Another week, another soft launch. I’m really enjoying trying London’s new dining spots and this week it was Cha Chaan Teng in Holborn. From the moment you walk in you can feel the touch of retro dining in Hong Kong with the colourful lighting, marble top booths and urban art.
The large underground space is quite surprising as the restaurant entrance is fairly narrow compared to the other eateries on Kingsway. The concept is a take on the 1950s cha chaan teng cafes in Hong Kong and the menu incorporates classic Chinese dishes with a Western twist.
One of the top features of this eccentric restaurant is the separate bao bun menu. Everyone loves a good old bao bun and it’s an easy pleaser for most diners on a Chinese menu. Although I enjoyed the varied filling of the vegetarian buns which included aubergine and sweet potato, I was disappointed with the bread used. Sadly they weren’t the usual soft fluffy texture you would expect.
Overall there was a good vegetarian selection including savoury pancakes, an omelette, a large selection of sides and bao buns. I liked the contemporary vibe, but I wouldn’t say I was blown away by the food and eager to come back.
Curried egg spring rolls
Spring onion and kale pancakes
Garlic steamed rice
Every vegetarian bao bun available 🙂
Hedgehog cinnamon doughnut bun
It’s a pretty penny for a fairly average meal. The booking process had put me off slightly before because the Cha Chaan Teng reservation team were not responsive to emails. There is lots of seating available so I wouldn’t bother trying to make a reservation before. I didn’t try any of the cocktails but the bar area looked cool and spacious so if I come back it will be for drinks and nibbles rather than a meal.
Soft launch with 50% off finishes on August 31st
Location: Kingsway, Holborn
Price: £15-20 (with 50% off)
Reservations: Can book a table online via the website