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Poor value at Chinese restaurant

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,207 posts
197 reviews
Poor value at Chinese restaurant

When planning this trip I read about Chinese restaurants in London and especially about dim sum, but when I had a look at online menus I began to have doubts because the prices seemed to be a bit expensive compared to similar restaurants where I have dined in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, and Chicago. Today my wife and I ate at one near the British Museum as an alternative to waiting on a long line in the rain to get into that museum. We sat down shortly before noon, and there were only three other tables with diners. Soon many others arrived, and the place was about 3/4 full with an entirely Asian crowd. When our food arrived I was shocked at how small the portions were especially since the prices were about half again as expensive as the dishes would have been in Seattle. That's about 50% more expensive and about a third smaller.

The quality of the dim sum was just okay, nothing special. We definitely have eaten much better food in London at a much lower price. What the heck is going on here?

38 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
2,720 posts
27 reviews
11. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

He doesn't remember the name but checked online.... mmmmmmm

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,135 posts
2 reviews
12. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

Chinese food in London is different from Chinese food in New York and San Francisco and probably nothing like what they eat in China. Same with Italian food. All ethnic restaurants adapt to local tastes and no doubt it depends on where exactly the immigrant restaurant owners came from. But it sounds as if this one was doing something right if it was full of Chinese people

Cobham, United...
Level Contributor
1,965 posts
31 reviews
13. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

>>>We definitely have eaten much better food in London at a much lower price. What the heck is going on here?<<<

What's going on is that you unfortunately made a poor choice on impulse and visited a restaurant that didn't have any reviews you were able to check beforehand. We've all done it... but if you can't name the restaurant (don't you even have a credit card slip?) or provide any information about pricing, then sharing your experience doesn't do much to help anyone else avoid the same mistake.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
34,378 posts
7 reviews
14. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

“He doesn't remember the name but checked online.... mmmmmmm”


As this terrible experience was yesterday, if he feels so strongly perhaps he could go back there today and find the name.

Edited: 24 September 2018, 15:43
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4,641 posts
303 reviews
15. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

Perhaps tonight the OP should try Wong Kei.

Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
16,842 posts
18 reviews
16. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

I thought a number of the ethnic restaurants near the British Museum were Korean, not Chinese.

I know there’s at least one pretty good Italian restaurant and a truly dire one in the vicinity.

I’d go back to the former, but would avoid the latter forevermore.

You made a poor food choice. It’s disappointing and annoying. Unless there’s a name so you can express your annoyance in a review, just move on and remember the (hopefully) better aspects of your visit.

Netanya, Israel
Level Contributor
13,411 posts
29 reviews
17. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

Chinese restaurant near BM? A couple of Turkish, Corean one, etc, etc, etc, but I can't remember any Chinese in the area...

We've eaten in a few Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. Can't report about any overwhelming experience in anyone of them. Best Chinese restaurant in London by us is Y Ming, but it's located in Soho, on the Greek Street.


London, United...
Level Contributor
1,172 posts
376 reviews
18. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

We all make poor choices. But we get over it. You have to realise a restaurant in museum street is going to be a lot more expensive than one in the suburbs. I’m having Chinese for lunch in a certain place because I know from making a right choice last time. It will hopefully be the same today.

Greater London...
Level Contributor
1,476 posts
19. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

<<< but I do know about portion size and quality in other cities, and what we were served didn't measure up. >>>

Practically all the other cities you listed were in the USA and we all know the blight of over-generous portion sizes and waste in that country

Bath UK
Destination Expert
for Bath
Level Contributor
2,809 posts
69 reviews
20. Re: Poor value at Chinese restaurant

I couldn't think of a Dim Sum place near the British Museum (and am none the wiser having looked on google maps). There is a place that does an expensive set lunch on a Sunday with drinks and mains......

I suppose the biggest difference between UK and US restaurants is that Bloomsbury/Fizrovia rents and rates are sky high and restaurants are obliged to pay their staff the minimum wage (we don't have a lower "minimum tipped wage"). There is also an increasingly vocal anti-obesity campaign as well as a movement to cut down on food waste. Most Brits would find it just plain weird to ask for doggie bags for anything other than a pizza or desert from a set menu, so portion sizes will tend to be smaller.

Most restaurants display a priced menu at their door, so you can easily do a bit of research before sitting down to eat. Wishing the OP more success with subsequent meals. If you can retrace your steps/look at your receipt and write a proper review, it will help other travellers.

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