Wong Kei’s (pronounced ‘Wonkie’s’) Chinese restaurant based on Wardour Street in London, is what you would describe as ‘an oldie but a goodie’. Whilst the restaurant has been open and visited by many in previous years, I have only discovered this place during my time living in London since late 2010.
Now a few facts about this place:
- Possibly the biggest Chinese restaurant in the UK, seating around 500 diners at any one time. Even at their busiest time you are unlikely to need to call and book (I have NEVER done this). Turn up and you are very likely to get a table.
- Central location – it is extremely easy to get to from Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Soho and Shaftesbury Avenue (Theatreland) it is right at the heart of them all.
- Service – I wouldn’t say that the staff are rude but, don’t expect a warm smile nor keen customer service. Fact is, you would be in the wrong place! If however you want really good, cheap food and pretty quick turnaround, then this is the place. Service is almost comedic – not for the easily offended.
- The table arrangement means that it is very likely you will be seated with another party (tables tend to be in groups of 10). Don’t be put off by this, take it as a chance to be social, talk to others and even get a peek at what they are ordering before you make you choice from the vast menu.
- Cash only. Yes, it’s a rarity in a Central London restaurant but fact is that they only accept cash. If like me you have forgotten on the odd occasion, the nearest cash point is on Shaftesbury Avenue 🙂
- Free refillable Jasmine tea with your meal – an added bonus served as soon as you’re seated. To get the refill, simply open the lid on the teapot for a quick replacement. If you’re not a fan of Jasmine tea then not to worry, a drinks menu is available.
- Big portions! No matter what you order, the portions tend to be so much larger than other places – dig in and don’t be shy to ask for the rest as a takeaway if needs be.
Being a regular customer and knowing that they are open late (Mon-Sat 12-11:30pm, Sun 12-10:30pm) it seemed only right that after attending the Jay-Z and Kanye West concert at the O2 Centre, I should pop by there. A late night eat-feast – yes please!
We regularly order any number of dishes from the sweet and sour chicken or prawn with boiled rice (both very good) to the half duck with pancakes. Or of course there are the Singapore noodles plus many others. It’s tends to be that two people that eat for less that £10. In Chinatown. In Central London. Personally, I think that this is pretty great. It isn’t the place for a romantic date but for a family / friends meet up or quite simply a meal out as a couple (without the ‘romance element’) then it’s a go. I’ve been here with my boyfriend, friends and colleagues, all of which have enjoyed the visit.
If you have been already, what did you think? Leave a comment below 🙂