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Iconic Chinese Restaurant Returns to London After a Decade

Poons is back this February with a three-month Clerkenwell pop-up, but plans to go permanent this year


Poons — the iconic London Chinese started by Bill Poon, which had five venues and (in 1980) a Michelin star to its name — is making a comeback. Hot Dinners reports that, following a hiatus of more than a decade, Bill Poon’s daughter Amy is reviving the Poons name with a three-month pop-up in Clerkenwell.

With Bill at her side as consultant, Amy aims to bring a modern twist to the classic Chinese that made the Poons name. “I grew up and worked in all of my parents’ restaurants,” Amy said, “and my love of food and my desire to share it and feed people runs in my blood.”

The new Poons website promises a “menu to follow,” but talks a big game nonetheless, heralding a “Chinese Culinary Revolution.” Amy told Hot Dinners that she wants to “challenge and improve people’s perception of Chinese food.”

She’ll be bringing back the signature “wind-dried” meats that a 1996 Evening Standard article referred to as “Poons’ unique selling point... best sampled in a hot pot with rice.” And so they will be, as claypot rice with homemade wind-dried meats is set to feature alongside spicy aubergine salad, Hainanese chicken, and steamed fish Guangzhou-style and a range of vegan and gluten-free dishes on the new menu.

The Poons pop-up opens on 17 February, and is set to precede the opening of a new permanent Poons site later this year.