I know I have blogged about Wong Kei before – but a) that was quite some time ago and b) it is a London China Town institution so deserves the extra attention.
Anyone who studied in London for university knows Wong Kei and it has definitely helped many a poor, struggling London university student in its time.
My favourite thing about Wong Kei is that it is a no frills, well priced, quick and easy restaurant that serves good Chinese food. It genuinely reminds me of the small corner rice and noodle cafes in Hong Kong where the waiters and chefs are shouting at each other and throwing menus at people and slamming food on the tables and it has quite a busy, lively vibe where the waiters are even too busy to have the time to be polite to anyone – which can be comical.
If you have been to the very local cafes in Hong Kong with no English menus and roasted duck and pork hanging in the windows and what we would perceive as rude staff – then you definitely know what I mean. Obviously they do have English menus in Wong Kei but it is pretty much the same kind of vibe.
Wong Kei is a bit like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it.
The key to an enjoyable meal in Wong Kei is to a) appreciate the very low prices b) take the rude waiters light-heartedly c) get the right things on the menu.
I love Chinese roast meats on rice. This is very typical to find on most street corners in Hong Kong. This is very well priced here. I always go for the belly pork and bbq pork (Char Siu) on rice but I have a friend who love the duck and belly pork as well.
I do also love the Chinese vegetable Choi Sum. It is similar to tenderstem broccoli but instead of the flowery green top, it has long luscious dark green leaves. I order this with oyster sauce.
Then there are the noodle soups – the won ton soup being their most famous. Obviously it isn’t as silky as the ones on the street stalls in Hong Kong but it is still good and there is always something homely about having a simple broth based noodle soup.
The other options are the usual Western-Chinese dishes such a fried rice, duck pancakes, sweet and sour pork, beef in black bean sauce, deep fried spare ribs, etc – which are all good here.
I would recommend just ordering off the menu instead of getting any sort of set menu because then you can just get whatever you like and it is cheap enough to do this.
And there you have it. Wong Kei. A London China Town Institution.