Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cha Cha Moon


Like wagamama, Cha Cha is based on the concept of a dai pa don. There is a good but small mixture of soup noodles, lao mian and wok dishes, as well as a scattering of sides and drinks. Each dish is prized at £3.50 and verges on the small side, but that’s the great thing about it. You can eat here and finish your dish without feeling overly bloated, and if you are still hungry, you can always order two!!

Out of several visits (2 of which occurred on the same day…hey, at £3.50, you can actually afford to eat here twice!!), we tried:

  • Roast Duck Noodles - roast duck, wolfberry, pak choi,wonton noodle - the soup tasted fresh and a bit medicinal, and the roast duck was of top quality, very flavoursome, and the noodles still have bite.
  • Singapore Char Kway Teow - Chinese salami, fish cake, clam, Chinese chive, beansprout, egg, hor fun - lovely and beautiful wok breath, with the light balance of soy in the sauce. the noodles were silky smooth, with shallots rounding out the dish.
  • Penang Prawn Noodle - prawn, egg, beansprout, lomian - the most disappointing dish, possibly let down by the sub-quality prawn here. They were quite generous with 4 big pieces of prawn. Unfortunately, the meat was mushy and the broth was too light in flavour. You also only get half an egg and not enough chilli kick.
  • Zhajiang Mian - pork, fermented soya bean, cucumber, red chilli, mian - now this has the right amount of chilli kick, and extra whole chilli if you don’t have enough. Definitely better than previous versions of this I’ve had, as this is much less oily (don’t get me wrong, it’s still oily, but just less). The sauce was fiery and this was presented with big slices of cucumbers instead of the matchsticks, which I quite enjoyed.
  • - I didn’t personally try this but I heard it was great.

Rating - 7.5


You can’t see the restaurant from the outside, it’s just a small discrete entrance. The restaurant is in a vast open space, with an open kitchen on one side and a bar at one end. Tables are arranged a la Wagamama, with 5 long tables each seating about 20 filling the space. Inside it’s completely dark, with the lights coming from the open kitchen and the sliding doors to the outside courtyard seating area. Dark purple is the dominating colour, with the waiters all donning purple t-shirts reflecting “the moon”. Very cool yet functional, just don’t expect the sun.

Rating - 2


Varied. When we got there for lunch, it wasn’t that busy, so service was swift and our food delivered quickly. It also meant that the waiters weren’t busy so that one of them actually had time to tell me I wasn’t allowed to take photos, for reasons he did not explain. Needless to say, I ignored him and kept snapping away.

For dinner it was a different ball game, the place was full. We were told to wait in the queue, only to find another couple got shown to a table right after us. Of course I was not pleased, but they rectified the situation straight away. Like Wagamama, the dishes are delivered in whatever order the kitchen decides to cook them. Which of course never works well if you have multiple people dining, but ensures that the food is reasonably fresh, but sometimes mean you just sit there and watch other people eat. Luckily, we had an extremely alert waiter, who managed to follow up on all my orders which were very very slow indeed. I admired his multi-tasking skill, his ability to remember and do many things and still be positive.

Rating - 3.5


For the quality, £3.50 is a very good price. How long the prices will stay that low, who knows. Just make sure you get there ASAP.

Rating - 2

Brownie Points - 15


15 - 21 Ganton Street
Phone +44 (0) 20 7297 9800

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