Cha Cha Moon, Soho, rubbish

A quick lunch with Davey B today to go through a few work bits, for once I was a bit stumped on where to go but he suggested Cha Cha Moon in Kingly Court. I had heard of it but assumed it was a Ping Pong knock off as it turned out it is “influenced” more by Wagamama. Inside the décor is very Busaba Eathai and Ping Pong, lots of dark hardwood and shared tables. We were sat down straight away on the end of bench by the serving passe. I quite like this as at least I could see the food was indeed freshly cooked. I wasn’t familiar with the menu but it all appeared noodle based so at Davy B’s suggestion I went for Singapore char kway teow. This seemed to be a distant cousin of the traditional Singapore noodle but with Chinese salami instead of prawns. It was pretty tasty actually and unlike it’s key influence Wagamama the portion was about right (ie. Not too small). Davey B went for Malaysian Fujian mian which was another noodle dish but with the bigger worm like noodles, this he really enjoyed. And thus had we stuck to these dishes and our very nice jasmine tea then my review of Cha Cha moon would have been short, sweet and positive.

However there was another dish to come…as I said I wasn’t sure what to order off the menu so I saw Crispy Chilli beef, I thought that’s a pretty standard dish lets order that as a side. I love crispy Chilli beef, yes I know it’s very passé but you know what it’s tasty and fun and I always order it. However this incarnation was to bring out some of my deepest darkest food memories. It arrived at the table and looked wrong, bright fluro orange. A lot of it wasn’t very crispy, there was chilli there but amazingly it had been overcome by the liberal use of garlic and vinegar. It was awful and as I munched on it bought to the surface a memory of another meal. It was back in the 80’s where on our monthly trip to the cinema in Leicester Square my dad had eschewed the wisdom of going to proper Chinese and we ended up in a very short lived new trendy place that did Chinese food and kosher deli food, it was called “Oi Vey, Chow Mein” or something equally crass. Latke’s, salt beef and er…egg fried rice, it was monumentally dreadful but worst of all was the crispy chilli beef just like this stuff. I had buried that memory deep inside psyche thank you Cha Cha Moon for bringing it all back. As you can imagine I probably won’t come back. Though the other food was fine and at £30 for two relatively cheap….it’s just that crispy chilli beef!

Friday, May 24, 2013
Overall rating
Food 4 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7

The Lord Wargrave, Marble Arch, great pub

Little Social, Mayfair, Pricey