The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Food and Restaurants in Dubai

Having trouble finding authentic Chinese restaurants in Dubai? Want to enjoy traditional Chinese cuisine without the flight to China? We hear you loud and clear. Dubai is home to a number of restaurants serving up authentic Chinese fare, but with so many other restaurants serving Asian fusion cuisine, its a daunting task separating the good from the bad.

From Peking duck to Sichuan style cooking, Chinese cuisine offers something for every palate, and what better host to that diversity than Dubai. We've put together a guide to some of the best Chinese food Dubai has to offer along with the best restaurants for each.

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Dim Sum

Dim Sum, originating from the phrase for ‘Touch the Heart’, is a Cantonese style dish that has become some of the most popular Chinese food around the world. Originating thousands of years ago in China as a response to the rising number of travelers stopping in Cantonese tea houses to rest, dim sum was invented to give diners a bite to eat while sipping tea. The reason for its delicate name is because dim sum dishes are traditionally prepared as bite sized portions that are simply meant to ‘touch the heart’ but not actually fully satisfy your hunger.

Dim sum is typically served in steamer baskets, in authentic Cantonese and Asian tea houses a trolley is pushed around with rows of steam baskets for guests to choose from without having to leave the comfort of their seats. Dim Sum has become so synonymous with tea that the term ‘Yum Cha’ refers to the tradition of having endless cups of the beverage with the mini snacks.

In Dubai, we might not have dim sum carts served with unlimited tea, but we certainly have a decent selection of restaurants offering this classic Chinese dish.
Hakkasan Dubai Where to find Dim Sum at Chinese Restaurants in Dubai:

  1. Hakkasan offers guests a number of different options when it comes to dim sum. As is traditionally expected, Hakkasan serves 3 different types of dim sum platters. Guests can choose from the 'Hakka steamed dim sum platter', the 'the vegetarian steamed dim sum platter', or the Dubai exclusive ' Hakka fried dim sum platter'. If you're looking for a smaller portion of dim sum, the 'Taste of Hakkasan' menu is a smaller alternative with a Chef's selection plate served as part of the experience.
    Book a table at Hakkasan

  2. If you're looking for variety when it comes to dim sum, The China Club has two pages worth on their menu. They even offer the affordable option of an assorted dim sum platter for AED 68.
    Book your table at The China Club

  3. The winner for most extensive dim sum menu definitely should go to Long Yin for their intricate two pages worth of offerings, plus the addition of a traditional all you can eat and drink dim sum menu. Definitely worth visiting if you're looking for good quality dim sum.
    Book your table at Long Yin


Dumplings

Legend has it that 1800 years ago a man by the name of Zhang Zhongjing noticed that many of the people in his hometown had frostbitten ears upon returning for the winter. In an attempt to find a solution, he wrapped mutton, chili, and some warming herbs in into boiled ear shaped dough skin. Doctors at the time said that his creation could not only encourage blood flow and warm the body, but actually go onto thaw cold ears.

Zhang began spreading them yearly from Winter solstice to New Year’s and eventually the dish went from a medicinal treatment to a dish that evoked the feeling of nostalgia for one’s home. Nowadays, Chinese dumplings are commonly stuffed with minced meat and vegetables, and flavors vary from region to region.

Thankfully in Dubai get we don’t have to worry about frostbitten ears, but still we love to indulge in the tasty treat from time to time. Here’s some of our favorite restaurants to be get Chinese dumplings in Dubai.
Dumplings Dubai Where to find Dumplings in Dubai:

  1. If you're looking for the most traditional dumpling experience, Shang Palace offers homemade Chinese dumplings with either seasonal vegetables or mixed seafood.
    Book your table at Shang Palace

  2. Royal China offers not only steamed dumplings in the form of steamed chili chicken, but also grilled dumplings stuffed with chicken. Alternatively all dumplings can be ordered vegetarian.
    Book a table at Royal China

  3. The China Club's dim sum menu also features an impressive number of dumpling options to delight in. This includes the China Club ‘Har Gau’ Crystal Shrimp Dumplings which is one of their signature dishes.
    Book your table at The China Club

  4. Hakkasan's expansive menu has a large number of dumpling options for guests to enjoy when dining. A must try though, is their 'Grilled Shanghai Dumpling' which are offered both with or without meat.
    Book a table at Hakkasan


Peking Roast Duck

Originating in Beijing, Peking Duck has been served in Chinese restaurants since the Imperial Era. With mentions of the classic dish as early as 1330, it’s certainly had a long history of adaptation.

The dish gained its popularity being served to those of the royal class and it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that the dish became a common piece in Chinese cuisine. These days the dish is often considered a national symbol of China that is enjoyed by both the wealthy and middle classes.

One of the most characteristic features of an Authentic Peking Duck is its crispy skin, with some restaurants actually serving more skin than meat. Ducks are commonly bred specifically for this dish, and are often specifically cared for 65 days before qualifying to be used.

In Dubai, a number of Chinese restaurants serve this national treasure.
Peking Duck Dubai Where to find Peking Duck in Dubai:

  1. Arguably one of Hakkasan's most popular dishes is the Peking duck. Offering both a whole Peking duck or half a Peking duck, the restaurant has made sure to stay true to the authenticity of the dish. If you want to spoil yourself, their menu also features an AED 1960 version of the dish complete with royal beluga caviar.
    Book a table at Hakkasan

  2. Hong Loong takes a more personal approach to Peking duck, by preparing the dish using their homemade Hoi Sin sauce.
    Book your table at Hong Loong

  3. Long Yin offers not one, but three ways to enjoy the classic Peking duck.
    Firstly, rolled and sliced crispy skin, secondly duck bone soup with Chinese cabbage and tofu, and lastly, Meat cooked with vegetable and cashew nut served with iceberg lettuce.
    Book your table at Long Yin

  4. If you're looking for good Peking duck without breaking the bank, Royal China serves an entire duck for AED 378 complete with all the trimmings.
    Book a table at Royal China

  5. If you're looking for an interesting approach to the classic Peking duck, The China Club serves this authentic dish two ways. Diners can go for the traditional style of preparing the dish, or they can opt for diced duck meat with lettuce wraps.
    Book your table at The China Club


Spring Rolls

For hundreds of years spring rolls have been a popular Chinese snack, with historians tracing the dish back to mainland China. Traditionally, spring rolls were a seasonal Chinese menu item, and as implied by the name, were only served during spring.

The first iterations of the dish saw chefs using newly harvested spring crops to stuff pancakes, a much needed breath of fresh air after months of consuming preserved winter food. Nowadays, spring rolls are served year round and are commonly filled with cabbage and a variety of other vegetables.

In Dubai, you can find spring rolls in almost every restaurant, be it Chinese or otherwise, but if you’re looking for an authentic experience here are a few spots you should try.
Spring Rolls Dubai Where to find Spring Rolls in Dubai:

  1. Royal China not only offers spring rolls in their authentic vegetarian form, but also stuffed with crispy prawn giving diners more to choose from.
    Book a table at Royal China

  2. An interesting addition to The China Club's menu is their crispy fried chicken spring rolls, an interesting variation on the traditional Chinese dish.
    Book your table at The China Club

  3. At Long Yin, you can order your deep fried spring rolls a la carte, or they can be served to you as part of their all you can eat and drink dim sum special.
    Book your table at Long Yin


Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup, a Chinese soup, has a very eclectic history. Being claimed by both the Beijing and Sichuan regions of China as a regional dish, its origin within China is not precise. Typically, the soup is meat based and includes a number of herbal and plant based ingredients to add flavor.

This soup is a perfect solution to warming the body, and even though Dubai has that covered, it’s still a perfect dish to soothe the soul.
Hot and Sour Soup Dubai Where to find Chinese Hot and Sour soup in Dubai:

  1. If you're looking for hot and sour soup at Hakkasan, you will have two options to choose from, either the hot and sour soup with chicken or the vegetarian hot and sour soup. Both variations of the dish are prepared traditionally, resulting in a thick soup.
    Book a table at Hakkasan

  2. Unlike at Hakkasan, Royal China gives diners the option to choose from chicken, seafood, or vegetables for their hot and sour soup.
    Book a table at Royal China

  3. The China Club offers their hot and sour soup only two ways, guests can either order the 'Szechuan Hot and Sour Seafood Soup', or its vegetarian counterpart. Both dishes are signature dishes at the restaurant.
    Book your table at The China Club

  4. Hong Loong's hot and sour soup is different than most we have seen in Dubai, in addition to the classic ingredients, they also add chicken dumplings to the broth giving diners something extra to chew on.
    Book your table at Hong Loong

  5. Just like at Royal China, Long Yin also offers their hot and sour soup in three different flavors, seafood, chicken, or meat.
    Book your table at Long Yin

  6. Shang Palace not only offers their hot and sour soup with the classic chicken and seafood, but they also offer it with seasonal vegetables and tofu, adding another element to the vegetarian experience.
    Book your table at Shang Palace


Sichuan Style Dishes

Originating in the Sichuan province of Southwestern China, the Sichuan style of cooking is known for its ability to pack a punch. Authentic Sichuan cuisine is very bold in flavor because of its heavy and frequent use of garlic and chili peppers as well as the signature usage of Sichuan peppers - probably the most famous chili in all of Asian cooking.

Sichuan is often referred to as “The Heavenly Country” due to its abundance of food and resources, and as such its cuisine is abundant in flavor and quality. Sichuan Chili Chicken is one of the most widely recognized dishes to come from the region, and puts emphasis on one of their seven basic flavors - hot, but there are also a number of other dishes that are prepared Sichuan style.

If you’re a fan of spicy food, Sichuan style cooking should definitely be on your list of must try Chinese dishes. Dubai is home to numerous restaurants serving up the delicious cuisine.
Sichuan Chicken Dubai

Where to find Sichuan cuisine in Dubai:

  1. The China Club is no stranger to Sichuan style cooking, with 8 menu items prepared in the signature style, this restaurant definitely needs more than one visit to try them all. These dishes include, Australian lobster tossed in Sichuan sauce, prawns grilled in a sichuan marinade, and even stir fried crispy chicken smothered in a thick coating of Sichuan sauce.
    Book your table at The China Club

  2. One of the most unique offerings at Long Yin is their live crab and lobster prepared Sichuan style.
    Book your table at Long Yin

  3. Hong Loong also has an extensive number of Sichuan offerings, including a crispy Sichuan chili chicken and a stewed beef brisket prepared Sichuan style in a clay pot.
    Book your table at Hong Loong

  4. Seafood lovers must try the Sichuan style Hamour at Shang Palace.
    Book your table at Shang Palace


Tofu

Similar to many foods made from Soya beans, tofu has China to thank for its creation. Although its true history is unknown, rumor has it that Tofu came about when a chef accidentally added nigari seaweed to soy milk, thus curdling it.

Due to its numerous health benefits, tofu has become a staple in the scope of international cuisine and especially in Chinese cooking due to the plethora of cooking options the soy based dish presents.

If you’re a vegetarian, trying to count your calories, or merely enjoy the taste of tofu, there are a multitude of Chinese restaurants in Dubai serving tofu.
Tofu Dubai Where to find Tofu in Dubai:

  1. Tofu at Shang Palace is a luxury experience, with one of their pan fried tofu dishes being cooked in a decadent black truffle sauce.
    Book your table at Shang Palace

  2. If you're looking for a unique take on tofu, Hakkasan serves a dish comprising of tofu, aubergine and shiitake mushrooms prepared in a clay pot. Alternatively, they offer baked tofu with minced chicken.
    Book a table at Hakkasan

  3. If you want to try the classic Sichuan sauce but don't want to eat meat, The China Club offers a delicious Szechuan braised tofu in spicy bean paste that is definitely worth trying.
    Book your table at The China Club

  4. One tofu dish that definitely stands out among the rest in Hong Loong's menu is their crispy tofu and walnut, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.
    Book your table at Hong Loong

  5. At Long Yin, there is a special page of their menu dedicated to healthy eating, this page is complete with all the nutritional information for each dish. Part of this menu is the 'Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu' at a mere 408 calories for the entire dish.
    Book your table at Long Yin


What's next?

Want to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine? Check out our guide to Italian food and restaurants in Dubai.