With the Mid-Autumn festival – one of the biggest events on the Chinese calendar – just a few weeks away, Sidney Wu shares her top picks for authentic Chinese food this #FoodFriday, to help you find somewhere to celebrate.

Sidney Wu on Bristol Harbourside

Image credit: Sidney Wu 

Cathay Rendezvous

Located in the historic Old Library building and in business since 1986, Cathay Rendezvous is said to be the longest running Chinese restaurant in Bristol. They offer a wide range of Chinese cuisine including Cantonese dishes such as much-loved Dim Sums and lots of famous Szechuan dishes too. Their Sunday lunchtime buffet is great value – for just £15.95, you can eat as much as you want.

Dining table at Cathay Rendezvous Bristol

Image credit: Cathay Rendezvous

Brisnoodles

In my opinion, this is the best Chinese restaurant in Bristol. I couldn’t find a Chinese restaurant that took me right back home until I set foot in this one, which is on Park Row. It’s not that fancy but it’s a must-try if you want a taste of real Chinese food.

The owner and head chef is from Wenzhou, China. He always puts the customer's needs first and loves to invent dishes, so new items are frequently added to the menu. I’d recommend going with a Chinese friend, as there is an untranslated hidden menu that only Chinese people would know how to order from. This includes lots of chef’s specials from crab flavoursome pot to peppercorn chicken plate.

The chef's home-town gem Wenzhou Glutinous Rice Bowl immediately became a hit among the usual Chinese customers (you need to pre-order this the night before to guarantee a taste).

Brisnoodles is cash-only, so remember to go on an ATM run before you visit.

Mayflower

Situated in the heart of Bristol city centre near the central bus station and the famous Bearpit, Mayflower is a family-owned Chinese restaurant serving the most authentic Cantonese food in town. To lots of Chinese people living in Bristol, Mayflower is truly a ‘midnight diner’ that warms their heart on lonely nights, as it is really rare to see a proper sit-down Chinese restaurant open until after midnight. If you love late-night dining, Mayflower is always there for you.

My personal favourites from their menu are the seafood specialties, roasties, and claypot rice dishes with special Cantonese-style marinated meat.

Range of dishes at Mayflower Chinese restaurant Bristol

Image credit: Sidney Wu 

Little China Town

The Chinese community chose to call this food hall building on the iconic Nelson Street Little China Town, as you can find a very large variety of Chinese food here. It’s definitely a Chinese food lover’s heaven!

On the ground floor there is the quick Cantonese Southeast Asian food bar and on one half of the first floor is a proper ‘cha chaan teng’ (Hong Kong-style tea restaurant). This has very authentic choices of Cantonese food and some delicious Cantonese desserts that are rarely seen in other Chinese places in Bristol, such as peach gum soup or mango pomelo sago. On the other side of the first floor, you can have a proper Chinese feast with ‘all-you-can-eat’ hot pot, costing just £20 per person.

Toro Noodle Bar

Located on Park Street, Toro is a favourite of Chinese students. It provides a wide range of pan Asian dishes with specialities such as flavoursome pot, one-person hot pot and the much-praised grilled fish hot pot. They stick to their roots and do not change flavours to cater for local people’s taste. They also have several private karaoke rooms at the back where you can have a full on Chinese party experience.

Beijing Cooking Pot

For a change from the usual Cantonese or Szechuan choices, wake up your taste buds with some authentic local dishes from northern China (Beijing and Tianjin, to be specific) at Beijing Cooking Pot, just up from the BRI hospital.

Try warm sizzling soup from the cooking pot dishes, claypot rice dishes, and special Tianjin Da Lu gravy on noodles to eat in or takeaway. The lunch deal offers from just £6.80 are great value for money, especially for those looking for quick work lunches. It’s another cash-only place.

Chilli Daddy

Chilli Daddy is certainly the most well-known Chinese takeaway and street food restaurant in Bristol. It brings one of the most-loved Szechuan street foods, hot and sour noodles, to the city with lots of other authentic and original Szechuan tastes. You can choose the spice level from zero to five, so even people who don’t usually like spicy food can have a try. It’s also another cash-only place.

About the author

Sidney first came to Bristol to pursue her master’s degree in Chinese-English translation at University of Bristol. She loves Bristol so much that she never for a single second thought of moving away after her graduation and now it’s her 4th year living in this lovely city. She now works as a freelance translator and Chinese social media marketer in Bristol and is the manager/moderator of the two Chinese social media accounts of Visit Bristol.

Read next: Bristol's best Chinese food

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Cathay Rendezvous
Restaurant
Cathay Rendezvous

Beloved in Bristol for over 30 years, family-operated Cathay Rendezvous serves high quality authentic and modern Chinese cuisine, in the first purpose-built library in England.