The 32 Best Chinese Restaurants in the World

By jeffrey_merrihue on February 5th, 2016

As we approach the Chinese New Year, we must make a momentous decision about where to eat. While most of the cities on our ExtremeFoodies.TV website feature Chinese recommendations, only a handful made our list as host of one of the best Chinese Restaurants in the World. So, you either live in one of these cities or you should book your airline tickets now.

Cities

  1. Beijing
  2. Chengdu
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Kuala Lumpur
  5. London
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Macau
  8. Melbourne
  9. New York City
  10. San Francisco
  11. Sao Paulo
  12. Shanghai
  13. Singapore
  14. Sydney
  15. Taipei
  16. Toronto
  17. Vancouver

1. Beijing

Cat Nelson

Cat Nelson is a China-based writer and editor, originally hailing from the sunny central coast of California. After more than half a decade in Beijing and a lifetime of eating it, she hasn't tired of Chinese food – and suspects she never will.

“It’s a culture fascinated with food – what you ate, what you like to eat, what you plan to eat is 90 percent of conversation – and the vast complexity and variety of the cuisine reflect this obsession.”

 


Jing Yaa Tang
 

 

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Designed by London-based restaurateur Alan Yau, Jing Yaa Tang’s gorgeous digs has the food to match. Peking duck is roasted to a crisp, juicy perfection over jujube wood. Eat the duck wrapped in paper-thin pancakes along with the house-made fermented sauce and slivers of leek, cucumber and melon – a fresh twist to the classic dish. Full orders of duck come with an addictive, don’t-miss stir-fry of shredded duck with bamboo shoots and Chinese sausage. You’d be remiss to pass up the rest of the menu, which is a whirlwind jaunt through the classics of China’s regional cuisines. The Taiwanese three-cup cod will knock your socks off and the “mouth-watering” chicken is a stunning rendition of the traditional Sichuanese dish.

Dianke Dianlai
 

 

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You will taste flavors like you never have before at Dianke Dianlai. The set menu leaves you at the will of the kitchen – and that's an entirely good thing. A flurry of dishes like tender shrimp in a citrusy-tomato broth or a spice-rubbed grilled fish will challenge what you think of Chinese food. The food is creative and modern while staying true to the province’s bold spice mélange – all in a beautiful restored courtyard in the heart of Beijing’s old alleyways.


2. Chengdu

Jenny Gao of Jing Theory

Jenny Gao

Based in Shanghai, Jenny Gao is a freelance writer, producer and photographer and ExtremeFoodies’s expert for Chengdu.

“This is the capital of Sichuan cuisine and worth a pilgrimage once in your life for the astounding array of sophisticated snacks, noodles, hot pots and mains that will tingle your mouth and blow your mind. Here you can try the sophistication of Yu Bo’s Family Kitchen or the Sichuan fireworks of Ming Ting.”

 


Yu Bo’s Family Kitchen
 

 

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Down a narrow alleyway in Chengdu, an unmarked wooden door opens to one of the most revered restaurants in China. Only six private rooms are available for just one seating a night, and despite its tremendous success over the years, the restaurant has not expanded. The chef celebrates the foundations of Sichuan cuisine with technique and depth of flavor, but where he truly stands out is the quality of his ingredients. Once a month, he and his wife drive hours out of Chengdu to select Sichuan peppercorns, mushrooms, organic pork, bamboo, artisanal soy sauce and vinegar. Yu Bo keeps his perspective fresh by frequently gathering inspiration from abroad, keeping an eye on the trends and techniques of modernist cooking and experimenting in his kitchen. A signature dish is a playful set of edible paintbrushes made of golden, flaky pastry, to be dipped in an “ink” of black sesame paste.

Ming Ting
 


Ming Ting is one of the most famous hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Chengdu. Hidden down an alley in a historic market, it is always packed at lunch and dinner as locals flock to fill up on such specialties as pig’s brain mapo tofu, deep-fried ribs and lotus leaf steamed pork belly. Go and soak up the atmosphere, and make sure to take a peek into the kitchen and watch the army of teenage chefs at work.


3. Hong Kong

Fine Dining Explorer of Hong Kong

Fine Dining Explorer

“Chinese cuisine is so rich in its diversity and variety, in terms of ingredients and preparation. From dim sum lunches to hot pot dinners; from street side vendors to elaborate banquet tables; from simple snacks to regional classics - there’s always something to suit your mood. Even after completing the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants and visiting more than 80 Michelin three-star restaurants, Chinese food still has a special place in my heart!”

 


Fook Lam Moon
 

 

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Founded in 1948, Fook Lam Moon steadily built its reputation for brilliant traditional Cantonese cooking and is now one of Hong Kong's most iconic restaurants. Ranked No. 15 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, this Michelin starred eatery serves some of the best dim sum lunch in the city along with a wide range of Cantonese roasted meat, like char siu and roasted pork. If you are prepared for a lavish meal, pre-order the Double-boiled Bird's Nest in Whole Coconut.

Yat Lok
 

 

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This world-famous restaurant on Stanley Street is dedicated to one thing: roast goose. The result is simplicity and complexity in a single item, served alone on a plain white plate. The marinade blends 38 ingredients, including superior dark soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, star anise and cloves. The skin is so crispy it nearly shatters on bite. And the sweet and salty succulent meat underneath ranges from reddish pink to brown, depending on which part you’re eating. It is like several items all wrapped into a single wondrous item.


4. Kuala Lumpur

Vivian Low

Vivian Low

Vivian Low is a food writer in Kuala Lumpur and a contributor to the food blog Sharking for Chips & Drinks.

“Whether it's street food from the trunk of a motorbike or seared foie gras in a fine-dining restaurant soaring above the city, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. But for the best Chinese, do not pass go. Head straight to Sek Yuen.”

 


Sek Yuen
 


Opened in 1948 near bustling Pudu Market, Sek Yuen is one of the oldest restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Occupying the same beautiful, time-worn, art-deco building for almost 70 years, Sek Yuen is an institution. Some of the aged chefs toiling in the wood-fired kitchen have served the same old-school Cantonese dishes to three generations of fans. Where else can you find a kitchen that still uses 100 percent wood fire in its cooking? Old-school stalwarts like Sek Yuen just don’t exist anymore. Food here is punchy, with requisite use of garlic, oyster sauce and siu heng wine – all to warm you up from the inside. The four-season platter will immediately remind you of Chinese banquets in the olden days. The Eight Treasure Duck is wonderous and the good luck Yusheng noodles, which are a spectacular New Years tradition, have been served here longer than anywhere else in the world. It’s hard to find a restaurant that perpetuates quality and tradition, but Sek Yuen is, after all, legendary.


5. London

Niamh Shields

Niamh Shields

London blogger Niamh Shields, author of eatlikeagirl.com, says she loves Chinese food “because it is a no-holds-barred embrace of food and everything that it is. It can be delicate and it can be gutsy. When it is good, it is hard to beat.”

Looking for the best Chinese restaurants in London? “You could go to the long-time king of dim sum Royal China or make your way into Soho for exceptional Sichuan at Bar Shu.”

 


Royal China
 

 

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For those who crave authentic Chinese cuisine, we recommend you head for Royal China. Its perennial popularity ensures a lively atmosphere, and its authentic, perfectly prepared little dishes are head and shoulders above the competition. The long dining room at the original Queensway branch is lined in mirrors and black lacquered walls, with depictions of curling waves and geese soaring above. The elegant surrounds are the perfect backdrop for traditional dim sum. Delicately handmade little parcels of tasty delights are prepared daily and are freshly steamed or fried only after the customer places their order. Other don’t-miss items include their meaty crab cakes, well-seasoned and combined with spices and herbs into beautifully rounded patties/cakes and fried until crisp and golden brown.  And dumpling lovers rave about the chili pork dumplings.

Bar Shu
 

 

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The name Bar Shu is a poetic reference to the ancient kingdoms that make up the Chinese province of Sichuan, and this elegant Soho eatery aims to promote and celebrate its cuisine in palate-tantalizing detail. Punchy, fiery Sichuan food layered with subtle flavors is as much a work of art as the Chinese opera masks and carvings adorning the wooden panels that line the walls. Fans know to order the Sichuan hotpot in advance -- only 10 are served each night – and the sweet, fresh whole crab in a fiery sauce spiky with peanuts, ginger, garlic cloves and spring onions fused with Sichuan spices.


6. Los Angeles

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie

Los Angeles-based food writer Josh Lurie, the founder and author of Food GPS, says he loves Chinese food because it “constantly surprises and impresses me with its regional range, whether it's a new style of hand-made noodle, a tongue-numbing Sichuan dish, or a masterful pork preparation I haven't seen before.”

“For the best Los Angeles has to offer, book a table at Newport Tan Cang for epic chili lobster or head to the more humble, but still awe inspiring Chengdu Taste.”

 


Newport Tan Cang
 


Newport Tan Cang is actually owned by Cambodian natives and serves Chinese food with Vietnamese and Cambodian influences. The seafood restaurant draws people from all over the country for their house special lobster. The lobster, priced by the pound and plucked alive from a tank just before cooking, is fried with chiles and green onions.

Chengdu Taste
 

 

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This new player made a splash with rave reviews from Jonathan Gold. Soon, lines formed out the door for this Szechuan restaurant and the restaurant is soon to expand. Crowd favorites include the toothpick lamb. Cubes of lamb dusted with cumin and other spices are served on toothpicks for easy eating. Other favorites are sweet, succulent white fish swimming in a numbing green peppercorn broth, and the secret menu item (no longer a secret since its mention in the Los Angeles Times), lionfish.


7. Macau

Juliana Loh

Juliana Loh is a Singaporean Cantonese/Peranakan girl at heart and spent the last decade living in China (Macau, Hong Kong and Beijing). She writes about food, art and travel adventures on her blog, Chicken Scrawlings.“Good dim sum is simple, pure and fresh done consistently by a brigade of chefs at chained restaurants. Excellent dim sum, however, is where the chef surprises you at every course and showcases his wok skills: the textures, flavors and marriage of ingredients that are both rich, yet subtle and light.”

 


The Eight Restaurant at the Grand Lisboa
 

 

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The Eight is one of the Michelin-rated restaurants within the Grand Lisboa complex. An intimate Chinese restaurant with a lavish interior and private dining rooms, The Eight specializes in Cantonese and Huaiyang cuisine in which classic Chinese dishes are served with an elegant, creative touch. The lunch menu features more than 50 kinds of dim sum. Highlights include beautiful goldfish dumplings and hedgehog char siu buns (BBQ roast pork buns). The level of culinary mastery lies in the tiny details, reminiscent of imperial banquets fit for an emperor. At The Eight, the menu runs the gamut from Cantonese classics of abalone and shark’s fin to street food made luxurious, like the liver and pork fat sandwich.

Chu Kei
 

 

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Chu Kei is an old-school noodle house that has been making dumplings and noodles since 1954. Since then, the family-run business has opened four other branches in Macau. Their signature dish on the menu is the “San bo,” which literally translates to three treasures from Cantonese. It’s a bowl of piping hot bouillon with a pork and fish bones base that comes with three types of dumplings: wontons, sui gow dumplings and finally the yu mai “fish flour” dumplings that have a smoother and thicker consistency with skins that don’t crease when cooked like its counterparts. Everything here is handmade, from the wrapper skins to the fillings and cooked over charcoal stoves. The fried wantons are well worth the calories.


8. Melbourne

David Hagger

“I love Chinese food because of the fresh clean flavors, hit of spice, delicate dishes and the comfort food nature of dumplings and noodles. The Peking duck is one of my favorite dishes at The Flower Drum in Melbourne’s Chinatown. This is a legendary dish served over decades with the same precision and skill. The combination of the perfectly cooked crispy skinned duck and the delicate, thin translucent pancakes is extraordinary, with compelling sense of theater by skilled waiters as it is served.

 


Flower Drum
 

 

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The Flower Drum is a world-famous fine-dining restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown, celebrating 40 years as a leader in Cantonese cuisine. Against a backdrop of red carpet and panels of Chinese art lining the walls, this is a place where finery meets tradition and consistency. Over the decades, The Flower Drum has retained most of its wait staff. The Peking duck is legendary, served for decades with precision and skill. The combination of perfectly cooked crispy skinned duck and the delicate, thin translucent pancakes is extraordinary, served with a compelling sense of theater by skilled waiters. With customers including some of the world’s top chefs, there are several other must-order dishes on the menu, including the shallot cake, pearl meat, baby pigeon (drunken or BBQ style), mud crab with ginger and shallots and lobster with egg noodles and XO sauce.

ShanDong MaMa
 


For extraordinary food at a cheaper price, travel to nearby ShanDong MaMa for specialty dumplings and noodle dishes. This restaurant serves up dumplings not found anywhere else in Melbourne. The famous pan-fried pork dumplings with dill, shrimp, ginger and spring onion are considered the best in this city for the excellence of the skin, the right amount of crispiness and, most importantly, the quality of the filling. (We also recommend the Fish Mackerel dumplings and the Melbourne dumplings).


9. New York City

Yvo Sin

Yvo Sin

Yvo's philosophy in life is: if it tastes good, eat it! Tasting good is subjective, of course, and she's none too afraid of sharing her opinion of what tastes good with anyone who will listen. She'll try anything twice, and enjoys traveling to find something new to eat. Just as comfortable with 4 hour tasting menus as eating while leaning over a garbage can on a busy NYC street corner, Yvo seeks to accurately represent on her blog the way an average NYer eats - sometimes fancy, sometimes not.

 


Oriental Garden
 

 

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Oriental Garden is one of the few remaining relics from a New York long gone - when Manhattan's Chinatown was rapidly expanding and catering solely to the palates of Chinese immigrants. A few menus are written in only Chinese, but the thicker menu contains laminated pages with photos of the dishes, along with their translated names and prices. Live seafood is abundantly displayed in tanks and a refrigerated glass case; items are brought to your table for approval before being prepped. Highlights include geoduck prepared two ways: sashimi style, thin slices of the raw clam atop a bed of ice mixed with slivers of ginger and served with lime wedges, soy sauce and wasabi paste; and fried geoduck belly, salt and pepper style - a salty crust punctuated with slices of green chili pepper. Other favorites include whole sea bass steamed with ginger and scallion; lobster “country style” is chopped, stir fried and served atop scrambled egg and ground pork; and razor clams with black bean sauce. Delicate snow pea shoots sautéed with garlic are the perfect foil to alleviate any guilt from eating so richly.


Joe DiStefano

Joe DiStefano

Queens-based food writer and tour guide Joe DiStefano cut his teeth eating dim sum in Manhattan’s Chinatown. These days he lives a dumpling’s throw from New York City’s real Chinatown of downtown Flushing, which offers all manner of regional Chinese fare, from Dongbei’s Muslim lamb chops to the spicy Silk Road influenced cold skin noodles and cumin lamb burgers from the original Xi’an Famous Foods, located in a ramshackle hawker center.

 


Xi’an Famous Foods
 

 

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In 2005, Xi’an Famous Foods had one location, the 36th Chamber of the Golden Shopping Mall in the Chinatown of downtown Flushing, Queens. It was presided over by David Shi, an affable gent who went by the nom de cuisine Liang Pi, after his signature dish, liang pi (cold skin noodles). Today, Xi’an is a mini-empire with six locations, upscale sister restaurant Biang and a Brooklyn commissary, where fans flock to taste the chewy ribbons of wheat starch tossed with bean sprouts, cilantro, cucumber and a “secret sauce” of sesame paste, vinegar and chili oil. Other popular dishes include the cumin lamb burger or “Chinese hamburger;” hand-ripped cumin lamb biang-biang noodles; and ma la yang lian, a spicy and tingly lamb face salad. The creamy bits of tongue and crunchy pieces of ear and palate — slicked with a chili oil dressing and tossed with bean sprouts, cilantro, red onions, jalapeños and garlic — remains one of my favorite things to eat. And my favorite place to eat this offal extravaganza — and all the other dishes that made the mini-chain truly famous — remains its original location in the ramshackle hawker center that is the Golden Mall.


10. San Francisco

Sandy Wada

Sandy Wada

“When I was growing up, we always went out for Chinese food to celebrate any occasion, birthdays, graduations, funerals, holidays.  It is my comfort food and, over the years, I have excitedly explored my way through Chinatown, taking great delight in discovering the diversity of the many regional cuisines. I love the vibrant flavors, the poetry and history of the dishes, and especially that you can count on being able to go out for a festive Chinese feast on the holidays when all of the other restaurants are closed."

 


Koi Palace
 


Koi Palace Restaurant is a tea house serving exquisite dim sum accompanied by a plentitude of prized teas. The Chilean Sea Bass at Koi Palace is famous. Fresh, flaky fish, marinated overnight and cooked with a low indirect technique, results in a red-colored honey-ginger glaze on the fish that goes perfect with its rice, scallion and cilantro garnish.

San Tung
 

 

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Famous for its Dry-Fried Chicken Wings, you’ll love the combination of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy flavors that infuse the crispy skin and succulent savory meat. The skin is magically transformed into a delicate translucent crispy outer shell that is coated in an intoxicatingly sticky lacquer that is lip-smacking good and habit forming, especially when you bite through it into the fleshy chicken, releasing its juices into your mouth. The longer the wings sit, the spicier they become as the pods of dried red chili peppers break down and exude more heat.


11. Sao Paulo

Raphael Corrêa

Raphael Corrêa is a native of Sao Paulo, home to what is considered the largest Japanese community outside Japan.

“For me, Chinese food is millennial and suggestive. A singular and mysterious universe of great tastes and flavors,” he says. “São Paulo is blessed with hundreds of Japanese restaurants, serving sukiyaki, ramen and sushi galore. Search for Chinese food, however, and there is only one place to go, the ultra-authentic Guangzhou specialist Chi Fu.”

 


Chi Fu
 


Specializing in the northern Chinese cuisine of Guangzhou, the restaurant offers a true cultural experience. The waitresses don’t speak Portuguese or English, only Chinese, and the dishes are delicious. An elevator carries an almost exclusively Chinese clientele between two golden floors, wallpapered with mesmerizing images of the Forbidden City. There are a mind-blowing 201 dishes on the menu, and if you can’t speak Mandarin, you’ll need to point at the images to order. Consider the carp swimming in ginger, steamed mustard leaf, battered shrimp, and rice noodles with a sweet sauce and mixed seafood. This isn’t the place for a romantic date. Unless you are part of a large party, expect to share one of the vast circular tables, complete with Lazy Susan. Six diners at each table is the minimum.


12. Shanghai

Jenny Gao

Shanghai-based freelance writer, producer and photographer Jenny Gao is the author of the food and travel blog Jing Theory.

“You could go to Shanghai’s high priest at Fu 1015 or head to Old Jesse for an enchanting taste of Old Shanghai.”

 


Fu 1015
 

 

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Tony Lu is one of Shanghai’s most well-known and beloved chefs and this restaurant is his flagship. One of China’s finest restaurants, the gorgeous “old Shanghai” townhouse is designated as a heritage site. Inside, each party enjoys their own private dining room as a procession of lavish Shanghainese delicacies parade across the table. Traditional Shanghai seafood delicacies are the chef’s specialties, and Fu 1015 is famous for its abalone tarts and braised sea cucumber, while visitors between October and December are able to try Lu’s renowned hairy crab dishes. Ranked No. 16 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2016, dinner here truly is a memorable experience for a special occasion.

Old Jesse
 


Old Jesse is possibly the most essential restaurant in Shanghai serving such classics as braised pork and crab roe tofu. There are only 10 tables, so reservations are essential. Off-the-menu items, like cod fish head in scallion oil and eight treasure duck, are pure magic but must be pre-ordered. A sister restaurant in front sells great wine you can purchase and bring across to Old Jesse.


13. Singapore

Catherine Ling

“I love Chinese food because the Chinese have made good food an obsession; we live to eat! From street food to imperial-style banquets, there’s always something tasty. In Singapore, you can enjoy polished cuisine at iconic restaurants like Roland, which invented chili crab, or there are gritty back-alley eateries like JB Ah Meng serving up unpretentious hearty gems like Salted Egg Yolk Prawn and San Lou Beehoon, which have drawn the likes of Tetsuya Wakuda and Ferran Adria (who requested a photo with the cook)!”

 


Roland
 

 

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Although Roland's invented the original Chili Crab over 50 years ago, their Salted Egg Yolk Crab is something you have to try today. These beautiful Sri Lankan crabs are fried with a savory egg yolk batter, laden with pine nuts, curry leaves, crispy yam strips (hand-shredded) and dried shrimp for a unique experience missed by those who only try the chili and black pepper crabs.

 JB Ah Meng
 

 

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This cze char eatery is in one of the busier parts of Geylang, where heavy foot traffic guarantees excellent people-watching. Then dig into paper-crisp deep-fried fish skin; bean curd loaded with black mushrooms, minced pork and cuttlefish; White Pepper Crabs; and JB San Lou Meehoon, a flattened pancake of rice vermicelli, imbued with a smoky char and rich seafood-based stock. This delicious dish is laced with egg scramble, diced prawns and cuttlefish piled over stir-fried greens. The egg yolk prawn tempura had world-renown chef Ferran Adria asking for the recipe. He didn’t get it.


14. Sydney

Simon Leong

“I love Chinese food because it’s always been a comfort food for me with great flavors and textures to be discovered, with sometimes a finger-licking happy ending. The Salt and Pepper Lobster is one of my favorite dishes at The Golden Century, when I can afford it. Pick your own from the live tank and get it cooked in your preferred style. For something more reasonably priced and pocket-friendly, travel across town to Kingsford Chinese Restaurant for their signature Sang Tung Chicken, served on the bone with crispy skin and bursting with flavor from the garlic, vinegar and chilli.”

 


Golden Century Restaurant
 


This Chinese seafood restaurant with floor-to-ceiling glass fish tanks -- packed with live seafood and crustaceans -- offers tempting Oriental cuisine, Chinese banquets and dim sum brunch in Sydney’s Chinatown. The two levels of this Hong Kong-style eatery are packed most nights with diners enjoying the fresh produce from the tanks and having it cooked in their style of choice..

Kingsford Chinese Restaurant
 

 

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On any given night, this is one of the most popular and cheerful Chinese restaurants on the Anzac Parade strip, considering the huge turnover of predominately Asian customers who eagerly wait for a table. Customers enjoy complimentary Chinese tea while they wait for their orders to arrive. Do not miss their house specialty. The Sang Tung Chicken is tasty with crispy bits of yumminess. Deep Fried Calamari with Pepper & Salt is also a great bet. Between the great food and reasonable prices, you’ll be coming back for more.


15. Taipei

Hungry in Taipei

Hungry in Taipei is a food blogger looking for the best eats in Taipei and around the world.

"I love that you can get equally delicious Chinese food at any budget in Taipei, from night market street eats to bowls of noodles and dumplings to elaborate and luxe fine dining. It's been such an adventure discovering and learning about how diverse and complex Chinese food beyond the home cooked and Chinese American dishes I grew up with."

 


Shin Yeh 101
 

 

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Shin Yeh 101’s glitzy tower location on the 85th floor of Taipei 101 features set menus and window seats showcasing a bird's eye view of Taipei. Those who opt for a la carte items indulge in such family-style classic Taiwanese dishes as stir-fried seafood vermicelli, loofah squash with clams and upscale versions of steamed pork belly bao and spring rolls filled with cabbage, bean sprouts and ground peanuts.  

Din Tai Fung
 

 

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No trip to Taipei is complete without a visit to Din Tai Fung, the xiao long bao house that launched a soup dumpling empire. You can find the original Taipei branch, opened in 1972 on Xinyi Road, with a cluster of people lined up in front willing to wait one to two hours. The reward? Some of the most refined soup dumplings you can eat: whisper-thin skins that bulge with broth and pork, but refuse to break until you take a bite. The shrimp fried rice is fragrant without any grease and the braised beef noodle soup is meaty and rich, with slippery strands of perfectly al dente noodles. No wonder it was awarded a Michelin star.


16. Toronto

Stella Yu

Toronto-based food writer Stella Yu loves Chinese food “for its wok hay, or the ‘energy or breath of a wok.’ This is the magical essence that is released by a good wok when it's heated to the right temperature and when the freshest ingredients are used.

“For Chinese food in Toronto, you could order a lobster tower at Fishman Lobster Clubhouse or head to Swatow for heaping bowls of congee and customized noodle soups.”

 


Fishman Lobster Clubhouse
 

 

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Family owned since 2009, Fishman Lobster Clubhouse (“FLC”) in suburban Scarborough has been gaining popularity in the past couple of years as THE restaurant for seafood in Toronto. From giant Alaskan, Norwegian and Russian red king crabs, massive lobsters weighing up to 25 pounds to having Food Network host Andrew Zimmern claiming “FLC” as "the best Hong-Kong style seafood restaurant in North America.” It is no wonder reservations at the 210-seat restaurant is a must, even on a weeknight. Cooked family-style, the multi-course menus showcases Instagram-worthy fried king crab and lobster towers served with crunchy fried baby fish. And, depending on the size of said crustaceans, guests can enjoy several more courses, such as crab knuckles steamed in duck egg whites, lobster roe fried rice, crab fried rice or fried crab claws with shallots and chilies.

Swatow
 

 

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Traditional Chinese cuisine is served at this modestly decorated but popular fixture. Communal diners enjoy heaping bowls of congee and customized noodle soups, excellent fish balls and shrimp dumplings. Rice dishes are a filling specialty. Order the fuk-kin, which tosses fried rice with shrimp, crab, scallops, chicken and egg. The beef fried rice noodles and lo-mein are also must-eats. And for chicken and beef dishes that aren't spicy enough, there's a pot full of pure fire chili oil to pile on the heat.


17. Vancouver

Mijune Pak

Mijune Pak of FollowMeFoodie.com is a food and travel influencer and media personality.

“As a Canadian-born Chinese who was raised in Vancouver, BC, I'm lucky to be exposed to outstanding Chinese food. Vancouver has the most Hong Kong immigrants in Canada, which has raised standards in the dining scene, especially for Cantonese cuisine. It is home to over 600 Chinese restaurants in Metro Vancouver, most in Vancouver and Richmond, and more than half are in Richmond alone.”

 


Dynasty
 

 

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Executive Chef Sam Leung, among the top Chinese chefs in Vancouver, has won international competitions for Cantonese cuisine. During Alaskan king crab season (February through April) tourists and locals flock to experience his Alaskan king crab dinner. While the seafood dish is available at many Chinese restaurants, Dynasty’s version is the most impressive. In this must-try feast, the crab is prepared several ways. The standard three-way features steamed garlic crab legs, deep-fried crab knuckles and baked Alaskan king crab fried rice with Portuguese curry sauce. If you ask nicely, you might get 4-, 5- or even the legendary 6-way with crab salad, soup and noodles on which sits a savory king crab steamed egg custard. You will also be blown away by the incredible braised duck. The chef's signature duck course must be ordered a day in advance, and is well worth it.

HK BBQ Master
 

 

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It's about a 20-minute drive or sky train ride from downtown Vancouver and it's worth it. HK BBQ Master is one of 10 retailers located under Superstore and hidden from the street, so you won't find it unless you are a local or something recommends it. There are about 20 seats inside, but most people take it to go. They are most known for their barbecue pork, suckling pig and barbecue duck that dangle in the window. It's arguably the favorite Chinese restaurant in Metro Vancouver and rivals those in Hong Kong.

So that is our tour of the very best Chinese restaurants in 17 cities around the world. Many thanks to the dozens of experts that helped whittle down the above list to the very finest. So, after all of that where would ExtremeFoodies recommend celebrating Chinese New Year if you could only visit one place? That would be Sek Yuen from Kuala Lumpur where Vivian Low led us on a culinary journey across decades. In addition to the delicacies described in her feature above, Sek Yuen is the oldest restaurant continuously serving the deliriously uplifting and delicious Yusheng noodle tradition where diners stand around a platter of noodles, raw fish, vegetables and lemongrass mixing, tossing and hollering all in the name of good luck and good fortune in the coming year.

Happy Chinese New Year!


Meet the author

Jeffrey Merrihue

Jeffrey Merrihue

I am the founder of ExtremeFoodies and Mofilm. Mofilm provides short-form videos to brands, ExtremeFoodies and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. I have been to 47 of the 50 best and will have eaten at them all by April 28, 2016, when I have a reservation at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town. Cheers!

Follow me on Instagram.

 


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Field Guide to Tibetan Momos of Queens

A Field Guide of Queens’ Tibetan Momo Dumplings

 

Meet the author
jeffrey_merrihue

Jeffrey Merrihue is the co-founder of Xtreme Foodies and Mofilm. Mofilm provides short-form videos to big brands like Cocacola, Visa and Playstation as well as The World's 50 Best Restaurants. He has eaten at all 90 restaurants that have been on the World's 50 Best list since 2012. After 30 years living in Europe and Latin America, his wife and three kids have moved to Los Angeles to enjoy the weather, the epic Chinese and Korean food and...oh...…... More