Ring in the Lunar New Year at home with a delicious takeaway from one of these Chinese restaurants in Riyadh…

For many Asians who are celebrating the occasion, Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, begins on February 12 this year. It marks the Year of the Ox, a Chinese zodiac sign associated with diligence, dependability, strength, determination and positivity – qualities that we could all do with a little more of at current times.

The festival typically begins with the reunion dinner. Everyone gathers to spend time together with families, have a feast, and share their wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead.

For expats who are not flying back to their hometown, Chinese New Year may be different from our traditionally extensive affairs due to the pandemic. However, even with the Covid-19 measures still being enforced and dining out being put on hold, the intent and exuberance with which we celebrate the occasion ought to remain.

We’ve rounded up five of Riyadh’s Chinese restaurants to help you ring in the milestone – although, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, this list comes in handy even for those who are always in the mood for Chinese food!

Hualan

 

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Dining in at the fabulous Hualan in Centria Mall may not be possible for now, but we can settle for a delivery option that’s just as good. The restaurant is offering a set menu of classic dishes, such as fried dim sum platter, crispy aromatic duck salad, sweet and sour honey chicken, fried rice and more. Not to be missed is their soft, pillowy steamed buns stuffed with crispy wagyu, as well as sweet lobster filling.

Hualan, Centria Mall, 2nd floor, Olaya Street, daily 1pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (011) 2110999. Order via Lugmety, The Chefz and ToYou apps. @hualan_restaurant

Toki

 

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This illustrious fine-dining restaurant offers Chinese cooking with a slight fusion twist. Stand-outs for us include perfectly crafted dim sum with unexpected fillings like saffron lobster, or the larger plates that range from wok-fried Najel fillet with crispy pecan nuts to sauteed Angus beef in black bean sauce, braised morel mushrooms with macadamia, and wok-fried beef noodles with hoisin sauce. Reckon you can squeeze in a sweet after all that? Then be sure to include their matchuzu (an exotic yet refreshing yuzu wanton mille-feuille with goji berries) in your order list.

Toki, Prince Turki Ibn Abdulaziz Al Awwal Rd, Hittin, daily 1pm to 12am. Tel: (055) 7444626. Order via Jahez, Lugmety, The Chefz and ToYou apps. @tokiksa.riyadh

Baytoti


If you’re looking for a no-frills Chinese restaurant, this is your go-to place. This fast-casual Chinese joint doesn’t disappoint when it comes to serving up all the favourites. Fried wontons, hot and sour soup, sweet and sour chicken, and stir-fried noodles with beef are just a few of the menu’s recommended items. The portions are generous, the food is flavourful, and it’s pretty good value for money.

Baytoti, Al Ghadir, Thurs & Fri,  1pm to 2am, Sat to Wed, 1pm to 1am. Tel: 920007741. Order via Careem Now, Hunger Station, Jahez, Lugmety, Talabat, The Chefz, ToYou, and Wssel apps. @baytotiarabia

Yauatcha

 

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When it comes to Chinese food in Riyadh, names don’t come much more significant than Yauatcha. Dim sum is king here. The sui mai is as good as any we’ve tasted in Hong Kong. Another must-order is the plump lobster dumpling with tobiko caviar. Aside from steamed options, the crispy duck roll is loaded with succulent meat – a nod to the classic duck pancake with cucumber and spring onion. But the star of the show is the rice rolls with deep-fried bean curd skin wrapped around plump shrimps and doused in a sweet soy sauce. Divine!

Yauatcha, Al Faisaliah Mall, Plaza Level, Olaya District, Prince Sultan Street, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: 920006555. Order via Jahez, Lugmety, The Chefz and ToYou apps. @yauatchariyadh

Yunnan Restaurant

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Our personal favourite, Yunnan is one of Riyadh’s great hidden gems for inexpensive, traditional Chinese fare. It may be an unassuming spot, but this place has a cult following. Put together your own feast with an array of incredible dishes from the menu: the steamed fish makes a spectacular centrepiece, perfect alongside classics like tomato egg soup, lotus root stir-fry, mapo tofu (a Szechuan dish consisting of tofu with minced meat in spicy sauce), shrimps with garlic sauce, sizzling black pepper beef, dumplings, to name just a few.

Delivery is not an option here (and it’s cash only), so consider yourself lucky if you live close by. However, don’t be surprised by the location. It may seem like you’re going to someone’s house for a home-cooked meal – literally! – except this time around, you’re ordering a takeaway.

Yunnan Restaurant, 2818 Muslimah Al Ansari, Al Izdihar, daily 11am to 3pm & 5.30pm to 10pm. Tel: (053) 9199888. Order directly at the restaurant for self pick-up. @Yunnan Restaurant Riyadh

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