Hottest day in London ever and I decide to go for Chinese - way to go braniac! Good news is they are part of a communal courtyard, shared with lots of other cool restaurants. So we got a seat outside and rocked some green tea! Service was a bit shambolic, ranging from laid back local guy to mental Chinese woman - there was even some public bickering going on between the staff - must have been the heat!
Ordered some sticky chicken and awesome prawn dumplings, most enjoyable - we also had a seafood salad which was also good. Speedy service, freshly prepared, good food!
Despite being near the touristy area the place does not offer such high quality food that I would like and tries to pass it up with low prices. The meals are fabulously presented and look really amazing but they're really nothing special. We managed to get a couple of bites of the prawn dumplings (they were actually goood) and did not even bother to order desserts.
Clearly, there are far better chinese places around so pick another one.
Amazing buzz when it opened a few years back...since, it's become a no better than Gerard street eatery serving stock fare with a take the money and run attitude.
Nice location though in quaint courtyard off Carnaby street.
I love me my Asian cuisine, so was super excited to head here with a group of friends for some post-drinking birthday dining.. I'd checked out their website and it all looked yummy.
Walked in and noticed two things: open kitchen and the prison-chic seating, reminding me of a street vendor serving up some dee-lish food. We ordered a round of appetisers, like their signature calamari which was crispy and quite good.. Our main course, however was lacking any flavour and this was around the table.
I had the wonton noodle soup - bland! 2 had the hongkong mixed vegetable noodle - mehh!! Another had the monk's vermicelli, which could be served in a hospital recovery room. Of 8 of us, only 1 enjoyed their meal which was a beef noodle soup and some ribs.
I really wanted to like this place cause it's got a warm ambience but the food was just missing any and all flavour.. I'm not going back here..
Excellent Singapore Fried Noodles.
Well, I am not a connoisseur of Chinese food but I loved the dish. Also, the tea was great as were the starters - which could have been larger portions - but I am nit-picking. The only reason for a sub-5* score is the seating. I love my backrest and the supposedly 'authentic' bench seating style broke my back by the end of the night.
Alan Yau's 'other' chain attempt Cha Cha Moon could well be described as The Danny De Vito to Wagamammas Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's like a pop up restaurant in a municipal leisure centre, and I certainly don't mean that in a good way.
Stumbling round Soho after a number of drinks we'd singly failed to find anywhere available for food and I'd singly failed to remember quite how perfect Brasserie Zedel would have been at a time like this until it was way too late.
After umpteen false starts, we finally rolled into Cha Cha Moon, somewhere I remember as a reasonable if innocuous local lunch spot from my time working in the area. Not amazing, but not bad, and at 9pm on a Friday night it was somewhere, finally, that had space for us.
The whole experience isn't one I'll be repeating, a courtesy that the food didn't extend to me.
The 'concept' and execution are frankly both lazy. A selection of generically South East Asian dishes dropped indeterminently into seemingly random categories and served as ready (seconds after ordering or minutes after we'd finished in the case of one sorry starter).
Despite the presence of a small army of wok bothering chefs in the open kitchen, the whole operation had the stench of the microwave. Nicci Polo's seafood ho fun arrived, barely lukewarm, minutes after ordering, as if it'd been hanging around from a previous mis-order. Frosty's halfhearted bun noodles were a pale and forlorn imitation of an impossible to screw up staple.
My Crispy Duck and Noodles managed to be both flabby and dry, with almost no redeeming feature except quantity, though that merely extended the torture. The noodles served alongside were undercooked and coated in a coagulating salty brown sauce, like the bastard child of a BBQ Pot Noodle and an elastic band ball.
We shared a selection of small plates, squabbling over who would (dare) finish them off. The chilli squid managed to hit every level of wrongness and thick, doughy potstickers came stuffed with what I can only describe as budget brand sausage meat. The less said about the Sichuan red chilli oil wontons the better, resembling swamp dredged body parts and putting back the cause of regional Chinese cuisine by several years.
At £20 a head including a single acrid cocktail each this isn't cheap fare. Finally seeing sense and retreating to Bar Americain in Brasserie Zedel, I was roundly mocked for not bringing the party here first. They were right.
If it was an attempt to recreate the flyaway success of Wagamammas then God knows it fails, and badly, on so many levels. It has the feel of a chain being readied for rollout but 4 years after this one arrived it's clear that this plan has fallen by the wayside. What's not clear is why this one, surrounded by some of Soho's finest eateries, has not.
So I'm very open to trying out new places, I checked this place out on Yelp Mobile and the average was 3 stars, so I thought 'well it can't be that bad then' errr boy was I wrong! Yes it looks pretty cool but that's about as far as it goes. The only thing that saved this place was the company I had with me.
I ordered a vegetable soup (if anyone has had the Saien Soba at Wagamama you'll know that the soup is OVERLOADED with different veg and has a warm flavour to it. I cannot believe that the creator as Wagamama came up with this (he should hang his head in shame).
I am about to describe the soup (hold onto your hats) Water and 3 different types of vegetable, 0 veg stock... so to sum it up, I felt like I was having veg with hot water poured over it. Which I'd like to point out cost £7.50.
First and last time I will be ever visiting this joint.
Mr Wagamama I don't get it!!
I almost dont want to give this restaurant even one star because everything about it SUCKED. We decide on this place because it was bustling and seemed to have a cool vibe on a Saturday night.(one point for that)
No one approached us where to sit so i go up to one of the servers and he looked at me a little dumbfounded. Finally someone seated us, and we sit outside. Im freezing, so I ask to sit inside. I get a dirty look and a response "go there". umm. where is there?
So we ordered a bottle of wine, the grilled chicken / egg noodles and chicken noodle soup. Soup was ok BUT sooo oily. and the chicken and egg noodles were not good at all. All in all, a pricey dinner for something that didnt even taste good. Going back? Sorry. Nope.
We already settled for Chinese food .......A friend of ours mentioned about this place a while back and now we had the chance to try it while we are in the area. .....We were lucky to get a seat right away since the place was almost full. The decor was absolutely nice and cozy....really trendy!!
We had spring rolls, Scallops w/ Mix vegetables and some special House Noodlesw/ Shitake mushrooms. and Crispy fried chicken....very good indeed and the price? Unbelievably affiordable....the service can be spotty at times but the food was good ...it made up for it.
Many good food options are included in their '1 appetizer and 1 entree' deal. This deal lasts from 2-6pm and operates all day on Sundays!
They're open until 11PM every day except Sundays, when it closes an hour earlier (10 PM).
When you hear the words Cheap Chinese, you feel your gag reflex and picture seedy dives with plastic chairs and tables and laminated A4 menu pages stuck to the wall. Cha Cha Moon is a Cheap Chinese, but not as you know it! Just off main Carnaby Street, Cha Cha Moon is a trendy and bustling joint with Wagamama (same creator) style communal seating, ensuring a brisk turnover at lunch, so get there before 1pm.
What's drawing west end office workers in their droves is the price; meals start at as little as £3.50. Order plates of noodles heaped with seafood, chicken, beef or dim sum tasters and leave with plenty of change out of a tenner.
Service can be a little too get 'em in and get 'em out at times and don't even think about showing up with only half your party. Unfortunately just like Wagamama, it operates on the whatever is ready first is delivered to the table policy, so you can end up watching your fellow diners eat as your empty tummy rumbles. With a very limited vegetarian menu, this wouldn't be my frequent haunt but it sure hits the spot for cheap, tasty eats.
Cha Cha Moon used to be a lot cheaper... and the food is really just mediocre. It was a nice stop if you were looking for some extremely cheap eats, I mean, I guess it's not thaaat expensive still, but for where the prices are headed, I'd rather go to something in Chinatown or even a Wagamama.
The seating is very no-frills, and the open dining room can mean that it gets quite noisy. Don't go here for a date, you won't be able to hear anything the person across from you is saying.
It wasn't terrible, but I'd rather find something new than go back.
After a friend recommended Cha Cha Moon, we decided to try this place out after long day of shopping in Oxford Street. It was an early Saturday evening and the place was half empty. We were offered seats outside but we chose to sit inside. We ordered chicken dumplings and pak choi for starters followed by tofu and aubergine lao mein, and crispy noodles with shredded chicken.
The chicken dumplings were horrible. We've had much better in chinatown. Skin was too thick and doughy, and the filling lacked any flavor. The crispy noodles was also disappointing. Also lacked any taste and sauce was probably just a mix of soy sauce and water. I believe I had a total of six to eight shreds of chicken in my dish. The pak choi was the only average dish along with the tofu and aubergine lao mein but still felt they lacked something.
Altogether an awful meal and won't be taking any more advice from that friend who recommended again! Definitely won't be coming back here again. I'd advise people to take a short trek down to Chinatown for much better food.
Hungry in the West End? Always, after shopping. Cha Cha Moon was a rare discovery for such a commercially consumer driven area...hidden away off bustling Carnaby Street, is a noodle bar so hip, blink and you'll miss it. This is for those in the know.
Set out like a posho version of good ol' faithful Wagamama's, this joint is bursting at the seams with charm and cosiness. The lighting is slightly to dim and makes you feel all heady and pissed but the menu's are printed well so no eye strain complaints here. Now, when I come here I am boring and stick to my faithful Singapore noodles and instead mix things up with different sides each time. Best way to go. I had some spicy chicken dumplings and these were so succulent I wanted to stab my fair fiancée for his helpings. I didn't however but it was his birthday.
For prices, this is beyond reasonable for such a tourist trap, cheap as it could be. Food is fresh, served quickly with perhaps a dash of haste but this is the way of Asian cuisine. I had a Black Cherry Soda to wash it down and loved it so much I inherited the bottle and it now lives, on display, in my kitchen.
To summarise, go there immediately but don't tell everyone...especially out of towners....let's keep this gem to ourselves. Ahem.
Cha Cha Moon? Cha Cha Swoon more like! I haven't stopped thinking about my meal there since I had it!
I had the crispy duck lao mian as a main and Szechuan wontons and fried prawn dumplings on the side. I shared, of course, in case you were thinking "wow, this girl eats a lot!" ...I do, as it goes, but I digress....
The pile of crispy duck was huge and came with noodles and cucumber. The first time I visited Cha Cha Moon I had the crispy noodles with shredded chicken which was also tasty but I preferred the duck. The sides were a-maz-ing and if you're here you should definitely try a few different ones as all around me people's meals were looking delicious.
The set-out is similar to Wagamama with long shared tables and a huge open-plan kitchen, but Cha Cha Moon doesn't have that 'chain' feeling of Wagamama. It has low lighting, a lovely big outside dining area and large glass doors usually left open on a nice evening.
I would definitely recommend Cha Cha Moon if you're in the area. It's affordable and tasty - win win!
I usually like my Chinese food in less "fancier" (aka more genuine.. it's like trying to sell me pretty Mexican food) establishments, but gave this spot a try due to a friend's suggestion.
Ordered the turnip cake, bbq duck soup noodle, and the xo vermicelli. Turnip cake was surprisingly not disappointing, and in terms of taste and quality, I was reasonably satisfied with a Chinese place in Carnaby Street. Everything is £5+, which is all right, but if you really want Chinese in all its ridiculous glory, go to My Old Place on Middlesex Road.
The IKEA of food?
Looks great, costs next to nothing, but little substance. At first glance, the concept is totally cool. An ultra modern, trendy interior with Chinese food at bargain prices.
However, I've been a few times now and the food is totally hit or miss, sorry Mr Yau. Yeah, I've had the rare amazing plate, but most of the food I've had was lacking. Lacking in taste and substance, that is, but seemingly loaded with salt, sugar and other fillers. Plus vegetarians will find surprisingly limited options. And the service... well, that's the evenings entertainment, if you have the patience. I've had things forgotten off our order, dishes switched around, and the occasional mystery starter that we never ordered. Truly humorous, and in an odd way it added to the lively fun of the experience.
I think for this price range, it's probably what one could expect. Perhaps it's the cool interior and location that inflates expectations. It's worth a go for lunch. Oh, and try the imported sodas and drinks.
To put simply, I like this place. I liked it even more when everything on the menu was £3.50. But still, it's still a pretty good place to dine at for something quick, easy, but different.
I've been here a few times. Avoid busy periods or you could end up waiting in a queue. The restaurant resembles the seating plan of Wagamamas, so it's not exactly the kind of place you would go on a date. It's more of a social get together kinda place.
I'd say experiment with the menu to find out what you like. My favourite is the 'Steamed taro cake' as a side, 'Seafood ho fun' for the main, and definitely 'Guava Collins' as my drink (non-alcoholic cocktail). The down-side to the menu however is that is does not offer any dessert.
Overall, thumbs up from me.
Long due for a re review... So far so blah.
Well urm, I ordered the Singapour Char Keow Teu because that was what I felt like. I know this was advertised in the menu but urm... why was there chinese sausages in the noodles? Dude I've had char kewo teu all over the world and you are only the people who served it with chinese sausages. And just because I can't spell the name of the dish doesn't mean I don't know what it is supposed to taste like- and random bits of fried eggs, fried fish cake and CHINESE SAUSAGE?!? is definitely a first and it was not appreciated.
Otherwise, service was very efficient and they did get me in and out in quite a relaxed manner in 25 mins (as requested).
The only thing was that I seemed to have shared the restaurant with a gaggle of hyenas. But I guess that wasn't your fault.
I guess Cha Cha Moon is just one if those things that just doesn't gel with me...
One last thing: What's with the deliberately cheap crockery? Do you think giving us cheeeep chinese plates mean that you make us feel the food is cheaper? Nope. Also invest in better chopsticks. Having to rub your chopsticks together is so RUDE even when dining alone but I was scared I was going to get splinters in my mouth.
This place is one of the cheapest eats in London and is a recent find of mine. The prices are really hard to believe given the location and décor of the restaurant. Cha Cha Moon hasn't been open for very long and yet the lunch time queues indicate that it is a firm favourite with workers in the area. A pot of Oolong tea is £1.50 and is more than enough for two people with limited time, I recently tried the lemon tea which I recommend you order with a shot of honey as it can be a little bitter, but with honey, it is excellent.
So far, the chargrilled duck noodles in soup and the Taiwanese beef noodles are my favourite dishes. Spring rolls are good as well, as the pastry is not too thick and the filling is tasty plus any dumplings they make are fresh and delicate. Be cautious if you are more fussy about the quality of your meat, that because the meals are cheap (averaging out at £.350 per dish), you are not going to get the best cuts but it is worth the price you pay.
The turnover is pretty quick as it is a quick eat noodle bar, so rest assured if you are queuing, you don't be for long. The staff understandably are prompt however they could work on their customer service a little more, but if you ask for anything, it will be delivered quickly. Everything here is pretty fast paced, the food, the service and the rate you are eat and leave, but a meal for two with non alcoholic drinks can cost £10, which is one of the cheapest you will find in London.
My experience at Cha Cha Moon was one filled with a sense of deja vu. Very similar to Wagamama, I think it is a good option for lunch/ quick post work dinner. Although the food was good, it's not something that I would ever crave, or not be able to do without.
Long bench style seating allows for big groups, and you are often seated in close proximity to other diners. The staff are efficient and accommodating without being overly friendly. The open style kitchen is busy and entertaining if that sort of thing appeals to you; and the food is brought out as and when each order is ready and is served in large portions. Main courses are priced between £6 - £8 and there are plenty of options to choose from. I had the Szechuan Chicken Noodle soup and although good; I think my friends may have ordered better options (Thai chicken curry, Singapore Fried Noodles, Chargrilled Chicken Lao Mian). Our group of four also shared a plate of the Spring Onion Pancake, Steamed Broccoli and Chinese Basil Calamari, for sides.
No frills, no fuss - Cha Cha Moon is a good option for a low key meal.
Big Yau fans, we're die hard Yauatcha-ites. He's really hit the mark with Cha Cha Moon. He's married the cheap-eats concept of Wagamama with the great taste of his finer restaurants and, in such a horrific economic environment, who wouldn't want to spend no more than 5.50 per dish and only need two dishes!
We went two days in a row: the first day was awesome, we hit all the right dishes and fell in love. The second day we weren't so hot on it, but still loved the concept. I think that this restaurant works once you figure out your favorite dishes, and if you don't want to pay more than 10-15 quid to go out for a good, informal dinner out.
The first night I had the Taiwan beef soup (sounds better on the menu), the spring rolls, the braised shitake mushrooms, and my wife had the XO Noodles. Very tasty and perfectly portioned (the waiter said 1 noodle dish and 1 side would suffice).
The next night we had the BBQ Duck soup and the taro cake. I wasn't blown away by the duck (the broth was fairly tasty and the duck was grilled and tasted nice) and won't be having the Taro cake again.
Definitely tipping the balance in favor of good quality, tasty and inexpensive eats while the world crashes down around us...!
I have eaten here many times now since it first opened and I'm definitely a big fan.
Some excellent and reliable dishes (eg singapore noodles, wonton soup noodle, szechuan wontons). Also if they still have the crispy mango chicken on the specials menu, try that, it's addictive.
One or two other dishes are not as successful (eg the seafood ho fun which I found to be too glutinous and the noodles and sauce were too glued together and too slippery to eat with chopsticks).
Always fast and efficient. Even on a crowded Friday evening if you have two people we never have to wait more than 5 minutes for a table. I like the no nonsense approach: take your order, food comes, eat and then ready to go. They are always prompt in coming to your attention for ordering and when finished.
I know some people seem to get upset that they bring dishes whenever they are ready vs. in a strict sequence of starter, main course etc so you have to get over that. It's just different dishes of food which you can eat and enjoy, not a formal dinner. Personally it doesn't bother me one bit.
Don't expect some sort of candle lit romantic dinner here. It's a quick turnaround fast paced place with a great Soho buzz. The perfect place to drop into to if you are in western Soho and want to eat somewhere quickly and well without having made a reservation, especially at the weekend. The toilets are good too - modern and clean which is always a good sign for me at a restaurant.
Seating is at long benches shared with other diners. Moderate noise level from conversation but not too loud and no annoying music to compete with the conversation either. There is an outdoor seating area also in the courtyard at the back.
A solid 4 stars for me (perhaps even 4.5) for all round consistency of standards, great food, efficient service, great value, and buzzy ambience.
Cha Cha Moon is a sleek and contemporary asian eatery nestled on a side street just off the shopping madness of Carnaby street. I popped in by accident not knowing what is was and after seeing that it was packed, decided I'd give it a shot.
About the coolest thing about the place is its beer hall / row seating setup. Forget the privacy of individual tables. It's long tables, benches and bumping elbows with the people to the left or right. Unless of course, you're eating alone and you're relegated to the perimeter table where you get to watch folks eating... insert *wah *wah sound effect.
Service is friendly albeit a little bit all over the place. Putting in an order or getting service was a task on it's own. I took the server's recommendation to try the Crispy duck lao mian. Fried crispy but juicy on the inside, the duck was delicious. Add a little chili paste and you're golden. The accompanying noodles and soup though, were a little bland. And really, what's with the noodles being glued together? I hope they rethink how they server the noodles because this dish could be so much more.
Overall, I thought the food was very good and reasonably priced considering it is London. I'm thinking about the duck already... damn.
So we rolled in here last Sunday afternoon after spending a few hours at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. None of us had been there before, and because we had been to most places on the small side street, we gave it a shot.
Really good atmosphere, terrible service. I am guessing because it's located in a touristy area it can be expected.
I ordered the Beef Ho Fun, which was really good. My girlfriend ordered one of their Lao Meins and she nor I liked it. Other two companions both ordered great dishes ranging from Roast Duck to their Chicken Fried Rice.
Cha Cha Moon I do have one item of high praise - the greatest name for a cocktail I think I've ever seen - - Shabuya Casual. Tasted almost as good as the name.
If you're in the area feel free to try this place out, i would not travel out of my way to eat here again though -- if in Soho then just go to Chinatown.
Cha Cha Moon is the latest restaurant from Alan Yau, who started Wagamama and owns Yautcha and Hakkasan. Apparently the theme/concept is Hong Kong street food so all the main dishes are super cheap.
I've been twice and neither time was the food particularly great, though tasty enough and with the prices I suppose you can't expect too much. The last time I went I had a drink called Ginger Sprite which was really good, and with what I hear from friends I get the impression the drinks are the best bit about the place, even if they aren't particularly cheap. The decor is fairly swish and the seating is on rows of benches on long rows, which emphasizes nature of the place.
Whilst the food is not amazing if you're in central London alone or with friends and fancy taking a break for a quick meal it is worth a stop, particularly as the menu has some things on it I haven't seen elsewhere.
I've been here a couple of times, and absolutely loved it every time.
I'm not sure if the prices have gone up yet - apparently the initial 'half price' menu, where everything is about £3 was only for an opening few weeks while the restaurant got established, so I'm guessing prices have gone up to about £7 - still cheap for Central London - by now.
There's always a queue out the door - a sign of it's overwhelming popularity - but if you're happy to wait, the line does more very quickly. Plus the glass walls into the kitchen mean you can watch the chefs at work while you wait for a table. Once inside it's all great decor and big, communal tables. Cocktails are cheap (!!) and staff efficient and lovely. Meals arrive very quickly and I've tried most of them on the menu and can vouch that they're all super tasty! The dumplings are my personal favourites.
Super cool, it's not the place to really linger for hours, but I've never found staff keen to kick us out.
Whether you're wearing this season's Prada or last season's Primark, Cha Cha Moon attracts the young, the old, the chic and the shopping-less... all for the love of flavorful food! This wonderfully laid back restaurant is accessible to all, despite Cha Cha Moon's notable W1 postcode next to Carnaby Street. Each dish starts around only £4.50!
The bright ceiling lined with large beams of bamboo release a gentle and refreshing mist. Incense burns in each corner to ignite your senses and prepare your palette for a delicious and healthy variety of traditional Chinese cuisine. The seating area is designed for patrons to dine together on communal tables, encouraging polite conversation among dining neighbors. When eating at Cha Cha Moon, any and everyone fresh off the sidewalks of London feels like family!
Patrons return to Cha Cha Moon for Singapore Fried Noodles, Peking Duck and fresh squeezed drinks such as the famed Guava Collins and Wha Lulu. Cha Cha Moon's outdoor patio is the perfect setting for rest and relaxation during balmy summer nights. Families are welcome and £10 set menus are available from 2-6pm.
I used to come here back when all dishes were £3.50, and it seems that i am still coming back! The layout of the restaurant is just like Wagamamas, although it isn't as clinical, there is nice low cieling with cool low lamps above the tables. There is a really friendly atmosphere and a hustle and bustle about the place, which is great weather you are with a partner, a mate or a group of friends. The food is quick, very yummy and great value for money.
If you go i recommend the duck, which is delicious and very filling. If your in the area you should try it at least once, you won't regret it.
Sacred Teas was too packed for a chill convo so we decided to hop next door to this Wags style Chinese noodle place.
A description of my expectations is as follows: low. When it comes to Asian food outside of Asia, and on this side of the Atlantic, it can only rest in this general region....which always means that I will NEVER be disappointed. Strate-ger-y at its finest (George dubya Bush)
Had my comfort dish of choice, beef ho fun, along with the green onion pancakes and some spring rolls. I was already won over before the meal began since our Tsingtao's turned out to be 40s and a lovely plate of chilli sauce met me at my table. Oh chilli sauce, how you can brighten any establishment... hearts.
The flavors were all there, and although the green onion pancake was not the most authentic....it was still tasty. Seriously, as long as things taste good, the replication element becomes slightly irrelevent.
Have heard through the grumbling vines that the prices have gone up, but £32 for two including starters and 40s is FIONE by me. Let's go back!!!
You can't even buy a sandwich or a starter in central London for the introductory £3.50 prices on all food at Cha Cha Moon. To sit in a busy restaurant just off Carnaby Street after a credit crunching month spent scraping my pennies together to buy 25p noodles was not only a luxury but a huge pleasure. I wouldn't have cared if they had served poo on a plate just as long as they let me in, which they did. For the more fastidious food critics out there, it might not be quite up to standard, but then, it is only £3.50 for a meal.
There is something quite communist and comforting about the knowledge that each diner shares the same trait of either extreme tightness or extreme poverty. The waiting staff had clearly been briefed on this and were extra friendly, as if to assure us all that we were not lesser people for eating at Cha Cha Moon.
I had the Singapore fried noodle which was pleasant if slightly bland and a red wine, which came in a sort of fancy test tube but was unfortunately sour and cheap tasting. It was a lovely evening apart from the proximity to other diners which can't be avoided in these kind of restaurants but did result in me having to stop my own conversation in order to listen to the woman next to me ranting about her terrible luck with men.
Cha Cha Moon is a great place to get some lunch while shopping nearby. It has a similar set-up to Wagamama in that everyone sits at communal tables. But whereas Wagamama is bright, white and cheerful, Cha Cha Moon is more warm, cozy and snug. The decor is all wood and low lighting. You would have no idea from outside. It's like finding hidden treasure just off Carnaby St.
While Wagama is a ramen/noodle joint, Cha Cha Moon does a whole array of casual Chinese food. If you go after 2 PM you can partake of their afternoon special, a dish and side (from a set of choices) for £10. We had:
Char-grilled chicken lao mian (main)
Szechuan wonton (side)
Spring onion pancake (side)
Cha cha mooli (side)
The portions are generous so there's no need to get both a main and side unless you're really hungry. I decided to order two sides for lunch and it was more than enough. The lao mian was okay. The sides were very good. The Szechuan wonton were pan fried dumplings with a spicy dipping sauce. The spring onion pancake wasn't what I expected. It was more stuffed than mixed into the batter than I expected, but still very good. The mooli was also excellent. I highly recommend the sides here.
This is my favorite spot to have lunch when shopping in the area. I'm a huge fan of the £10 special from 2-6pm. It's an absurdly good deal: you get a choice of 1 main and 1 side from a set menu. Last time I got the Singapore Fried Noodles and Chicken dumplings called 'Guotie' that are made fresh daily. The off-peak hours for the special also means it's much less crowded (it can get ridiculously noisy with a queue to wait during regular lunch & dinner times).
You can check out the set menu special on their website: chachamoon.com/food/set-…
I had been intrigued by the premise of Cha Cha Moon (by Alan Yau, creator of Wagamama and Busaba Eathai). I liked the idea of Asian fast food, tarted up a bit for Soho punters. Then I read a hatchet job review by Giles Coren that was so dismissive and negative that I changed my mind about going.
Then, when my sister wanted to meet me there one evening, it was safe to say that my expectations were extremely low. So, as is the way, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. It was very cheap, many dishes were £4.00 or £5.00. When I saw them on the menu I presumed that to offset the cost, the portions would be tiny. They weren't. I made the mistake of over ordering, and was stuffed early on in the meal.
I was pleased to see something that I rarely see on a Chinese menu - Taro. This is a starchy root that tastes a bit like a crumbly potato. I'm sure I am not explaining it well because that doesn't sound very nice, but I ate it all the time in Hawaii, where it originates from, and done correctly, with herbs and spices, it is delicious. It was very good here, so much so that my sister and I had our forks clashing as we fought over the last crumbs.
The restaurant was nicely laid out, it looks expensive, even though the food is not. We were sat up at a long bar which runs along the top of the restaurant. From this vantage point we could people watch to our hearts content. I may well be back very soon.
I don't care what anybody says about the quality of the food, the queues or the standard of service. Cha Cha Moon is amazing. There are so many restaurants in the area that claim to be 'cheap eats' (Leon, The Diner) yet having worked just off Regent Street for a few years, I know that it is pretty impossible to get a lunch time meal for under 8 pounds. I went to Cha Cha Moon on Saturday for lunch and yes we had to wait ten minutes to get a seat, and had to ask twice for a glass of water, but when the bill came it was only 10 pounds for 2 people and we left utterly happy and full of food.
The cocktails are delicious and so beautifully presented- once I ordered a cocktail that had a hibiscus flower at the bottom- but to keep it cheap and under 5 pounds, we got tap water. My favourite thing about this restaurant is the feeling of smugness you get when leaving, having spent less on your delicious meal, than on a Big Mac Meal. Ha!
We had the crispy duck to start ,which came with an enormous portion of noodles on the side and a miso soup. and the XO noodles and the singapore noodles. It was a lot of food to share between 2 people, and we probably only needed 1 dish each. The duck was wonderful- a big portion of sweet. crispy duck and unlike in most chinese restaurants, they had removed the fat from the breast. The XO noodles were a bit sickly and I was glad we had the SIngapore version as well as they were full of vegetables and prawns.
My 2nd visit to CCM, and pushing it to the limits by visiting an hour before closing on a Sunday. Am greeted by a young man who is flipping some keys and raising his eyebrows as he leans towards me, as if I'd said something I haven't - not the best start.. The serving staff are a bit more friendly and certainly fast and efficient.
What saves CCM's staff is of course the food. It's heaven sent. I had the Tofu/Aubergine Lao Mian with the red Tierra Alta Cabernet Sauvignon, and off the specials, the Silk Road Parcels. It's almost a big meal for one and the Parcels are easily shared between 2-4 people. If you can, they're so delicious I can see sharing being a problem.. I pray this gets added to the regular menu! The Lao Mian's only setback is the obviously stiff noodles that's clearly been under a lamp a while, otherwise a totally eye rolling dish.
Went along here last night and I was impressed. Alan Yau managed to come up with something new and exciting when he brought a pimped up version of the Japanese Raman style noodle bar to London with Wagamamas, and here his inspiration is Hong Kong market noodle bars.
Similar to Wagamamas in terms of being arranged in benches - there is a bit more space for your elbows and its darker, rather than the impossibly bright lighting of some Wagamamas. There is also room for you to eat on your own without feeling quite so much of the proverbial sore thumb as they have some tall bars and stools which seemed pretty busy with people stopping off for a bargain meal on their way home.
The promotion they are running with at the moment with everything at £3.50 is ridiculously good value for money - though worth noting they charge the same for a main course as a starter (or side as they call it here) at the moment. The food is not only good value - but also tastes good. Drinks choice is pretty limited with just one beer - Harbin - and a few cocktails and wines. The Wen Wen cocktail is very fruity and not very vodkayand Harbin is pretty average beer but fine.
It's obviously all about dwell time here and getting people through as quick as possible. The staff are politely and unobtrusively get you on your way swiftly by picking up everything that's finished within about 10 seconds so you suddenly realise your table is clear and you may as well get the bill. You won't be hanging around here for a leisurely two hour meal.
The atmosphere is really nice in there - I enjoyed the evening and it's quite fun looking in at the chefs hard at work in a kitchen that appears to have fallen out of the Death Star and landed in W1.
I bloody love Cha Cha Moon. I was introduced to it on Thursday and went back on Friday.
All the dishes are £3.50 - that probably won't last too much longer. That is the main beauty of this place.
There are downsides though - massive queues after 7pm (but they do shift fairly quickly), frenetic staff, dishes come whenever they are ready so often you'll end up with one or two of your party still hungry by the time you've finished your dish, portions are not huge (but neither are they tiny).
The salted lemon sprite was a taste revelation. I thought I would hate it but I found it grossly addictive.
If you don't mind the rough and tumble and the haphazard service then this is a tremendously good value, trendy place in the middle of Soho to get your chops around some noodles.
Fantastic food but inconsistent quality.
I do love it and it is inexpensive which is perfect for the area which tends to be very trendy and expensive. Wonderful food though.
I heard so much about this place, that i had to visit and see what the fuss is about. There is normally a queue out the door, but food and service comes quick (think wagamama).
Food was ok, i personally wouldn't visit again in a rush, as I have an allergy to shellfish it was pretty tough to find something on the menu without prawns in (good job i asked aswell as even the chicken dishes had prawns in which wasn't listed on the menu).
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