I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The World Eats - Chinatown, London

Wong Kei restaurant in Chinatown, London

As swiftly as we are directed to our table, which some time is shared with some unsuspecting guests already at the table, wham, bang, down comes in our face the ever-prevalent Chinese tea pot and cups.  Shoop shoop, each was given the daunting menu, also in our face, and off the waiter goes without leaving an extra welcome greetings.

He will come back in a minute and asks if we are ready.  No?  Off he goes again, leaving us gasping for our first query about the menu.  After the order is made, nonchalantly, the food arrives.  Another wamp, bang, and off the waiter goes.

We are always amused by the way the waiters handle their customers here.  It is bizarre, but very funny.  They all wear black, T-shirt and black trousers.   Wong Kei is printed boldly at the back, as if this logo weighs them down as long as they (all of them Oriental) continue to seek their "fortune" in a foreign country.

So, if you are looking for good service, you are in the wrong restaurant.  Well, one thing for sure, they don't expect a tip either.

Check out their variety, an expansive menu indeed.
Amidst the adverse comment on their service (which I think they have turned a new leaf this time when I am there in 2011, I noticed smiling faces ...), I have been enjoying the food here in Wong Kei, year after year.  And looking at the crowd that occupies all the four floors of the restaurant, how would rate good service vs good food?

Most of the time, when I am in London, I will make an attempt to drop in to this Chinese restaurant that serves no 'nonsense', but will just feed you as what a Chinese auntie or granny will.

Most of the dining hours, the restaurant is busy.
"Eat your food!"
"Eat this!  Good for you!"
"Eat more!"
No 'nonsense' dining, they don't even want your plastics.
"Don't waste!"
"Drink your tea, wash away the fat."

If you come to Wong Kei expecting all the following for a good dine out in London, you will leave disgruntled:

Good service -leave this out!
Good ambiance - don't expect any!
Good table setting - not a bit!
Good manners - I think they tried!

For all the unexpected, expect these:

Good portion of food - fill you up so much you can skip two meals.
Good reasonable price - satisfy your pocket, two person for under £9 (tea no-charge)
Good taste - some dishes have good wok-scent, 'wok hei'

豉椒牛河Black bean fried kueh teow £4.40
牛腩河 Beef Brisket kueh teow soup £3.90
The black bean paste fried kueh teow with lots of capsicum and onion is by far the best noodle dish I have eaten.  It is one of the must-haves.  The kueh teow is not blackened with dark soy sauce, but springy as it is infused with the taste of the 'burnt' wok.  That adds to the taste when the ingredients are cooked over such high heat quickly.

So satisfied, we finished everything.
We have tried many other noodle dishes and I have seen Londoners trying out other delicacies, all seemed to look good.  But for one thing I wouldn't recommend, don't order char siew (BBQ pork) or siew yoke (Grilled pork), other restaurants, and even those in Salak South and Happy Garden win them hands down.

But what the heck, wham, bang your way to Wong Kei.

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