The "good and the great" from the oriental food world gathered to celebrate the best in the business with London restaurants walking away with several awards.

The Golden Chopsticks Awards winners were held on Monday (April 29) at a glittering ceremony hosted by Gok Wan. 

Co-founded by friends Lucy Mitchell, Sarah Lewis and Gok Wan in 2018, 
the awards have become one of the largest and most prestigious celebrations of East and South East Asian food in the world.

Celebrities and VIP’s at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, included TV royalty Lorraine Kelly and daughter Rosie, Harriet Scott from Heart FM, and several Masterchef winners and finalists.

Also attending were Labour MPs Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler, and Sarah Owen, as well as food writers and influencers in East and South East Asian food, and prominent community leaders

A surprise performance from pop group Liberty X rounded off an evening which had a joyful party atmosphere.

Among the London-based winners was Chef Twee Hwee Tong, who last year opened Gouqi, near Trafalgar Square, and who picked up The Ken Hom Golden Chopsticks Lifetime Achievement Award.

Starting his career at 18 in Singapore, Tong moved to the prestigious Ritz Carlton before coming to the UK in 2001 to oversee the opening of Hakkasan, in Mayfair.

Two years later Hakkasan was awarded a Michelin star, the first in the UK awarded to a Chinese restaurant.

This year, the restaurant's corporate executive chef Andrew Yeo pick up the Best Chef award.

Fine Dining Award went to  Twee Hwee Tong's Gouqi, while the Golden Future Award went to Chop Chop at the Hippodrome.

Taking the podium Simon Thomas, executive chairman of the Hippodrome Casino, in Leicester Square, said the win was "overwhelming" and that they were "fiercely proud".

He said the Hippodrome was committed to the Chinese community in London, "who we count as firm friends and allies", 

"Being a good neighbour is key to any business’s success, and to have London Chinatown on our doorstep means we get to work alongside one of the richest and most diverse communities in the country," he added.

One of the most hotly contested awards for Best newcomer went to newly opened Singapulah on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The restaurant showcases the vibrant hawker scene that Singapore is known for.

Ellen Chew, director, said the win was "fantastic" and "truly a testament to our team’s hard work and perseverance in achieving such success" despite opening just over two months ago. 

"We remain dedicated to bringing authentic Singaporean food to the people in the UK and hope to continue to tantalise their taste buds for a long time to come," she added.

The Spice Lab, Mercato in Mayfair collected one of the 19 awards for its street food.

Diego Martinelli, owner, said: "It's amazing and great recognition for the hard work work we've put in throughout and good achievement.

"We're new starters, a young brand, and have a few more projects down the line to put in place."

JM Oriental in Colindale, beat off stiff competition to win Best in England after being open for only three years.

They won the new award for Best Restaurant Design and also collected the coveted award for Best Dim Sum with Gok Wan telling the crowded room: "Dim sum is definitely my death row dinner."

Cosmo, which has an outlet in Romford, won three awards...Best Restaurant in both Scotland and Ireland, and Best Multi-Site.

Kan Koo, partner at COSMO said: “Standards were so high across all of the categories this year so we're really thrilled to win amongst some fierce competition.

What makes it even more rewarding is that it was a public vote. It’s great to see our lovely, loyal, guests are behind us!

"As for the ceremony itself, we always have a great time at The Golden Chopsticks Awards.

"The GCA team really pull out all the stops and keep the whole room thoroughly entertained. A smashing time was had by all!"

Judge, Masterchef winner Ping Coombes, said: "This is probably the most fun awards in London," with Gok Wan adding: "What an amazing night, bringing together the good and the great from the oriental food world in one room."

"It's fantastic to see so many accomplished restaurateurs alongside the rising stars of the future and a real honour to host what is now one of my favourite nights of the year!"