All reader reviews by PK

Hungs

I have been to this restaurant many times over the years, mostly when it was still called Crispy Duck. I went again on a Thursday night and must say I was very disappointed.

Service was usual gruff efficiency, which is fine. The tong choi was also good, as was the crispy duck (though not as nice as it used to be here). However, the beef in satay sauce was only average, mainly due to the poor quality of the beef (which was overcooked anyway). The stir-fry chicken with chilli though was dreadful - non-descript morsels of chicken that had been stewed in the sauce, quite tasteless, with a whole stack of fiery hot birdseye chillies thrown in that did nothing to the dish except blow your head off if you ate one. Also ,the singapore noodle was a little too oily.

I am hoping this was a one off and the food will be better next time, but I must say I was disappointed. Overall all though this place is still better quality than a lot of places in Chinatown.

Friday, December 12, 2008
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


Yming

I decided to try YMing last night after reading all the good reviews on here.

I'm sorry but I really can't understand why everyone raves about this place. It's not too bad, and certainly good by Chinese restaurant standards in England, but in terms of good quality Chinese Food, it isn't that good. I should have known as soon as I walked in and saw absolutely no Chinese people eating there!

The crispy duck was tasty and crispy, but a little overcooked for my liking (compared to others I have had), but the disappointing part here was the watered down and quite bland hoisin sauce. The singapore noodles were above average and quite tasty, but I have had better even in London (not to mention the Far East, but that would not be fair). The Hot Sesame Chicken was just some cubed chicken stir fried with some peppers and birdseye chillies....and although it was reasonly tasty, there was hardly any sauce and the chicken tasted a little 'stewed' (and who does cubed chicken anymore? It seems only Chinese restaurants in England? So 70s!). The sizzling lamb with ginger and shallot was full of flavour and I was almost impressed with this dish, except it had too much sauce this time, so when poured on the hot plate, the lamb 'stewed' in it's own sauce a bit, giving that disappointing flavour (I'm sure a lot of you know what I'm talking about).

The service was good and attentive. The decor etc was a little dated but was well maintained and reasonably elegant. The whole place screams a little of being stuck in the past, but based on the all the good reviews, I guess of lot of English people like and want that!

It is worth a try so you can make up your own mind, but do not expect 'the best Chinese food in the UK'. It's better than a lot of places I have been to in Soho/Chinatown (and I have been to a lot!), but my quest for good Chinese food with good value in London continues.

Saturday, July 28, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6


Villandry (Great Portland St)

My partner and I have been here twice recently, once for dinner and once for brunch. The dinner was nice enough, but not good enough quality for the price. The service was ok for the most part, though we practically have to call a waiter over for attention at one stage to take our order. I thought leaving the wholesale price tag on the wine bottle was poor form, giving us a stark reminder how much wine in restaurants is marked up!

Villandry was recently voted the top brunch place in London by a paper (Independent I think). I have no idea why - there were only 2 brunch choices on the menu: eggs benedict or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Big deal. My partner had the eggs benedict, which were nice enough, but once again over priced. I went for the lunch special, the roast rib of beef. This was ok, slightly undercooked for the quality of the meat, and, you guessed it, way over priced!

The atmosphere of the place is quite nice. The service is adequate, though could be better for the price level.

All in all it's another classic London restaurant with a bigger ego than its capabilities. With a little work it can be turned into a very nice place, as it has the potential, its just not there yet.

Still, it is very popular with the corporate lunch/business dinner crowd, and they'll pay for anything!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 3


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