Wong Kei Restaurant on Wardour Street in Chinatown, has a reputation for really great value chinese food and fast service. It’s always full and a lot of the local chinese people eat there, so it must be good. It also has a reputation for the rudest waiters in London, which has somehow added to its appeal!
The restaurant is set on 5 floors. We went with my 80-year-old aunt who has fairly bad arthritis, naturally we were directed up the stairs to the top floor! One way or another all the tables, for 8 to 10 people, needed to be filled and kept at maximum occupancy – so expect to be seated with complete strangers, or moved to a new table if necessary.
You will immediately be supplied with a free pot of green tea, and some cups roughly distributed in the direction of the diners. Ordering other drinks is possible, but clearly irritating to the staff, “like, what’s wrong with the green tea?”. But it’s great because normally you’d spend loads on drinks at inflated prices. Also the green tea is continually topped up free.
Best to make your menu choices before you go in! Hesitation is not really tolerated, and you may hear a faint ‘muttering’, which wouldn’t be a menu suggestion.
We chose the £8 vegetarian set meal, which is really great value and more than enough for one person – nearly enough for two. The first course was spring rolls and pancakes, then sweet and sour vegetables, tofu and mock duck. The food was great really well prepared and delicious.
Expect to be ejected as soon as you have eaten; there is no pudding either, or mention of coffee. The whole meal really did only cost £8, and they were surprisingly helpful in supplying take-away containers so we could take some doggie bags home. Also you don’t feel guilty not leaving a tip.
I would highly recommend Wong Kei for great value Chinese food and fast service. Also watching naive customers’ reaction to Wong Kei’s unique service is fun, and easy because you will probably be sharing a table with them.
Categories: Miscellaneous Musings