When Alan Yau open any new food venture, you will usually be able to find it in a food review as it seems to be on food critics list. Cha Cha Moon (查查月亮) was no different when it open last year. Even before it opened there was already press that he had two new ventures to be open soon and one of them was the concept of a Chinese cafe diner place and finally it did…..he presented us with Cha Cha Moon.
I remember when it first open last year it was in food review and friends telling that Alan Yau new restaurant Cha Cha Moon had an opening promotion of this place that all dishes, including mains all for £3.50 (excluding drinks). Now with this price how could people not try, because Alan Yau’s is famous known for his high range priced restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha.
When I read the many review back last year about Cha Cha Moon, it was very mixed….there was pros and cons. But I prefer to try it myself…see and taste it for myself. I was not expecting it to be all that good, because I do feel that it just another branding, although Alan Yau’s do create thing with a way of uniqueness. It would the presentation that be beautiful…a wow factor but tasting it might not give you the big WOW!
His chosen location is Carnaby Street, just on one of the side road where there are bars and pubs. The outside of the restaurants looked more like a club or bar…who would of thought it was a place to dine. It had that Yauatcha glass theme, look closely you can see the kitchen through the colourful windows. This theme continue all the way inside. So while you queuing you can stand and view what is going in the kitchen through the pink glass window. Inside was a Budsai Eathai theme concept but with the mixed of Wagamama concept of the long canteen tables and the exception of high bar table (which I have set many occasion. But love it because I get the view of the whole place and facing right to the open kitchen).
We were eager to try as many food on the menu but when the few times we went when it was just recently open had a few snacks which we were told sold out or they are not doing them anymore (or at the moment?!!!)……Mmmmmmm I wonder what it is like now. It was disappointed at the time, because we wanted to try the XO Cheung fun and Beancurd roll but each time we go they did not have it. Instead, what we have tried are:
Taiwan beef noodle – which was braised beef (牛腩) and it had turnips (蘿蔔). This dish was not bad, but would had preferred the beef and turnips to be a bit more softer.
Char sui mian – I was told that this was not as good as HK but reminded him of the Char Sui in HK.
Jasmine tea smoked chicken lao mian – This was my favourite dish on the menu, the chicken was smooth and it was best eaten with the baked salt and spring onion mash that came with it. As with all lao mian you get the plate of noodle and you actually get the soup to go with it. I did read reviews that the noodle with beansprout was plain. But it taste so much better mixing it with the spring onions mash.
Szechuan wonton – which was wonton in spicy sauce that was one of the side dishes we ordered. The sauce was nice that it had a kicking taste!
Zhajiang mian – which is pork in fermented soya bean with cucumbers, red chilli served on cu mian. This was spicy, but not spicy that it was unbearable. Although, I did skipped eating the fresh chilli, as I did wanted to end up having to get waiters giving me numerous iced cold water!
Chilli prawn lao mian – you do not feel it being spicy but it get more spicy the more you have of it. The prawn was nice and like the combination of mushrooms in there, with the strong taste of curry. This was a nice dishes if you did not wanted a soup noodle but a noodle that was not dry.
As at the time with dishes being £3.50, we also called side dishes to go with our main, everytime we went there. These included Choi Sum with oyster sauce, Garlic Chinese chive, Spring Onions pancake, Spring rolls, Guotie (was basically pan-fried dumpling and Cha Cha Moolin (which was stir-fried turnip).
On the drink side, they on the menu HK iced tea and even Vitasey soya milk. But I went for the cocktails – the Wen Wen alcoholic cocktail is my favourite. It was refreshing and so summer feel with the mix of raspberries and peach. The other alcoholic cocktail I have also tried is the Shibuya Casual, which is a mixture of Lychee, sake and martini bianco. As the name says it look Japanese with the combination of the drink coloured white with red raspberry. The taste was strong Lychee and it felt casual and warm……exactly named right as Shibuya Casual 🙂
With numerous visits we had, it was up and down in service and the food. If it was not £3.50 then I doubt I would have gone so many time. I wonder what it is like now? Is it stil £3.50, with the raising food cost these day?
Cha Cha Moon (查查月亮)
21 Ganton St,