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|Address:||15-21 Ganton Street, London W1F 9BN|
|Tel:||020 7297 9800|
|Price: £28.00||Wine: £14.90|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm Sun -10.30pm)|
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Alan Yau has built up a fearsome reputation as a man who can, no matter how deep your pockets, create a restaurant experience that delivers innovative menus containing quality dishes in some stunningly funky surroundings. The good news for Alan is that we are all smitten and willing to give anything he does a crack. The bad news, I suppose, is that we're all waiting with baited breath for his rare slip ups, such as Anda, his ill-fated Baker Street Italian.
Cha Cha Moon's set-up has Yau's name written all over it. He opts to shun the light and airy dining room the space could afford, putting the kitchen up front and the trendy, cosmopolitan dining room at the back. The orderly layout of long communal tables and the constant flow of waiting staff and diners makes it feel remarkably like a school dining room. The seats are somewhat uncomfortable. Given a choice, the high benches at the back are preferable. The bathroom is stylish and unique, as has become the hallmark of a Yau restaurant.
When the restaurant opened, all the dishes were £3.50. A price tag that low suggests either very small dishes or inferior ingredients. Thankfully, neither is true but, more recently, the prices have gone up without a change in menu. You can't help but feel a little ripped-off, even though the dishes remain very good value. If you're especially hungry, you may want two dishes but for the most part one each or 3 between 2 is plenty.
The soup noodles are big, hearty, exceptionally flavoursome and are highly recommended. There are lots of exciting dishes with authentic contents: turnip cakes, kway teow with delicious chinese salami, cod with (very) bitter melon. The only disappointment from the menu is that it's not easy to find something that feels light and healthy. The service suits the price tag and the target market of local workers with an hour to take at lunch – quick and efficient.
The drinks selection is small but excellent. There are only 3 cocktails on the menu but you won't need any more – they are all delicious, contain fresh fruit and are pretty punchy. When the restaurant opened, it didn't serve Coca-Cola. Why do some restaurants refuse to give people what they want? They've since given in, hopefully thanks to customer feedback.
When the restaurant opened, the value for money made it unparralled anywhere in London. You could have a large lunch and a drink and, even after paying for service, have change from £10. The price rises (of over 100% in some cases) means the restaurant falls more in line with it's plentiful local competition. Amongst that competition however, it still every bit a contender and well worth a visit.