Saturday, 25 July 2009
Young Cheng, 76 Shaftesbury Avenue, London (2nd review)
Of the 3 Young Chengs in London Chinatown (I’m not sure why they’re called the same thing either), I’ve only been to this one. As far as I know, one of the other ones is a buffet restaurant, while the other one is sit-down order type of place but at slightly higher prices than the one featured in this post here.
There are usually groups of people gathered outside this place at any one time, presumably not to admire the view but because they’ve been asked (for want of a better word) by the waitress to wait outside, menu in hand, for a table to be vacated. This is understandable, I guess, as the space in this restaurant is really well-utilised.
From my experience of Chinese restaurants (eating in them), space utilisation is almost an art form. If there is anything more than an inch between one chair and another, you’ve wasted considerable space which could have been used for another diner.
Sometimes, even gravity should not be an obstacle. If there is some space from the ceiling, why not glue some chairs there, that way the diners can fill both floor space and ceiling space, doubling profits. This is an idea which I’ve considered patenting, but until some Velcro shoes and ceiling paint is invented, I’ll wait.
Roast ducks by the wall. The duck here is nice, not as nice as the ones in Four Season, but nice enough. If you order a plate of mixed meat rice, you get lots of mixed meat, which makes greedy diners like me smile.
Smile. Lots and lots of mixed meat, delicious gravy and rice.
A friend of ours ordered the beef ball noodle soup, which I’d never tried before from this restaurant. As the soup noodles in Malaysia are far better than any I’ve tried in the UK, I didn’t even consider ordering this, but when the bowl of steaming hot noodles arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. It looked almost as good as the ones in Malaysia, but my friend confirmed that while it looked OK, the soup was lacking in any real taste. If the soup in the soup noodle is not great, there goes 50% of the points.
Looks nice, doesn’t it? Since most of the food pics show what the food looks like before it’s eaten, sometimes some people might not know what it looks like once it’s being eaten, so here it is. This is what soup noodle looks like.
Beef wat tan hor (beef hor fun in egg sauce) £5-ish
This is not on the menu, but from what people have told me, it seems lots of good stuff in this restaurant are not on the menu. The waitress there knew what I was trying to describe, so she managed to get this done for us without much fuss, and we’ve had this dish twice now, both times consistently fabulous, so be sure to order this next time you’re there.
Would I recommend this place? Most definitely so, just be prepared to wait outside with a menu if the place is full. Either that, or invent some Velcro shoes.
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