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Wong Kei Restaurant, London

My parents are typically Chinese; especially my father. He insisted on eating Chinese food in London, Nottingham and Paris, I kid you not! And he likes deciding on where to eat. Instead of going to the restaurants of my choice (Gold Mine or Four Seasons), he chose to eat at WONG KEI, at London China Town.I remember reading a lot of negative reviews about the place, so I knew dinner wasn’t going to be good. But what I didn’t know, was how bad it was going to be. Wong Kei is after all, legendary – for its staff’s rudeness and crammed eating spaces.

We were ushered downstairs, to a dodgy and grubby dining area filled with people — most of them were not Chinese. A good Chinese restaurant would usually be full of Chinese people, at least that’s what I believe. Our waiter was a jerk, who lacked social skills. My mum was incredibly patient – I would have doused hot Jasmine tea on him.

According to my brother, the toilet was disgusting. My impatient waiter hurried us when we were ordering our food. We were given the menu, and expected to know what to order in less than 2 minutes. I was also unfortunate enough to be seated next to an Indian couple, who went on and on and on about arranged marriage, who’s dating who, who’s doing who…etc. All over a huge bowl of wantan soup, which both of them did not know how to enjoy.Since my food took 45 minutes to arrive, I had plenty of time to observe their eating habits. No, I wasn’t staring. They were seated so close to me, I could even smell the man’s sweat-cologne combination. *uggghh* As soon as they got their bowl of wantan soup, they added dollops (with a capital “S”) of chilli oil into it – turning the clear soup bright red. Then they proceeded to pour soy sauce into the soup – might as well order wantan chilli soup, don’t you think?Back to our food. The steamed fish (£8 per portion) looked as though it was plonked on the plate, drizzled with soy sauce and carelessly topped with some spring onions. Horrible presentation, equally dreadful taste. The fish wasn’t fresh, and it was much too salty to enjoy. Chicken with cashew nuts (£6) was bland and oily. The chicken pieces had a slightly slimy texture — from the liberal use of cornstarch. I was really put off by the frozen vegetables – they provided no taste and had a weird mushy (inside) yet hard (outside) texture.Roast duck (£6) was another let down. It was cold, hard, stringy and terribly gamey. I don’t think I have eaten roast duck as bad as this in KL. The bed of pickled vegetables tasted odd – it was sweet and sour, like a poor imitation of our local acar.Just when I thought dinner couldn’t get any worst, the BBQ roast pork (£6) arrived. On the same bed of vegetables as the duck. Seriously Wong Kei, go switch the vegetables to lettuce slices or cucumber slices. At least they wouldn’t contaminate the already horrible duck and char siew. The char siew was very, very dry, and almost inedible. It tasted old, and the poor attempt of flavouring it with BBQ sauce simply made everything worse.The fish ball & beef ball wantan noodle soup (£3.70) reeked of kan sui smell and taste. I couldn’t finish this. The meatballs and fishballs were very ordinary; probably the frozen ones available at any Chinatown supermarket. And the soup was so full of MSG, I have no idea how the Indian couple could drink the whole bowl.

Look at how small our table was!

All in, I cannot say one good thing about the food or the service. While the food was cheaper than what you can get at Bayswater, I still wouldn’t pay to eat such gawd-awful-food.
My dad kept mum throughout the whole meal, because he knew he made a poor decision on dinner. *chuckles*

Ambiance: 2/10
Price: 6.5/10
Service: WHAT SERVICE?!!
Food: 1/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Do yourself a favour and eat someplace else.

41-43 Wardour Street
London W1D 6PY, United Kingdom
020 7437 8408
12 noon – 11pm daily

13 Responses

  1. J

    Amazing lor. (1 star only! LOL)

    Poor you and your parents. It's terrible to have to torture your tastebuds through that meal.

  2. eiling lim

    I'll remember not to walk near this shop!

  3. "Joe" who is constantly craving

    gross..i think even if u r drunk, ppl wont eat..

  4. choi yen

    Ur dad must be very regret to choose this restaurant lor… ^^

  5. ShaolinTiger

    Wong Kei is absolutely the WORST restaurant in London.

    It's survives on student business as it is the cheapest around.

    The food sucks, the service is worse and you often end up having to share tables.

  6. TY

    That is the S.O.P of Wong Kei typical HK restaurant service, you goes there to get scolding but strangely the ang moh love the place a lots.

  7. spike

    the trick in wong kei is to order one dish meals. forget about the dishes they are horrible. some things are not on the menu. tow foo siew yuk fan is awesome and the scrambled egg and char siew fried rice with dollops of the chilli oil is to die for. the roast meats are crap. go to young cheng ( the one at the back of china town)

  8. Bangsar-bAbE

    spike – After this experience, I wouldn't want to set foot in that restaurant again. +_+

    TY – I don't get why either.

    ShaolinTiger – As cheap as the food is, I wouldn't pay to eat such crap.

    Tummy Rumble – *pukes*

    choi yen – Oh yes, he definitely regretted. The food gave him bad stomach pains that night.

    Joe – Damn right!

    eiling – Good girl. Spare your tastebuds the torture!

    J – Ya lor…dunno why my dad chose that place of all places to eat.

  9. EVo

    This has gotta be one of the funniest reviews i read on ur blog babe.. i bet you'd have given them a negative rating if u could 😀

  10. Hazza

    I have some fond memories of this place during my student days. It was one of the cheapest Chinese restaurants in the WHOLE OF UK but the food is actually a lot better than most restaurants in less cosmopolitan cities around country.

    You should have tried the siew yook, which is normally quite ok in the UK. Char siu is very poor anywhere in the UK when compared to the dark Malaysian version.

  11. Julian Si

    Here's a little tale about Wong Kei, circa 1996 me thinks …

    I went there with a friend from HK, lets call him RF 🙂

    Waiter: Young man, keep your change lar.
    You are only a student, you can't afford to leave a tip!

    RF: DOH!

    JuleS: DOH!!

  12. Bangsar-bAbE

    Julian – Hahaha…can't believe they said that to you! Damn no manners la the waiter…

    Hazza – Ah…thanks for the tip. Will keep that in mind when I visit London in future. 🙂

    EVo – I would. LOL =P

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