Won't you take me to, China town?!
Tucked away behind Leicester Square, and separated from the numerous strip bars and sex shops which litter Soho lies one of most vibrant areas of London... China Town. Forget the dubious takeaways which are the inevitable dodgy end to a good night out, and start thinking award winning and authentic Chinese cuisine. Dim Sums are perhaps one of the best introductions to traditional Chinese cuisine, with restaurants such as Lee Ho Fook on Gerrard Street (immaturity took hold when choosing somewhere for lunch) offering western favourites alongside battered chicken feet and other eastern delicacies for the more adventurous.
For the less adventurous, the multi award winning Golden Dragon, also on Gerrard Street, is also worth a visit. The front window covered with awards and reviews, the restaurant offers a wide range of surprisingly affordable food. Two courses each and a bottle of wine and soft drinks between four people easily falls under £80 mark. The waiting staff are great fun and very helpful, and alongside the fantastic food, help make your visit very memorable. And if you don't fancy a Chinese, the Tokyo Diner around the corner provides a great range of Japenese food, including some wonderful sushi. Oh yes, don't leave a tip at the Tokyo Diner, otherwise they will be very offended!
Of course, there is more to the area than the restaurants. Also present is a wide range of supermarkets and shops, although some of the best ones do close at 8pm. Highly recommended is the Loon Fung Supermarket, which stocks some wonderful confectionery, and also my personal favourite Kikkoman Plum Wine! In other shops this can often cost about 25% more, so it is sometimes best shopping around. For kitsch confectionary and gifts including Hello Kitty try Oriental Delight, but be sure to check the dates on some of the merchandise!
Throughout the district there are many fashion and gift shops, offering traditional clothing and merchandise, alongside the alternative stuff you would expect from Camden market. From artwork to fans and candleholders, you will find plenty to decorate your home with, but again it is worth shopping around for the best deals. The atmosphere of China Town is truly vibrant, and highlights how multicultural London is, whilst taking visitors away from the many tourist shops and their hideously tacky 'Mind the Gap' thongs. Although China Town only spreads itself over a handful of streets, you can easily spend a few hours there, forgetting completely that you are standing in the middle of central London.