Although Leeds may not have its own official Chinatown, the city has an unofficial one just northeast of the city centre that's home to countless Chinese eateries, businesses and locals of Chinese descent. This area happens to be home to some of the very best Chinese restaurants in Leeds, some of which have earned a reputation that goes beyond the city. Because the city's Chinese community is spread all over town, plans for an official Chinatown have never successfully gained enough ground, but the good news is that a large diaspora of Chinese immigrants means you can find a spread of Chinese restaurants all over Leeds. From Sichuan to Hunan, there are countless regional cuisines to sample inside the many Chinese restaurants in Leeds. It's up to you to discover your favourite!
For those who like their food nice and hot, Sichuan cuisine is a must-try. Originating in Sichuan province in the southwestern region of China, this cuisine goes back centuries and often features the addition of a delightfully hot spice known as the Sichuan pepper. Although chilli pepper is often used in Sichuan cuisine, the Sichuan pepper is different because it imparts a different sort of heat that's more of a fruity, numbing feel as opposed to the burning of a chilli. A member of the citrus family, this unique spice is related to neither black pepper nor chilli pepper – it imparts a flavour all of its own. Famous sichuan dishes you may recognise from Leeds' Chinese restaurants include kung pao chicken, tea-smoked duck, mapo tofu and shredded pork in garlic sauce and dan dan noodles. If fiery flavours aren't your thing, have no fear: the Sichuan kitchen has dishes to suit every taste.
Another popular cuisine you might find at the many different Chinese restaurants in Leeds is Hunan. Also known as Xiang cuisine, Hunan is among the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine and features spicy flavours with cooking methods like braising, stewing and smoking. Common dishes include spare ribs steamed in bamboo, steamed fish head in chilli sauce, Mao's braised pork and mashed shrimp in lotus pods. Despite Sichuan always winning the title for the spiciest of foods, Hunan cuisine is also quite hot, with the Hunanese actually being one of the earliest users of the cuisine after its introduction in China during the 17th century. It's possible to find some of these dishes in Leeds' Chinese restaurants, so keep an eye out the next time you're looking for an unforgettable, unique meal.
With so many different sub-cuisines, Chinese food boasts many amazing dishes to keep you on your toes. Whether it's Hunan, Sichuan or Cantonese, the food at the best Chinese restaurants in Leeds are some of the finest in the UK. It's easy to book a table at them – simply use Quandoo the next time you want to embark on a culinary adventure. Search by price range, location and cuisine, and book immediately at your preferred Chinese restaurant in Leeds to earn Loyalty Points. Best of all: it's free, easy and super convenient, so use it for your next evening out and reap the benefits.