Don’t go looking for love in all the wrong places. Take a date to one of our top 5 Asian restaurants and you’ll be guaranteed to find romance. By Match’s Dating Expert, Kate Taylor
65 St Audley St, London W1K 2QU
Voted the Sunday Times’ Best Chinese Restaurant in 2012 and 2015, Kai Mayfair is elegant and chic in its décor. Within the kitchen, the team has just won a 2016 Michelin Star for its “liberated” menu. Although it closes early even on Saturday nights (10.45pm), it’s a perfect destination for a smoochy Asian lunch. Sample the selection of “little plates” and enjoy being looked after by the attentive staff. Its wine cellar is amazingly extensive too.
37 Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 7HG
Prithvi means “Mother Earth” in Sanskrit, and its namesake certainly prides itself on providing a nurturing atmosphere of calm and tranquillity. Perfect for conquering those first-date nerves! Since its opening in 2012, it has built up a loyal band of followers, with one reviewer calling it, “Not just the best Indian restaurant in Cheltenham, but the best restaurant in Cheltenham”. The menu is so delicious you might be stuck what to choose, so try the “Prithvi Tour” which takes you a on an Asian culinary exploration around India, with international wines to complement each course.
8 Regent St, Leeds, LS7 4PE
Leeds worst-kept foodie secret is Sukhothai, a rapidly expanding chain of Thai restaurants. This, its first and flagship restaurant, in Chapel Allerton, has been in the Good Food Guide since 2008. It’s renowned for its friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere, and its custard pancakes. This isn’t your usual after-drinks casual retreat – dress smart-casual and enjoy the swanky surroundings. Fridays are especially busy so ensure you book in advance.
On The Bab
305 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LA; plus Covent Garden and Marylebone.
For an off-beat and unexpected dinner experience, head to one of On The Bab’s edgy restaurants serving authentic Asian street food. The three London locations are all industrial in style: stark, stylish backdrops and loud clattery spaces, filled with urban hipsters grabbing steamed buns, chicken wings and bibimbap, washed down with various Korean beers. This isn’t a slow-moving dining experience – it’s fast, fresh and young. Wear your finest casual gear and go for cocktails afterwards.
Arcadian Centre, Hurst St, Highgate, Birmingham, B5 4TD
Located in Birmingham’s China Town, Ocean Dragon offers a change from the Wagamama invasion. Traditional and modern Japanese dishes – Bento boxes, sushi, and tofu – are served in opulent surroundings. There’s a sushi bar where you can watch your food being hand-rolled, and the ramen is a speciality. A fun, interactive experience that’ll give you plenty to talk about on an early date. Check before you go whether they take card payments; at the time of writing, it was still strictly cash-only.
Head to our Asian dating section for more helpful tips and advice.