All reader reviews by Daniela
I visited this restaurant with my partner early last November with a groupon voucher.....
I can honestly say it was the worst dining experience of my life (and there have been some colourful ones!) The service was disastrous for a start. Then, I noticed some of the food choices on the menu had a small * beside them. Looking at the bottom of the page I realised that these choices had a hefty £5/6 "supplement". Now, had we been choosing from a set menu, this could be expected but it wasn't a set menu it was the full priced a la cart. When I asked the waitress why the pricing was this opaque she didn't have an answer. I suggested it was done to confuse the diner into thinking said items were cheaper than they actually were, otherwise they'd simply state the full price.....she just looked at me blankly. Not a good start.
I'm not sure what the eastern influenced food was like but the food on the European side of the menu was delivered by someone who hadn't had any training in how to cook european food (which is pretty basic stuff training-wise!) The starters were passable but my main of duck was rare to the point it was bleeding heavily onto my plate and the skin/fat was very flabby and looked like it hadn't been cooked at all. Similar problems with my partner's Lamb main. The only potatoes they served were chips. I ordered a creme brullee for dessert. This turned out to be thick custard with berries on top. I asked the waitress to explain and she said "It's a new take on the creme brullee" . I had to tell her that as there was no "Brullee" at all it was infact something completely different which didn't even remotely resemble a brullee and should have been described as such on the menu. I sent it back and got the cheese board which, by this point, seemed the safest option. The whole evening was a farce on pretty much every level from the beginning. The prices are up there with those of some pretty swanky joints (mains well up in the late £20s) but i don't know how they think they can justify this with such bad standards to food and service all round. Only positive I have to offer is they had the decency not to charge us for service!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0
I have eaten at most chinese restaurants serving dim sum (which is many of them) in chinatown and this is my favourite.
The selection is far and above the usual standard (which isn't usually much better than the frozen stuff you can get to heat up at home). A special mention for their Siu Mai (b/f's fave) which, unlike some places contains proper chopped pork and not that sausage-like sludge some places do. The quality was comparable to my stay in HK a few years back which makes sense as apparently thats where the chef came from.
Their Dim Sum prices are reasonable, we're usually pretty full on £10/12 a head.
I can't say I've ever had a problem with their service- it's quite brusque but mostly polite. We're recognised regulars though so maybe this affects our treatment? One of the waiters does have the habit of sitting and reading the paper but we find that quite funny and not unusual in chinatown.
I do though wonder how often those complaining of rude/bad service eat in chinatown. It's almost renowned for it so if it bothers you that much it might not be the place to eat as 99% of the restaurants (certainly the affordable ones) won't give you the service you're after. I've been eating there for years and honestly don't really notice. So long as it's relatively efficient, I'm happy.
One thing that does bother me a little; their air con always makes the restaurant feel a bit chilly, even in summer. Not great when you're trying to have a relaxing lunch.
As for their a la carte menu- I can't really comment on that as I've never eaten from it. I can well believe it's not up to much- that's not unusual in chinatown. When you find a good place (which I have) you should stick to it. Oddly i find that the cheaper places are often best (I've been going to Wong Kei's on Wardour Street for years for non dim sum eats and Jen Cafe on little Newport street's fresh beijing dumplings are fab!) Stay away from the all you can eat buffet's for a start!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10