper than Ping Pong.
posted by stuck on an island at 4:21 PM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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