Wing Wah Buffet

For anyone on a budget who’s fed up with the frankly rubbish cheap eateries in Greenwich town centre, try nipping along the Woolwich road just beyond the old hospital site. It’s opposite the swankily-named but really rather sinister “Glenister Gardens” – not that you’d know – there’s no name on them or anything – it’s actually just a green patch with a couple of trees – though I guess we should be grateful that it’s not another “luxury apartment” development.

The Wing Wah is one of those “eat as much as you can” places – for a set fee – usually pretty damn cheap, especially at weekday lunchtimes, you can choose from a really-not-bad-at-all-considering-the-price array of mainly fried Chinese-style food. You can keep going back until you can’t move and it stays the same price. The deal is that each person gets a plate which they fill up as much as they like with anything from noodles and king prawns to crispy duck and seaweed. It’s mainly meat-oriented but there is enough variety for a vegetarian to end up feeling just as bloated as their carnivore friends.

No plate-sharing’s allowed and, good news for those appalled at the horrid “supersize-ness” of the whole concept, there is always the threat of surcharging on wasted food (not that I’ve ever seen it carried out.)

You’re definitely seeing the price of the food reflected in the decor here – bright overhead lights, simple formica tables and serviceable catering-style chairs. Let’s face it – it’s not really first-date fare unless you’re 14. Actually, though, if you are 14 it’s GREAT first date fare, especially if you’re short as children under 1.4m high get a special rate.

The food is really not badly cooked, the service friendly and the atmosphere deservedly bustling. No room for awkward silences here. Thank heavens there wasn’t a Wing Wah Buffet when I was a student – eat here every day and you’ll be the size of a house within three months.

This is tasty food, cheap and filling. If you don’t have the time or inclination to enjoy the splendour of the sumptuous surroundings you can fill a takeaway carton from the buffet at £3.50 a pop. Recommended for students, cheapskates and – well – anyone who fancies some decent, greasy Chinese junk food (no pun intended.)

Bear in mind that the place gets VERY full so arrive early or be prepared for a wait. Staff are prepared to be helpful though – last time we were in a party of 16 excited birthday party children arrived and were accommodated with only the shortest of waiting times.

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