Chinese New Year has arrived, and what better way to celebrate than with fantastic food?
Traditionally, food is a central part of the festivities throughout the Lunar New Year. The most common Chinese New Year foods include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao.
Each item of food comes with a different meaning in Chinese culture. Dumplings represent wealth, noodles symbolise longevity and fish is associated with abundance.
Read more: Get the latest of what’s on in Hertfordshire
February 1 marks the start of Chinese New Year in 2022, but the celebrations continue for more than two weeks. It culminates with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the celebrations.
Perhaps you would like to try your hand at cooking Chinese cuisine yourself, but for a truly authentic experience, it might be best left to the experts.
Here in Hertfordshire, we are spoilt for choice with excellent Chinese restaurants. Below, we have rounded up the top 10 Chinese restaurants and takeaways in Hertfordshire according to reviewers on TripAdvisor.
Chef Peking, Harpenden
Chef Peking in Harpenden is the best Chinese restaurant in Hertfordshire, according to TripAdvisor.
One reviewer described the food as “mind blowing”, saying: “From walking in the door to leaving, I can only say WOW. Amazing food, amazing owner and staff – so friendly, couldn’t do enough for us and also every other table in there.
“Has to be 10 out of 10. Will for sure be back. Most relaxing, friendly restaurant I have ever been in. If you haven’t tried this amazing wee gem out, please do, you don’t know what you’re missing. Credit to Rachel and her amazing staff, can’t wait for my next visit already.”
Another reviewer said: “Fantastic experience from the booking to the food. Cannot fault it. The menu is excellent and all the good we had was beautifully presented and tasted amazing! Service was spot on, attentive but not intrusive. Highly recommended.”
Old Town Chinese Restaurant, Stevenage
Next up is the Old Town Chinese Restaurant in Stevenage.
One reviewer, who has been a loyal customer at the restaurant for more than five years, said: “Love this place! They have the best Tea Smoked Chicken in the county! My partner and I travel a lot and like to eat out.
“We came to this restaurant once and it sort of ruined it for us because no other place has ever come close to this restaurants food. Friendly staff, fast service even at their busiest times. We’ve been coming for five and a half years, most likely every month or every other month. We’ve been known to go a few times a month but that was a secret.”
However, the reviews are slightly mixed. One recent commenter said: “Really disappointed. Nowhere near the quality it used to be plus portion sizes have shrunk considerably.”
Regency, Potters Bar
Local residents have left glowing reviews of Regency in Potters Bar.
One said: “Absolutely wonderful birthday evening for my dad. The food was lovely and our waitress Max was just amazing and made it so much fun we were laughing all night. She really made it special for us. Perfect service and lovely food. We will most definitely return.”
Another added: “Best ever Chinese we have ever had. Friendly helpful staff. Fantastic choice of food and the best quality you could imagine.”
Pin Wei Oriental Cuisine, Abbots Langley
This is a local favourite in Abbots Langley, which is based near Watford.
One reviewer described it as “the best restaurant in the area”, adding: “The service was very professional. We felt very good at dinner. The food was always fresh and served very well.”
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Another commented: “As always, we were not disappointed. The food and taste were excellent. The value was reasonable but the service was outstanding.
“As they do not deliver, we arranged to collect and were told it would be ready in 15 minutes – it was! Perfect all round.”
Peking Palace, Sawbridgeworth
Fifth on TripAdvisor’s list is Peking Palace in Sawbridgeworth.
One reviewer said: “I had a lovely meal here with my partner. Their range of vegetarian food is far better than any I’ve ever seen at a Chinese restaurant.
“Everything was tasty and came out quick. The staff are all very friendly and couldn’t do enough for you.
Can’t wait to go back. The only negative is that it is quite pricey but I think the food and service makes up for that.”
However, the reviews were somewhat mixed. One person said: “Walked in, looked average at best. Order starters, chipped my tooth on a garlic prawn where it had not defrosted properly. Then ordered mains. Again, poor bland frozen food, topped off with a wig in the rice. Won’t return.”
China City, Bishop’s Stortford
One reviewer of China City in Bishop’s Stortford said it served the “best food for miles”.
They commented: “Excellent food, great value for money. All the food here is exceptional. Crispy duck is to die for. A true hidden gem.
“With that being said, life would be made a lot easier for the restaurant and it’s customers if there was a better way to order than to call the phone line which is busy most of the time. Always well worth the wait though! Best food for miles.”
Another said: “Honestly the most phenomenal Chinese takeaway within a 400 mile radius. Satay chicken is up with the best ever.”
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Wu’s Family Chinese Restaurant, Stevenage
Wu’s Family Chinese Restaurant is based in Stevenage and is seventh on TripAdvisor’s list.
One reviewer commented: “The food in my opinion was lovely but a little expensive for the size of the portion and the service was excellent we were well looked after and the food arrived very hot and quite quick compared to other places we eaten.”
Another said: “We always get out Chinese takeaway from Wu’s. The food is always so fresh and hot and very reasonable delivery times. Really delicious food! Highly recommend.”
China Red, Hatfield
Speaking about China Red in Hatfield, one reviewer commented: “Excellent food, good menu choice and good portions. Staff are very pleasant. Will definitely be a regular from now on.”
However, reviews were mixed. One said: “Visited here based on a recommendation and had high hopes! Sadly very disappointed! Whilst the food tasted okay, the restaurant was dirty, loud and unwelcoming.”
Regent Cottage, Hitchin
Regent Cottage, in Hitchin, is a Chinese fusion restaurant.
One reviewer said: “Have been a few times now and can honestly say this is an amazing Chinese fusion. The lemon grass prawns, beef randang, Singapore prawns are out this world. Well worth a visit. Trust me.”
The same reviewer left a second comment, adding: “Been coming here for eight years now and have never been disappointed. Amazing food. Lemon grass prawn skewers are to die for, Singapore chilli prawns are divine also. Everything is cooked fresh to order. Staff are attentive and very friendly. This is our go to Chinese and best I have ever had.”
But the reviews were not all positive. One commenter said: “Have to say I have always had high regard for the restaurant, but tonight I was very disappointed. Had the set meal and portions were very poor and not great. I guess [there might have been] cut backs due to Covid, but [the] price seems to be the same.”
Dragon Garden, Borehamwood
Commenting on the Dragon Garden in Borehamwood, one TripAdvisor user said: “Good food at low prices. Great little Chinese restaurant with home made food. Been going there for years. Family business with friendly service.”
Another added: “I have a restaurant buffet very rarely indeed but this is a restaurant near the film studio which is good value. I like the fact there is no waiting time. As soon as you’re in there you can choose your dishes and consume.
“I had the chicken and sweetcorn soup followed by the duck pancakes with hoisin sauce. I had a little of the crispy beef and egg fried rice. Really appreciated the lovely ice cream at the end. Left satiated. No faff and enjoyed. I went in alone but wouldn’t hesitate popping in with a friend for a quick bite.
“Only criticism is that I wasn’t permitted to choose my own table. With 45 per cent of the restaurant empty, it would be polite of the staff to allow guests to sit where the guest feels comfortable (for me personally I didn’t want to sit on top of the actual buffet).”
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