Chinese New Year is just around the corner, though the celebrations – as Greater Manchester rings in the Year of the Ox – will have to be a little subdued this year.
In normal year, thousands would cram into the city centre’s Chinatown – the third-largest in Europe – for parades and fireworks displays and elaborate meals out.
But with restaurants still shuttered and the nation under a national stay-at-home lockdown, we’ll all have to celebrate at home instead.
Thankfully, the region isn’t short of brilliant Chinese restaurants and most will still be offering takeaway, so it’ll be easy enough to get your hands on a delicious feast.
We’ve drawn on our own listings as well as suggestions from our Facebook community Eating Out in Manchester to bring you the best Chinese takeaways in Greater Manchester.
Know of one we’ve missed? Shout about it in the comments below.
Yang Sing, Princess Street
This Chinatown stalwart can be found on Princess Street – not to be confused with Little Yang Sing, on neighbouring George Street, although that’s worth a visit too.
They’re both run by members of the same family (Yang Sing owner Harry Yeung’s cousin Warren runs the smaller site) but are completely separate operations.
While both sites are closed for now, the team have put together an excellent selection of take-home offerings for the Chinese New Year celebrations, as well as offering delivery and takeaway.
You can pre-order cakes, dumpling kits (£22), and even a whole roasted suckling pig with all the trimmings (£168).
Yang Sing will also be selling everything you need to create your own prosperity toss at home, a tradition that sees all the ingredients piled onto the table for diners to toss while shouting well-wishes for the year ahead.
34 Princess St, M1 4JY | yang-sing.com
Blue Eyed Panda, Ancoats
It started life as a take-away on Great Ancoats Street (and judging by the Deliveroo riders streaming in and out of the doors, still does a roaring take-out trade), but now the Blue Eyed Panda has its own restaurant just around the corner on Jersey Street.
The restaurant remains open for collection and takeaway, serving a no-nonsense menu of Cantonese classics such as honey-glazed roast char siu pork and Szechuan staples such as hot poached beef in chilli oil.
You’ll also find all the usual suspects such as black bean stir-fries, oyster sauce, and chow mein.
3 Jersey St, Manchester M4 6JA | blueeyedpanda.co.uk
Live Seafood, Beswick
Described by Guardian critic Jay Rayner as ‘delightfully nuts’, this Beswick restaurant allows you to pick your seafood, alive and swimming, from a tank before your meal.
The restaurant on Ashton Old Road is brilliantly bonkers (there are Finding Nemo pictures smiling at you while you eat your fish) but also serves some of the most exciting Chinese food in the city.
During lockdown and in time for Chinese New Year, you can order packages of fresh or cooked seafood directly from the restaurant.
Dishes on offer will include abalone soup, seafood hot pot, and shrimp fried rice.
163 Ashton Old Rd, M11 3WU | liveseafood.co.uk
Happy Seasons, Chinatown
Back in Chinatown, in Faulkner Street, Happy Seasons is a no-frills, no-nonsense restaurant serving up reliably good grub.
The decor is pared back, with touches of 80s glamour in unexpected places like the colour-changing LED disco lights embedded into the polystyrene ceiling tiles.
The kitchens are still fired up for deliveries and takeaway, with a menu that includes deep-fried sweet and sour monkfish, won ton noodle soup, and roast meats.
59 Faulkner St, M1 4FF | happy-seasons.co.uk
Situated at the lower end of Spinningfields, Tattu boasts some of the most spectacular dining surroundings in Manchester, complete with a huge cherry tree in the centre of the restaurant.
While we’re having to make do with admiring it through social media for now, you can still get a taste of their high-end food during lockdown thanks to their Tattu By You food boxes.
Some of the restaurant’s best-selling dishes – including caramel soy fillet steaks, aromatic crispy duck rolls and fried sweet potato with ichimi pepper – have been adapted to be finished off by you in your home.
Priced at £90 per box, the first 100 food kits purchased will also include lucky red envelopes containing special gifts.
3 Hardman Square, M3 3EB | tattu.co.uk
Red Chilli, Chinatown
Red Chilli has two Manchester restaurants, including one on Oxford Road, both considered to serve some of the best Chinese food in the country.
Their menus are available to order through Deliveroo while the restaurants are shut.
Expect the unexpected, like sliced ox’s heart and tongue served with chilli sauce, and braised pig feet in soy sauce.
If offal’s not your thing though, you’ll also find more familiar dishes like salt and pepper squid, crispy shredded beef, and sweet and sour chicken.
Be warned – when Red Chilli labels something as spicy, they really mean it.
70-72 Portland St, M1 4GU | redchillirestaurant.co.uk
Ruyi Vegetarian House, Withington
If you’re a vegetarian and have ever looked longingly as other diners tuck into crispy duck pancakes or satay chicken while you ‘enjoy’ some limp vegetables in sweet and sour sauce then this suburban gem in Withington is the place for you.
Formerly known as Lotus, the new owners changed the name but kept much the same menu and concept, still available for takeaway.
Specialising in vegetarian and vegan mock meats made with soya, wheat and whey proteins, you won’t feel like you’re missing out again with a never-ending menu of creative and inspired dishes.
You’ll find veggie Peking ribs, crispy Szechuan mushrooms and veggie prawn toast – to give you an idea.
536 Wilmslow Road, M20 4BY | ruyivegetarian.co.uk
Sweet Mandarin, Northern Quarter
Sweet Mandarin opened on High Street, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, in 2004 and went on to appear on Gordon Ramsay’s F Word, where it beat 10,000 other establishments to be named the nation’s best local Chinese restaurant.
The family-run restaurant serves up recipes passed down to owners Helen and Lisa Tse from their late grandmother, the well-known Middleton restaurateur Lily Kwok, such as jungle green curry, beef curry and clay pot chicken.
You can order everything from banquets to ‘munchie boxes’ (all the fried stuff) to dim sum through their click and collect service.
19 Copperas St, M4 1HS | sweetmandarin.com
The Rice Bowl, city centre
One of the oldest family-run restaurants in Manchester, if not the oldest, The Rice Bowl set up in Cross Street in 1960 and has been going ever since, with the original owner’s niece now running the show.
The takeaway dim sum selection is enormous, rendering decision-making pretty difficult. Your best bet is to order one of the platters to give you a selection.
The main menu is pretty expansive too, featuring dishes like panko-crusted chicken in a lemon and lime sauce, clay-roasted duck hot pot, and sizzling king prawns.
33a Cross Street, M2 1NL | the-rice-bowl.com
Wing’s, Lincoln Square
A firm favourite with Manchester’s footballing fraternity, Lincoln Square restaurant Wing’s is frequented by United and City players (Van Gaal was a big fan during his time here).
You’ll find steamed and fried dim sum, sizzling meats, and other classic Chinese meals.
Wings’ special recommendations include pan-fried scallops in soya king sauce, sizzling chicken, and Shanghai hot chilli sliced lamb.
Their menu is available for collection, or for takeaway through both Deliveroo and UberEats.
1 Lincoln Square, M2 5LN | wingsrestaurant.co.uk
Yu, Alderley Edge
Out in Alderley Edge, occupying the first floor of the former Panacea nightclub, above Piccolino, Yu isn’t technically within the realm of Greater Manchester but is worth a menu with its Yu To You boxes.
Priced at £75 per box, their Chinese New Year festival box includes honey-coated spicy chicken, gyoza, salt and pepper king prawns, crispy duck and pancakes, corn-fed chicken breast with sesame seed sauce, steamed seabass with blackbean, honey-roasted char sui pork, and steamed rice.
You can also add on a lychee martini or three.
London Rd, Alderley Edge, SK9 7QD | yuordering.co.uk
M.E.N. reader recommendations
The Great Wall, Whitefield – greatwallwhitefield.com
Yeo Pans, Chorlton – yeopanschorlton.com
Gi Foo, Stretford – gifoo.co.uk
Pacifica Cantonese, Eccles – pacifica-cantonese.co.uk
Happy House, Oldham – happyhouseoldham.co.uk
Treasure City, Whitefield – treasurecitywhitefield.co.uk
Ocean Treasure, Middleton – oceantreasure.co.uk
The Chu’s, Northenden – 115115.co.uk/restaurants/the-chu-s
New Taste, Werneth – facebook.com/newtasteoldham
The Sun Lok, Stalybridge – facebook.com/Sun-Lok-Curry-House