At the heart of London’s Chinatown, Haozhan claims to be a pioneer in exquisite modern oriental food. Surrounded by the constant bustle of Chinatown, Haozhan certainly stands out. On all sides it is flanked by the standard oriental restaurant that one finds in Britain: pagodas adorning the entrance, ducks hanging in the window. With its black and green colour scheme Haozhan looks strikingly different. It looks like one might imagine a restaurant in Shanghai or Peking: a Chinese restaurant that is unselfconscious of the fact.
Haozhan does its utmost to live up to its name. “Hao” means good or great, “zhan” is a place where people meet to eat and to drink. Literally translated Haozhan means “a good place to eat.” The interior of the restaurant bucks the local trend as much as the exterior. The large round tables, bright lighting and lazy susans that are a feature of many Chinese restaurants, particularly in London’s Chinatown, are forgone in favour of a chic and classy interior, with low lighting and an ambiance that matches the modern, innovative menu.
While you will find traditional staples of the Chinese restaurant on the menu, they are few and far between. They often hide behind different names: the Sha-Cha beef is strikingly similar to the deep friend crispy beef that you can find in any Chinese restaurant. But, like all of the dishes on the menu, it has been updated to reflect the restaurant’s distinctly modern style. More common on the menu are the restaurant’s own specialities: braised aubergines, for example, cooked with pork in a clay pot, are not something that one comes across in a standard Chinese restaurant. Haozhan also offers a wide selection of meat and fish from Wagyu beef to black cod. Its menu is as distinctive from the restaurants surrounding it as its exterior.
Tel: 020 7434 3838
Address: 8 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 5PJ
Tube: Leicester Square