I had always wondered about this 70s throwback retro-looking all-purpose oriental eaterie in the centre of town. It looked pretty dodgy stuff – faded photos of the fare on offer in the window, and a row of orange plastic lampshades which are just slightly too retro so it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a conscious design choice or just something nobody ever bothered to change with the times. Nevertheless I’d seen all sorts of people going in there and wondered whether I might be missing a culinary trick.
The night we went it was indeed filled with lots of different types of people – not just the penniless students one might expect from the look of the joint. Groups of office workers poured over laminated menus armed with little notebooks where you record which dish number you fancy. There were even one or two well-heeled looking gentlemen sitting alone. My optimism rose.
The decor inside wasn’t as god-awful as it looked like it was going to be and I decided that it was, after all a design decision (however uninspiring) rather than a default setting.
The crispy seaweed and pancake rolls were actually rather good – but then I believe that they get bought-in anyway and reheated. The pancake rolls came with an odd lemony dip which while not actually unpleasant wasn’t very good either.
The mains were a total disaster. My “Dry” fried noodles were dripping with old, cheap oil and I had to fight my way through acres of the stuff to find any of the accompanying vegetables at all. I managed a half-dozen mouthfuls before feeling queasy. My companion’s all-purpose-noodley-soupy dish wasn’t entirely inedible – but again the proportion of badly-cooked noodles to any kind of piece of pork accompaniment was distinctly low. We abandoned it and went elsewhere.
My advice to anyone whose co-workers suggest a night out at Noodle Time. If you can’t persuade them to go elsewhere, which is my sincere recommendation, go for a selection of starters. It’s what I wish I had done.
Amazingly, there is actually a WORSE all-purpose-oriental restaurant in Greenwich. The food at Tai Won Mai across the road, on the corner of Creek Road is abysmal. Totally inedible, the place surviving, presumably, because it’s cheap. NO EXCUSE. STUDENTS EVERYWHERE – get your mum to buy you a book on cheap, easy bedsit cookery and save your cash.