Whether you’re after a much-loved local or something a little more lavish, these Chinese restaurants are sure to hit the spot.
Leeds is a hotbed for delicious food from all corners of the world, but which Chinese restaurants are the stuff fortune cookie dreams are made of? Whether you’re bonkers for a buffet, passionate about prawn toast or get hot under the collar for spicy Sichuan, this is the best Chinese food to be found in Leeds. Round up your pals and start working your way through the list, stat.
This buzzing, Moortown local gets absolutely packed out on the weekend and once you’ve been you’ll understand why. They serve traditional Chinese food, with flair in a rather swish environment.
The 120-cover restaurant upstairs feels modern and serves up such popular favourites like crispy aromatic duck, but they also cater for special occasions with extravagant dishes like braised lobster with ginger and aubergine stuffed with delicate prawn meat. It’s all fresh and cooked to perfection – bonus points are awarded for their extensive vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus.
G-Wu, Stainburn Parade, 300 Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 6LY. Mains cost between £9.40 and £16.
Inspired by Hong Kong, Mans Market promises food-lovers classic Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. To keep up with the Leeds city slickers, this is a restaurant with wow factor and the combination of neon lighting, wooden pallets and exposed pipework gives it a quirky, industrial vibe. Let’s be honest, it’s ‘hip’, but it’s certainly not style over substance.
A wide array of dim sum and sharing pans dominate the menu and are packed with flavour, so you can start the evening with firecracker chicken and war tip dumplings before you move on to crispy chilli beef and Szechuan aubergine. They serve takeaway boxes at lunchtime and weekends welcome a new age brunch that gets you a brunch box, dim sum and sides. What’s that you hear? Oh, just the sound of a whole lot of boxes being ticked.
Mans Market, Unit F, West Point, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JJ. Sharing pans cost between £8.75 and £12.
You don’t go to Wen’s for the decor, you go for the food. This is your chance to try authentic Chinese dishes that rarely make it to these shores. Have you ever tried shredded potatoes covered in glugs of fiery chilli oil? Or tucked into a whole sea bass stuffed with minced pork and chilli sauce? It’s substance over style, in the most spectacular way.
But if you really want to treat yourself, you have to try Wen’s dumplings. They’re lovingly homemade by Mrs Wen and delivered to the table with dense fillings, silky skins and delightfully crisp bottoms. Of course, you can play it safe with classic Anglo-Cantonese dishes, from black bean to sweet and sour, but if you do, you’ll miss out on the bonafide Oriental delights that makes Wen’s special.
Wen’s Restaurant, 72-74 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN. Mains cost between £8.90 and £17.80.
If you’re after a luxury experience with exquisitely presented Chinese food and a blow-your-socks-off interior, head to Tattu. Located in the heart of Leeds, Tattu’s clean, unassuming exterior gives little hint of the impressive Chinese restaurant that lies within, which includes a giant cherry blossom tree reaching across much of the dining space.
It would be all too easy for the food to fall short of the expectations set by how amazing this restaurant looks, but it doesn’t. The style continues with a creative menu full of lesser-known treats like wagyu dumplings, shiitake bao buns and steamed butterfly sea bass. The desserts are a masterclass in creative cooking – try the white chocolate dragon’s egg. And the huge sharing cocktails make proceedings all the more fun. It’s not everyday dining, this is high-end fare at high-end prices, but worth every penny.
Tattu, 29 East Parade, Minerva House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5PS. Mains cost between £15 and £74.
TST Bar & Restaurant
Formerly Zen Rendezvous, TST is a cherished family-run Guiseley local that puts a lot of love into what they do. It’s apparent from the buzzing atmosphere, the well-cooked food and the welcoming staff, many of whom the clientele know by name. There are plenty of smiling faces here, and most of that is down to the tasty Chinese food that’s served with a refreshingly modern twist. This isn’t the place for tired old sweet and sour dishes, oh no – they’ll take you to the kitchens of Hong Kong and Szechuan in a flash.
The soft shell crab is a triumph of tender meat and subtle seasoning, while the fiery Hong Kong Harbour stir fry goes perfectly with beef. If you don’t fancy big mains, why not pick a few small plates from their dim sum tapas menu? Wok-fried lamb fillet sits alongside wasabi shredded chicken, tempura king prawns and salt & pepper ribs. Stop here for a welcoming Leeds Chinese that knows how to make their customers feel special. Oh, and for the cocktails. Always for the cocktails.
TST Bar & Restaurant, 10 -12 The Green, Guiseley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 9BT. Mains cost between £12.90 and £19.
Just a few minutes outside the city centre lies Crown Chinese – they’re masters of the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Yet the term buffet is slightly misleading because they bring everything to your table freshly cooked. That’s right, upon arrival, you’ll have two hours to order whatever, and however much, you like from the generous a la carte buffet menu.
Their kitchen is literally your oyster, but if you can resist the main buffet, the pearl in this oyster is undoubtedly the all-you-can-eat hotpot. A simmering broth packed with flavour arrives with a huge selection of fresh meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles, which you even cook yourself at the table. It’s delicious, fun and means you can stuff your face at your own pace.
Crown Chinese, Academy Building, Gower Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PX. It’s £18.49 per person for two hours.
Want a fuss-free, Chinese hideout close to Leeds city centre? If so, Home is certainly where the heart is, because this tiny one-room restaurant is an unpretentious bolt-hole for anyone after a quick fix of bonafide Chinese food. The regional dishes that fly out of the kitchen at great speed are the real deal and carry a spicy kick that is often absent in more Westernised fare.
The hot poached pig offal and grilled duck tongues are perfect for the more adventurous palates, but there are more than enough classics if you want to start off with something a little more familiar. This is not silver service dining and you’ll have to contend with the swathes of Chinese students who flock here for a taste of home, but who needs airs and graces when the food is this good? Simply join the bustle and enjoy.
Home, 7 Back Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9HZ. Mains cost between £7.95 and £14.95.
Sweet Basil Valley
Combining Chinese and Thai food, Sweet Basil Valley in Rawdon is an all-rounder on Leeds’ Chinese restaurant scene. The merging of cuisines means diners are spoilt for choice and although it’s difficult to resist a creamy Thai massaman curry, it’s worth it for a taste of their Chinese prawn-stuffed crab claw, Shanghai dumplings and piping-hot chow mein noodles.
The large and airy dining room is simply decorated, but features ornate Chinese screens and raised booths to give diners a sense of privacy. Taking the kids out for a treat? The restaurant is extremely family-friendly and it’s not unusual to find it packed with multiple generations on a weekend. Don’t be put off by the lack of a children’s menu – the portions are massive and can easily be shared between family members.
Sweet Basil Valley, Green Lane, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7BY. Mains cost between £8 and £15.
Slap bang in Leeds city centre, Red Chilli Chinese restaurant deserves a medal for the sheer variety of dishes available. Seriously, give yourself a good 10 minutes to flick through their ample menu (complete with pictures) which features the best of Beijing and Sichuanese cuisine. On offer are dishes like punchy king prawns with green and red chillies, shredded pork in a red pepper stew and the regional favourite that is spicy mapo tofu with minced beef.
Hot-heads will be well satisfied with the lip-numbing dishes on offer here (make sure you have a napkin handy for brow-mopping) but there are lots of options to entice companions who prefer their dishes a little less fiery – the Peking duck is a fine example. If you’re struggling to choose, go for one of their five set menus instead, and if you’re feeling adventurous ask for the menu of proper Chinese-style dishes.
Red Chilli, 6 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DW. Mains cost between £9.50 and £20.
Serving up the goods for over two decades, the family-run Jade Dragon in Pudsey has managed to master a relaxing atmosphere and classic menu full of mostly Cantonese favourites – there’s plenty of sweet and sour, crispy duck and black bean dishes here. But don’t be lulled into thinking this is fully Westernised fare, as when they say a dish is chilli-heavy, they really mean it.
Gluten-free and vegetarian menus are an added bonus although it’s the Chinese buffet on a Sunday that’s the biggest hit. Their buffet ethos seems to be “small and often”, with modestly-sized platters of Chinese food regularly topped up from the kitchen to ensure optimum freshness at all times.
Jade Dragon, 14-16 Lidget Hill, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 7DR. Mains cost between £7.70 and £13.50.