8 of the best Asian restaurants for an Asian date
Spice up your dating life by heading to one of the UK’s best Asian restaurants. From Indian street food to Chinese fine dining, there’s something for everyone – here are our top 8 picks
Chai Street, Cardiff
Cardiff’s Chai Street is an ideal first date location; its relaxed atmosphere and street food-inspired menu will impress you date without any of the additional pressure that comes with formal dining. There’s no booking required, just turn up, take a seat and enjoy exploring its diverse Indian menu. We recommend starting with a veggie samosa or deep fried chicken marinated in South Indian spices before moving on to a thali, featuring six different flavours in one plate – and don’t forget to order a glass of the creamy Mango lassi!
Chai Street, 153 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9AH, +44 (0)2920 228 888, chaistreet.com
One of the UK’s finest Asian restaurants, Myristica is known for its authentic, region-specific cuisine. The modern menu is crafted and prepared by chefs recruited from India’s best restaurants, and every sauce served is created individually to preserve flavours. The focus on using fresh, seasonal produce elevates the restaurant’s dishes above the competition; be sure to try the house specialty, Pita Murgh – breast of chicken served in a mild cream sauce with ground pistachio.
Myristica, 51 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5NT, +44 (0)117 930 0806, myristica.co.uk
If fried chicken doesn’t sound like typical date night fare then you clearly haven’t tried Judy Joo’s Korean take on everyone’s favourite comfort food. Her restaurant, Jinjuu, is set in the heart of London’s Soho and offers a vibrant menu based on modern Korean street food. Break the ice over sharing platters that feature everything from tuna tacos and kimchi fries to pork and beef dumplings, and don’t leave without trying a drink or two from the equally impressive cocktail list.
Jinjuu, 15 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PS, +44 (0)208 181 8887, jinjuu.com
Giggling Squid, Brighton
Giggling Squid, Brighton
Another Asian restaurant that will have you and your date bonding (or competing!) over sharing plates is Brighton’s Giggling Squid. The south coast outpost of this small restaurant chain specializes in simple, fresh, rustic Thai cuisine. Expect tapas-style versions of familiar Thai favourites alongside original dishes that are sure to impress. Options include everything from vegetable tempura and a papaya salad to perfectly-spiced tamarind duck and red curry squid.
Giggling Squid, 11 Market Street, Brighton BN1 1HH, +44 (0)1273 737 373, gigglingsquid.com
House of Zen, Belfast
Escape the hectic heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and find solace in the House of Zen. This acclaimed city centre restaurant offers delicious Chinese cuisine and a carefully curated selection of freshly-mixed cocktails, served in a suitable tranquil environment. Dishes range from Paradise King Prawns with passion fruit mayonnaise to the house specialty: marinated strips of filet beef. Show off your gastronomic credentials by taking your date to one of its themed nights, celebrating regional dishes.
House of Zen, 3 St Annes Square, Belfast BT1 2LR, +44 (0)28 9027 8688, houseofzen.co.uk
Fat Buddha, Newcastle
Fat Buddha, Newcastle
Fat Buddha is definitely the place to see and be seen in Newcastle – as well as a must-visit for any fan of Asian cuisine. Instead of focusing on just one region, the restaurant offers a fusion menu that incorporates the very best flavours from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong – expect to be served everything from spiced satay to Chinese stir-fry. If your date goes well then it’ll help that Fat Buddha is also one of the city’s hottest nightspots!
Fat Buddha, 55 Degrees North, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6BL, +44 (0)191 261 1066, fatbuddhanewcastle.com
Striking the perfect balance between honouring its Chinese heritage and Edinburgh location, Kweilin showcases Scotland’s produce – its seafood, in particular – within its authentic Cantonese dishes. The restaurant has been one of the city’s best Asian restaurants – and date spots – since opening in 1984 and is known, not just for the quality of its food, but also its attentive staff. Sit back, relax and enjoy dishes ranging from steamed sea bass with a black bean sauce and char siu pork in honey sauce.
Kweilin, 19-21 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QG, +44 (0)131 557 1875, kweilin.net
Raja Monkey, Birmingham
Any lover of Indian food will be impressed by the excellent Asian cuisine on offer at Birmingham’s Raja Monkey. The restaurant’s street café feel is relaxed enough for a first date, while the menu offers every dish imaginable, from jalfrezi and bhuna to biriyani. Start with its celebrated dosas (a savoury pancake-type dish), available with spiced mutton or as a vegetarian option, before graduating onto the main menu – any leftovers can be enjoyed at home thanks to its authentic Tiffin Box takeaway service.
Raja Monkey, 1355 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham B28 9HW, +44 (0)121 777 9090, rajamonkey.co.uk
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