New World

1 Gerrard Place Soho London W1D 5PA

For the traditional, no-holds-barred dim sum experience in Chinatown, there’s just no beating the New World. It’s a big place, where the hostesses in the foyer may direct you to any of the three floors. Given a choice, the ground floor is the most appealing, with its opulent reds, heavy brass wall reliefs, and tasselled chandeliers. It’s hard to linger, though – if you’ve come for dim sum, served in the daytime only, then you’re assailed from the moment you sit down by a quick-fire succession of trolleys trundling by. All are laden with goodies; simply point to whatever takes your fancy, as most of the waitresses don’t speak English. Classic dim sum highlights include prawn cheung fun, in lip-smacking, slippery white envelopes, tangy sui mai dumplings, and doughy steamed buns. Wait a little longer, and you may get sticky leaf-wrapped rice or rarer delicacies. All day, and in the evening after the dim sum service stops, you can also order from an extensive menu of seafood and meat dishes, as well as vegetarian options like stir-fried bean curd with monk’s vegetables.

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