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With the number of competitors in the "pan-Asian" market, not sure what the point of this restaurant is. The restaurant looks nice, but the food was annoyingly bad. Had to send the Vietnamese fried beef noodles back twice .., the first time because the plate (at £9) had three small pieces of beef (even the waitress was embarrassed) and the second time because the rice noodles were undercooked. The replacement dish was slightly better but i still had to pick put bits of under-cooked noodles. Dining companions all unimpressed with their dishes. If the dishes were in the £4-5 range, might have been able to suffer them, but at the prices charged, just head to wagamama or busaba...
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Food 3 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 2
Sunday, July 22, 2012
It really upsets me when a restaurant gets just about everything right, the decor, the service, the location, even the quality and variety of ingredients in the dish which could give it all the potential flavour and taste that dish needs to be perfect and deliciously good but then ruin it with poor cooking skills, rushed making the dish tasteless.
Kind of feel that was what East Street restaurant did to us. A trendy well decorated restaurant with the typical large lighted shop signs sticking out like a real eatery in somewhere like China. But of course it was much more cleaner, spacious, comfy and friendlier. The dimmed lighting made it very relaxing but I was most intrigued with the toilets that had background noise of something resembling of a Thai train station. It worked. What didnít match up to my liking was the outside of the restaurant itself, bright yellow and too much like a fast food restaurant for kids but once inside I felt fine.
East Street has quite a good value lunch deal on, £7.95 for two courses and that was exactly what we did along with two other mains to share. During our wait they kindly offered us two complimentary redbush teas although only half filled it was nice and refreshing.
So for the starters with the meal deal we chose the pork gyoza. They were definitely a lot better than other ones we had. Pastry soft and tender and pan-fried perfectly to create that smoky crispy bottom. Finally a filling with more than just pork but bamboo shoots for that crunch and texture needed. It was also very well seasoned and flavoured a nice light soy dip to accompany it.
However sadly that was as good as the food got. For the mains we ordered the Pho Xao Bo which was beef with ho fun noodles. From the looks of the dish it looked amazing with the sesame seeds, diced up choi sum, chunks of generous beef, cucumber for that extra crunch, bean sprouts and little oil. But the disappointment came straight after I took the first bite. The noodles were still hard showing the noodles were definitely not fresh. But the biggest problem was the wok energy- there was none. It seemed like the chef just fried the noodles before the wok was properly heated to release any flavour and straight in goes the vegetables, meat and sauce, a few stirs and onto the plate to serve. It was a waste of what could have been a great dish. I mean all the textures were there from the different vegetables.
It was the same with the Kway-Teow. Full of prawns, darken ho-fun noodles probably with dark soy sauce but once again hard and dry. Choi-sum once again with bean sprouts, coriander, spring onions all served on a banana leaf but once again lacked the flavour of them all. It didnít make any sense as we were the first customers in the restaurant and it was still pretty empty so they werenít time pressured.
The Chap Chae was slightly better I suppose but that was because the noodles were more fresh, soft and naturally soak up a lot of moisture so had more flavour in it. Of course it could have been improved incredibly with a bit of Ďwok heií but still quite satisfying with the combined fried tofu and crunchy vegetables accompanying it creating a lovely texture.
All the dishes were seasoned perfectly and pretty much greaseless. I just wished the chef was a little more patient and allowed the wok to heat up before throwing all the noodles and vegetables in to allow the flavours to be released which otherwise would have turned the dishes around.
Lovely ending chilling at the back appreciating the amazing decor and depending on where you sit you can probably see the open kitchen. Not rushed at all and when asked for the bill they even gave you a mini rock sweet saying ĎI love Eastí on it. Maybe not quite but itís the thought that counts.
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Food 6 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7
Wednesday, April 04, 2012