This February, Gouqi - the modern Chinese fine-dining restaurant - will mark its first anniversary. Set in the historic centre of St James’s, Gouqi (pronounced “goji”), draws its name from an island in the East China Sea, famed for its picturesque fishing villages and eponymous goji berry shrubs. The restaurant is the debut solo venture from Tong Chee Hwee - formerly Executive Head Chef at seven-time Michelin-starred Hakkasan Group.

At Gouqi, located just off Trafalgar Square, diners can feast on a procession of dishes from the à la carte, tasting and dim sum menus curated by Chef Tong Chee Hwee, who has become globally revered for his style of premium Cantonese cuisine and played a transformative role in London’s perception of Chinese food.

Chef Tong brings years of expertise to his own restaurant, offering diners a comprehensive, modern Chinese dining experience - pairing seasonal ingredients with the best live produce sourced from around the globe. Influenced by techniques and ingredients of his heritage, menu highlights include the Steamed Royal Dim Sum Platter - featuring eight varieties, from the classic Shanghai Xiao Long Bao to a Prawn Siu Mai, topped with abalone; Char-grilled Silver Cod with yellow bean sauce and passion fruit; and Chef Tong’s Legendary Peking Duck with Oscietra Caviar - served three ways and carved tableside.

Desserts are intricate and refreshing - combining traditional French and British training with Chinese and South-East Asian flavours. These include a Mango, Black Sesame and Passion Fruit dessert named ‘Midnight Sun’ and Dark Chocolate, Matcha and Goji Berry named 'Gouqi Valley'.

Guests enter the restaurant via its dedicated Berri Bar, where they can enjoy an innovative selection of Asian-inspired cocktails. Signature serves include the Rose Dragon - fragrant with Whiskey, Amaro, Peach Wine, 5 Spice and Dragon Fruit; the Golden Monkey - Rum, Banana, Pandan and Chocolate Bitters; as well as the dark and complex Bixi, made with Peated Whisky, Lapsang Tea, Bitters, Smoke. These sit alongside an extensive international wine list and range of non-alcoholic alternatives.

Gouqi has 100 covers spread across four dining areas, each themed around a different colourscape and offering a convivial atmosphere. Upon entry the Berri Bar space leads you towards the main dining room which also houses three semi private velvet adorned booths. For those looking for a private dining space, two dining rooms that accommodate 10-12 guests, and for larger parties, interconnecting doors can open up the space for up to 22 guests.