27 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PR
Telephone: 020 7287 6578
Your blood’s burning, head’s spinning. Your body is capable of such unbelievable moves, even Elaine in Seinfeld would be impressed. You’re ready for more heart-stopping boogeying dance action on the club’s floor. You feel as if you can dance till dawn. But alas…the lights are flickering on and off…the club wants you out. You step outside after waiting for what seems like an eon coordinating your inebriated troops together. The refreshing cold air wacks you in the face…and instantly you feel….hungry. Where do you go at 3:30 in the morning if you're around China Town/Soho? If you’re like most of the country, you’d probably go for a greasy burger and fries or even a soggy kebab. Not us. Let me enlighten you. Dodgy name and equally dodgy neon lights emblazoned across the restaurant’s shop front. Not a place to bring your first date. Believe it or not, it gets quite busy about 2-3am…it’s not unusual to queue if you have a large group. They serve quick, no-nonsense Hong-Kong style food.
The rice or noodles (dry or soup) with roast duck, chicken, char-siew (pork) are all good. If you’re feeling more then peckish (and the prince consort always does), you can order a plate of rice with all three meats. I usually go for pork and thousand year old egg congee. Doesn’t sound nice but it’s a great combination and I rationalise that I’m hydrating as well as nourishing myself. The thousand year old egg is actually a duck’s egg preserved over one hundred days giving it a very ancient colour. I’ve had better congee elsewhere (smoother) but this always serves it purpose in the wee hours of the morning.
The Man likes to go for Nau Lam Mein. The best I can describe this in the most non-threatening way is that it is a steaming bowl of braised beef tendon and tripe with egg noodles.
I was there on a weekday afternoon with the prince consort. We were up on the 3rd floor of the restaurant. There was a Chinese painting up on the wall depicting ancient times of the Manchu dynasty. Manchu men at that time had long pigtails, but curiously felt the need to shave the first half (from the forehead to the vertex). I had to look this up. Apparently this type of hairstyle is called the Chinese queue. Originally Chinese men were forced to adopt this hairstyle as sign of submission and respect to the Qing dynasty, but eventually it was deemed fashionable and was worn till about 1928. The Manchu warriors, who spent a lot of time on horses, wore it in this way to prevent blockage of vision. The braid at the back could be coiled and provided a cushy support when resting. Don’t say you don’t learn anything from this website.
Anyway, back to why I was talking about the painting. In the midst of this scene with Manchu men scuttling around, there’s a guy walking around in a brown robe. He looks very different from all the other men. Prince consort thinks he had blond hair and is a whitey. I think he is Japanese. Judge for yourself.
Anyway, I’ve lost track. They have heaps of dishes here ranging from “I have my own dish, don’t touch it” to “Lets everybody share” dining. Students flock here as the prices are very reasonable, about £5-6 for noodle or rice dishes, a pound or two more for big main dishes. A great place to starve off a monster hang-over the next morning. Pretty much a guaranteed remedy.
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