Gentrification is ripping the heart out of communities

Urban gentrification is transforming the capital but neighbourhoods still need chippies and cheap Chinese and Indian restaurants to preserve character

Only the most fervent of cheerleaders would claim that the food offering in London’s Chinatown is universally wonderful. Too many of the restaurants serve claggy, poorly executed food served by waiters with interpersonal skills that make traffic wardens look like first-class airline stewards.

And yet, in the last decade, Chinatown has steadily improved. A growing appetite for and understanding of China’s regionalism has been met by restaurateurs offering the thrilling cooking of provinces such as Sichuan, Hunan and Xinjiang, alongside the food of Taiwan, rather than just a sloppy approximation of Cantonese.

Related: Big trouble in little Chinatown as rent rises force restaurant owners out of West End

Related: The Observer view on the threat to London’s Chinatown: its loss will be no one’s gain | Observer editorial

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