Gosh, I don't know where to start. And, Naomi was not exaggerating when she wrote about her experience in Tang. It was… bad. We were initially thrilled to be seated at the bar, witnessing the kitchen action, drama and the whole palaver but after ordering our food I did not think it was such a good idea. I could not wait to get out of the place. I ate in my auto pilot hungry mode so literally slurping noodles, no conversations, no exchanges of friendly glances with Naomi.
Tang aims to provide the ambience of an intimate noodle bar of the far East. This means that you can enjoy a hearty bowl soup noodles and have your beer at the same time. It sounds great and promising. I visualise a cosy and casual diner. Probably very sociable due to the outlay of bar seats and communal high table and chairs. Reservations are taken for groups of eight people or more. Otherwise, walk-ins only.
The mains are soup broths with a choice of prawn, chicken or vegetarian (starting from £10.00). Starters are fried chicken and tofu. What made Tang stood out as a noodle bar was because the food served were mostly soy based and and dairy free.
After a moment of observation in Tang, I would described the place more accurately as a self service noodle bar. Just like the food courts in Malaysia one queues, orders, pays and collects their own food. Food was served quite quickly.
Overall, the food was just so average but what made the experience unpleasant was that chaotic operation and crass response we received after we mentioned that one of our bowls of noodles was not cooked. The wheat noodles were still raw. Seating at the bar quickly became an irritant because of the self service exercise meant that the kitchen had to shout out orders and the noodles were collected from the bar. It was just constant interruption that gave me indigestion.
After a long week of work, I was longing for a casual place and a quick catch up with the girls. Tang was just not the hype and there are plenty of other soup based noodle bar like Koya Bar, Ichiryu, Kanada-ya, sasei ki, Bone Daddies...take your pick! I do not see myself as a Tang lovey.