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With blaring house music and punk-style murals greeting you in the foyer, things get off to a quirky start at this post-war Hong Hong-inspired basement diner. The dimly-lit room and sprawling bar is oddly reminiscent of a school canteen, with the food and pricing following suit. An erratic selection of dishes includes macaroni soup (a warming, ramen-style dish lacking in flavour), crispy Spam rolls and Singapore noodles. Our bao buns were light, spongy and packed with sweet and sticky beef, while the curried egg spring rolls with wasabi have a clashing spice flavour – quickly soothed by a sweet tea-based cocktail. The friendly, eager staff guided us to peanut butter French toast for dessert, a gooey, melt-in-your-mouth creation covered in condensed milk, while our cinnamon doughnut bao was crisp and fluffy, oozing thick custard and egg yolk. Portions are plentiful yet underwhelming, so we say come for the desserts and a fascinating tea list.
020 3876 4001
Holborn Tube Station 198m
Chancery Lane Tube Station 448m
The Peacock Theatre 173m
Freemasons' Hall 199m
Mon-Sun 11.30am-11pm (Sun -10pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
Cha Chaan Teng, Holborn – opened only twelve weeks ago, it seemed like Cha Chaan Teng had been around for much longer than that; probably because this is not the first time I have heard about the owner of Cha Chaan Teng, Jeremy Pang, he was also the founder of School of Wok and ambassador of the British Chinese Food Culture.
'Cha chaan teng' is a typical Hong Kong diner. These bustling 'cha chaan tengs' in Hong Kong serve local comfort food as well as guilty pleasure food to satisfy in between meals food craving. They are also the hangout places for locals, being family favourites, make for a casual fun night out with peers and a chance to pick up the local gossip. The food brings together the unique combination of western and eastern cuisine, sometimes quirky and bizarre but working a charm on the hearts of its diners: That is what Cha Chaan Teng in Holborn stems from.
In a more upmarket way. The setting is typical of a 'cha chaan teng' and that vibe comes across as I walked in. The chairs are made of leather and the diner is sat towards the back of the restaurant. The nearer front is decorated and furnished with intimate as well as social friendly seating for happy hour cocktail time. Although cocktails are not a scene for the typical 'cha chaan teng', this Cha Chaan Teng excels in it. I am also impressed with the big round table set next to the open kitchen. I could picture those 'cha chaan tengs' in the Hong Kong TVB dramas that I grew up watching. Hardly a romantic place for couples in Hong Kong but here at Cha Chaan Teng London, is possible.
Food in their words were, “Our food is a playful fusion of East and West serving comforting Chinese classics alongside some curious but time-honored 'cha chaan teng' staples all delivered with a whimsical twist”. Well after those impressive cocktails, I am full of eagerness to find out how whimiscal these Cha Chaan Teng dishes are to be.
The service was very attentive and I am impressed with the knowledge that the staff had. Milky tea was also served at the end of the meal. An accompaniment that would never be missed in a Cha Chaan Teng – but I politely gave it a miss.
Cha Chaan Teng is capable of serving up a feast. A meal that fills the belly, and impresses in certain ways. A good party place for large groups of people. A few hit and miss dishes but I would definitely know how and what to order should I do visit again. A posh Chinese takeaway indeed.
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