If I were only reviewing food I'd give this place 5 out of 5. Because without a doubt the food here is good, tasty and worth the asking price.
The main detraction however is ambience. My partner and I were sat downstairs in a small white box of a room, packed with tables and customers. This I can deal with, but when the number of patrons impacts the service I start to become wary.
My meal was excellent, tasty and felt authentic. However the venue for the meal lacked any ambiance or class.
I came here because of the good reviews, and my food lived up to them. The over-all experience though was tainted by the lack of ambience and friendly service. Don't get me wrong - the service was good. I just wasn't classy enough to make me smile.
In a nutshell, if you want tasty Chinese food in Chinatown you can get it here. If you want a more pleasing environment in which to experience it go elsewhere!
I usually give 4 stars for good restaurants but I will start giving 5 till yelp sorts it's self out with having more detailed review options as in a rating for ambiance, food and service etc.
Now to the review call me racist but when I go to Chinese restaurants I don't have any expectations of your European standard "good service and hygiene" it's just a cultural thing I guess.
But this so far is my favorite roast duck joint and has the sweet and sour chicken the other day and was great.
Was told by my old lecturer back at Uni ( he was Chinese obviously) if you want to know how good a Chinese cooks food is ask him to prepare it with out msg. So ye give it a go taste the difference. Ofc the pre made stuff can't have the msg omitted.
PROS - When I was little, I was allergic to duck. I would break out in hives all over my face, arms and legs. My mom told me I would just keep eating and didn't care. Thank goodness I'm no longer allergic but even if I was, the crispy roast duck pancakes served here would encourage me to keep eating regardless. The three of us ordered the duck pancakes with a half duck and salt&pepper tofu (beancurd). The duck pancakes were delectable! The half duck was served in shreds to make it easier on us to make our own pancakes with cucumber strips and onion strips. We were given the duck sauce (looks like BBQ sauce) along with a trio of spices to fully customize our heavenly duck experience.
The salt&pepper tofu was alright, but it was nothing special so I wouldn't order it again.
CONS - It's a bit spendy for the amount of duck you get but Four Seasons know they are hot shit compared to other roast duck places around Chinatown so they are "entitled" to price their duck that way ;) So the problem lies solely with me and that I should get a higher paying job to eat more duck pancakes, dammit!
Oh Chinatown, no matter what city and country I'm in the service just as bad. Can't complain I suppose, although I have to admit this was the rudest asian restaurant I've ever been to. The food however makes up for most of the crappy service. I recommend the boneless ROAST DUCK. The sweet soy sauce just PERFECTION drizzled on. Every time I'm in town I stop by Four Seasons. Though, if you do takeaway they don't give you the veggies that comes with the order when you eat in :( I'm a bit sad when i found that out. If you're bringing buggies you might be yelled at since the restaurant is small, which is really RUDE. I still have to give a 4 for that duck, coz even LA's chinatown got this beat from the get go. :)
Having spent some time in China and Hong Kong, I can honestly say this place meets the standards pretty well. It also meets the service standards, but this is the kind of place you simply go to only for the food, not necessarily for the "restaurant-experience" (this is not a place to dress up for a Saturday night).
Their roast duck, pork belly, soya chicken (in that order) are all fantastic, you can have a meat selection but make sure you order enough duck. We ordered the beef noodles and Singapore fried vermicelli with it and these are equally great.
Whether you're new to the Cantonese kitchen or have high expectations, this is the place to go to!
This place did do great Cantonese food and it's reputation in Soho and even London proceeds it, I found this place from a top off from a chef many moon ago.... but.....
Recently I took my girlfriend for the first time and it was a pretty good experience, endulging in the world famous Peking duck, crispy pork belly, soft shell crab and yummy noodles and rice. We were seated quickly and the experience was noisy but enjoyable. But somehow the noise adds the feeling of a bustling busy restaurant which is fine... So we went back a week later.
I don't think a restaurant could drop the ball any further... And they weren't even as busy as usual.... Maybe that's a sign of the times.
After 40 minutes we received our duck pancakes, the duck was nice but seemed to be dry from sitting out too long, then..... Nothing.... 20 mins later we received cold soft shell crab.... Ten minutes later Kung Po... Very tasty.... But cold.... No rice.... 10 mins later... Rice.... What's the point
No apology just an interest to take money and run. Also the pricing is higher than most Chinese restaurants so we left feeling like we paid for their reputation not there service and sadly not their food.
We won't be going back. There's plenty more tables in London serving exotic Cantonese wonderment.
LOVE IT HERE! The BBQ duck is so delicious, wonton soup is fab as is the sizzling filet. Service is quick, not overly friendly but efficient. Queues get really long so we always go early. China Town can be overwhelming but you can't go wrong here!
This is my other half's favourite haunt for roast duck. It's not hard to see why as their Bayswater branch is famous for it, they have won countless awards (and glued these to their window and walls, including newspaper clippings for you to read while you wait!)
A quick summary before we begin:- If you want tasty roast duck, come here. If you want excellent service to go with it, please look elsewhere because you will not find it here.
To elaborate, the roast duck is the juiciest duck you will ever taste. Sometimes it may be overly fatty but the fat is what makes it taste so good. The soya sauce that comes with it is really sweet and I can only imagine the amount of sugar that has gone into it. However, I cannot complain as I have a sweet tooth and generous helpings of this sauce with the roast duck makes me a happy bunny.
I usually get the roast duck for takeaway to eat at home, unfortunately the price has gone up recently, it's around £18.50 for a whole roast duck. If you are ordering takeaway please ignore the queue outside and just go straight to the till to order.
Sometimes if you come really late in the night (I actually mean 9pm) they would have sold out of roast ducks. Have no fear, they opened another branch about 3 min walk away down the end of Gerrard Street, at Wardour Street. They usually have a few roast duck hanging up even though this branch has run out.
Onto the issue of service. Inevitably you will see a queue start forming here as early as 6pm. The restaurant is tiny and there are just too many people trying to eat here all the time that you end up freezing outside while you wait. If you do manage to get a table, you will get one of these two:- get ignored by the waiter for refills of drinks, or get hurried by the waiter to pay up and leave so they can sit someone else down. If you are lucky you will get both treatments!
Tip: maybe stick with takeaways and cook your own rice at home!
Was pretty disappointed with our experience here. Firstly, I know a lot of Chinatown restaurants aren't pretty at the best of times, but the basement here really is pretty basic.
Food wise, the actual food wasn't bad, although I realise now that we stupidly ordered crispy duck when we should have gone for their famous roast duck...oh well. The real problem was that should have come first but instead they brought out our brisket stew, with no rice, so it went cold while we waited. Then the pork we ordered actually arrived cold, and had to be sent back. Duck arrives at this point. We ordered more rice but that never turned up (nor on the bill, which was something). Overall, very poor service and I think that's the first time I've ever had to send something back to the kitchen to be heated. I would hesitate to come again, even though I'd like to try the proper duck!
For good and well-priced Cantonese cuisine, this is the place to go. I have been here many times and have even brought my Cantonese parents when they were crazing home-cooking.
If you're a meat fan, order the sample plate where you get the BBQ pork, soy sauce chicken, duck, and fatty pork. It's incredible... my favorite is the first three because the fatty pork can be dry sometimes. The noodle dishes (stir-fried rice noodles with beef) are a must, and their seafood (pineapple shrimp) is not bad either.
Be wary of the waiters though because if they think you're tourists, they will try and get more tip by falsely claiming their added service charge is for the government, not for the restaurant... completely absurd. I was a bit insulted but it hasn't happened again and the food is so good, so I will definitely go back here.
Post ECC cocktails my friend and I were a little peckishand wandered right next door to the Four Seasons.
It's just your standard Chinese Restaurant, nothing special, white wall, Asian Pictures, etc... Service was curt, food was palatable.
Energy levels restored and we stepped out into the dark and rainy night.
I've been told this is one of the best roast places in London. It is really good for roast duck and soya chicken. I've tried the crispy pork and BBQ pork too, but I have had better back home (Melbourne). That said, it is one of the best roast places in London Chinatown. I buy take away from here regularly and I've come here to eat with a group of friends a few times. It's a good place for a large or small group as you can order mains and share amongst the table.
More like One Season.
I don't mind a grubby Chinatown restaurant, hell I don't even mind rude service as long as the food is good. But all of above combined left me fuming.
I visited Four Seasons on a busy Friday night with the missus and after a short wait we were seated. Not much to say about the interior or staff, so we promptly ordered our food.
Starters were brought out after the Mains. Our Roast Duck was tepid, and judging by the sauce that had dried on the plate it had clearly been sitting out far before we had arrived. When we explained that it was cold, they took it away and warmed it up in the microwave, my initial bite mark that returned with the dish proved this.
Terrible all around. Your better off ordering from your local Chinese takeaway.
This is the little sister restaurant to the famous Four Seasons in Queensway. To emphasise the point, the word 'Queensway' is actually written in brackets on the restaurant sign.
Four Seasons is famous for its roast duck. For my quick tutorial on the different types of duck in a CHinese restaurant, please refer to my review of the original Four Seasons in Queensway. I think the duck here is good but the accompanying soya sauce is a little sweet for my taste. They also offer it on or off the bone - it costs more to have it de-boned.
I find it fascinating to stand and watch the chef using his big cleaver with the precision of a surgeon to de-bone the duck.
So why one star less than the Queensway restaurant? The service here seems to have taken on the Chinatown shouting rudeness. At Queesnway, they never shout, even when it's stupidly busy.
Come here for the food, not for the ambiance nor for the service.
It's a great spot for a pre-theatre dinner if you order their duck. You'll be in and out pretty quick and it's what they're famous for their duck. Though their aubergine with minced pork hotpot and black bean beef ho fun was pretty good as well.
In terms of service, they operate like a well oiled machine. Notice the handsfree earpieces. How many restaurants in London have you seen those in? if everything goes well. They'll seat, serve and get you out asap.
I don't know about their regular menus but the duck is one of the best I've tried so far. Really really good.
Gosh this place does some things really well but other things are just really awful. Their cantonese style bbq-ed meats are justly popular. Most people go for the roast duck but I find their soy sauce chicken is quite delicious as well. For a little bit more than a fiver, you can get a decent portion of bbq, a little bit of veg, and a pile of rice.
However I made the mistake of coming here for dinner and trying some things off their "specials" menu. In chinese, they all sounded very appetising and more interesting than western style chinese food. In the end however what we got did not live up to what I was expecting; certainly nowhere close to what I've had in Vancouver, Hong Kong, San Francisco, even Royal China here in London. The portion sizes were extremely small, mediocre in skill, and poor value.
I say stick to the rice plate and roast meat and you'll do fine.
Another Thursday, another Chinese in 25 minutes review. My rice with bbq duck and roast pork was delicious with about a 5 inch strip of each pork and veggie. It came with a larger than normal portion of gratuitous chinese cabbage (i.e. more than 1 leaf). As others have said, the soy gravy that comes with it is quite sweet, but I like it that way.
They were nice people there, with 3 types of chillies and gave me soured plum sauce immediately when I requested it.
The bad thing was they dumped some oranges on my table before I finished the plate and then dumped the check on the table whiles I was finishing the orange. They took the bill away the second I reached for the mint and my hand left the bill container thingy. Although I get that it is busy, I didn't appreciate being literally swept out of the restaurant. I must say, it was probably them more than me who kept the meal to the 25 minutes limit.
Food: Solid 4.5 stars. Service: (minus 1 star) = 3.5 stars.
I'm always a little wary of China Town which really annoys me. I think it's because I always get lost and have had one to many bad experiences of all you can eat buffets served in a trough! I want to be one of those people that can navigate themselves round windy streets and no the best place to get Crispy Duck and any time of day or night. Alas, I am not... until now.
OK, so there wasn't much street winding going on considering Gerrard Street is the main street in China Town but none the less I am now quietly confident I can challenge any China Town veteran to the 'best duck ever' stakes.
I came to meet my boyfriend and his Mum here, the previous night we had had a fight, now I was running late and screaming down the phone because I was lost. The ambiance was not great. No matter, once I got into the restaurant the waiters were so friendly and instinctively poured me a glass of wine that I suddenly began to feel more relaxed.
There was no pressure to hurry in this place which I think is one of the most important things. We were able to order our Duck and starters and take our time over them. The Duck was as good as I have ever had, really meaty, we ordered a half and we got a big half!
After a leisurely start we were obliged to order mains, even though we were actually all full. Ordered was: Mixed Seafood and Noodle Soup, I thought this tasted like pond water but everyone else seemed to like it, weird! Salt and Pepper Squid, this was amazing. Best I've had in a Chinese restaurant. The batter was really light and crispy with just the right amount of chili's, there was way to much for one person but I didn't let it stop me. There was also Sweet & Sour Pork and King Prawns with seasonable vegetables. I presume these were also both delicious as I didn't get a look in.
For the four of us with 3 bottles of wine, duck, starters and mains it came to just over Â£100.
Restaurant which specialises in Roast Duck. If you go here, you MUST have the duck. It is absolutely delicious. I like duck anyway but this is just lovely. My mouth is watering now thinking about it!
PS - I would rate this 4.5 if I could but Yelp doesnt allow half marks.
(Few days ago I wrote review for the wrong Four Seasons. Sorry about that. I have removed the other one now).
If you come here I'd recommend you eat the BBQ'ed duck...I prefer it de-boned already, because that way I can indulge in it without having to suck the meat off of its natural scaffolding. I cannot say that any of the other dishes have blown me away, but typically what we order is a bunch of BBQ'ed duck (or pork), some rice (to soak up all the juices) and one or two orders of vegetable - I recommend Morning Glor, Bok Choy or Peashoots.
As for the decor and service of this establishment - this is your typical run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant with rather oblivious service and crappy decor...nothing to rave about. But I don't come here for these things...all I want is to tuck into my duck as fast as possible!
The roast duck, roast pork, basically anything BBQ was great here. Came here for lunch and dinner and both times I left super full.
Must try the duck, but I preferred the pork. It was great and so was the service. The prices were decent and the seating was ample. One of my favourites in Chinatown and the host is friendly.
Fending for myself on the mean streets of London for a few days, I had no idea where to go or what to eat. When I finally exhausted the recommendations of friends, I went in search of something undeniably delicious that I knew wouldn't disappoint me and I wound up in Chinatown, in a well reviewed restaurant, where they waste very little time on decor and atmosphere and they spend all their time on what's important. Roasted Duck.
Simply food. Walk in, sit down, order half a duck with white rice, sit, and feast. The skin was crispy and fatty, the meat was tender and plentiful. I could not have asked for more on a rainy London day.
Okay so saam bo fan (3 bbq meat combination over rice) in NYC won't cost nearly this much, but hey, it's london, and where else can you get this kind of tasty food for £7.
Don't be silly, get the 3 meat combo (roast duck, roast pork, soy sauce chicken). Use the ginger scallion sauce... all of it - mix it in your rice!
We're going back tonight.
"Do you like duck?" This was the question that was asked of me (quite randomly I might add) by my friend while I was visiting him in London. I do happen to be a fan of duck, so when he recommended we go to the Four Seasons in Chinatown, I was all for it!
The place is fairly small and looks like most Chinese places I've been to. There were seven in our group so we were sat at one of the larger tables in the back that have rotating glass in the center (very good for family style sharing). Since my friend had been here before, we let him do most of the ordering.
We started with hot and sour soup (one of my personal favorites) which was much spicier than what I've had here in the States. I'm a huge fan of spicy food so that was no problem for me! We then moved into our main courses of whole roasted duck and BBQ duck, both of which were absolutely delicious. The whole duck came with thin tortilla-like wraps that we used with veggies and sauces to make our own duck wraps. I'm not such a fan of the BBQ duck as it's a little fatty for my liking.
We also had a shrimp dish which was pretty yummy. For whatever reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to order Lychee wine.....yeeeaaaahhhh....not the best. It was way too sweet, strong, and just overall not good. Wouldn't recommend it.
For dessert we had just plain old Lychee which WAS delicious. Those sweet little balls made my mouth very happy (that's what she said). When you're done with your entire meal, they bring you oranges (kind of like an after dinner mint).
The service wasn't too bad. It was a little slow at times and one of the smaller dishes we ordered never made it to our table, but they were very nice about taking it off our bill. Overall, I would have to agree with the masses and say that they have the best duck around.
This was quite the experience! Loved the food. Service was spot on, if a bit brisk. Fun to watch the staff do their thing.
i'm from a very Asian area in the USA and there are two Chinatowns near my house. I eat Chinese food all the time, yet this is by far the best roast duck I've ever eaten. Hands down.
duck in London is better than most other places because they are naturally leaner. the duck was roasted well: crispy skin, scrumptious taste/barbecue, lean indeed. the renowned sauce which is a well protected secret is the best roast duck sauce i've ever had. it's not too salty and has a tad of sweetness to it. the roast duck dipped in the sauce is heaven in my mouth. the sauce over rice is also great.
the only downfall is that after a while, the duck gets really oily and the bottom of the box/plate is drenched in oil.
the barbecue pork is also extremely delicious, also one of the best i've had. great marinade/barbecue taste.
the roast pork was slightly salty (but then again all Chinese roast pork is). the skin had a great crunch to it.
i was vacationing in London for a few days but i had to come here twice!
i ordered the food to go both times. the cashier/waiter was friendly and helpful the first time. but the cashier/waitress was gruff and very rushed the second time. but i still give this restaurant 5 stars for the best roast duck in the world.
Ate with some relatives here.
Four Seasons is located in the middle of the Chinatown corridor in London. A bit difficult to find.
Had a very nice white fish, tofu, and vegetable soup. The roast duck was delicious, although a bit on the sweeter side. It was served on a bed of napa cabbage. Also had the crispy roast pork and bbq pork which was a bit on the dry side.
Great food but slow service and the fact there's only one toilet to service too floors seems strange; especially when it wouldn't look out of place in a squat!
I'd be back for the duck though!
Best roast duck in the world? That's what Financial Times writer Nicholas Lander reckons and it was his write up about Four Seasons that led me there. I'm not too sure it's the best in the world but it's the best I've had in London and on par with the roast duck I had at the considerably more upscale Peninsula Hotel in Beijing.
One piece of advice based on my experience at Four Seasons: forego the rest of the menu and just order the duck. Everything I've tried on the menu is pretty good but nowhere near as good as the duck. Besides there are plenty of other decent Chinese restaurant around Chinatown.
I have to confirm that their roast duck Cantonese style is delicious. It's the their speciality here. The skin tastes good, the flesh is tender and juicy. We ordered half of a duck (£11) but we could not even finish it! Fortunately they do takeaway.
The rest of the menu is not interesting. We had some Fu-jian rice, with carrotts, asparagus, duck and scallops; it was greasy and insipid. I would rather come back for the duck only!
The room is clean and commonplace, the service is OK.
Full post and photos @ thecattylife.com
I totally adore Four Seasons. I LOVE their roast duck and really, if you can ignore the rubbish service (it's a Chinese restaurant afterall), you'll love the place.
Things to note about Four Seasons:
It's a dodgy little Chinese joint, not a five star hotel.
There's one at Queensway and one at Chinatown. You'll find me at the Chinatown branch.
They serve half duck or whole duck
With or without bone at the same price.
People get take out from there all the time, sometimes to take overseas (no joke the duck is that good)
So it's rumoured (I haven't seen this) that they have a special container to pack duck for overseas travel!
Wow that's hardcore!
There's always a queue at Four Seasons
And you can totally make a booking but you still have to queue (beats me).
They work on turning the tables over so when you receive your main, expect to also receive your oranges and bill
But with your bill they also give you kool mints, which I love.
Customer service? There is none, but who cares.
Came here for dinner the other day and gotta say, the food was quite good. Had the duck which was really tasty and the meat was really tender. Also had some veggies (up to standard with most Chinese restaurants!) and a fried tofu dish. The food was great and by the time we were done with our meal, there was a queue out the door - that should tell ya something!
I love their barbecue meats (roast duck, bbq pork, roast pork, etc). I have gone with family and friends, and it's always been a hit. You can get a selection of three barbeue items for under a tenner, and it's a good way to try a little bit of everything. Service could be better, but the food is definitely worth coming for.
There are so many great places to eat in China Town, I would give this one a miss and try any of the others. I was expecting Bayswater quality food and was was let down once again. It was bland and basic nothing exciting or even that tasty. The service was probably the most appalling I have seen. After we finished our main course we were asked to leave so that they could seat other people! So not the place to catch up with friends, because you won't be sitting, drinking tea, or having a chat after dinner. I made sure there was no tip left after the service we received.
What can I say about this place? Every time I'm back in London, I visit here. The sweet and sour pork dish is really good and their crispy duck is pretty delicious as well. It's usually pretty crowded here and they've got about as many tables they can put in here. The service is terrible though just cause they're asian and it comes across that way. They want to give you quick service but because asian people talk in shrill voices, it sounds like they're yelling at you. Hahah. I'd say it's worth a visit though!
Pretty good black bean chow fun. Excellent sweet and sour sauce and very good service. They need better tables, but other than that I was quite satisfied.
For those who are familiar with four season in queensway, here you can get the same duck. Delicious and succulent. But the other dishes are just mediocre, so I suggest all Chinese duck lovers order ducks to take away, and don't bother queuing to get a seat. One of the best ducks in London.
Venue of choice for roast duck and roast meat in Chinatown. Takeaway and enjoy a delicious meal in Central London!
BEST beef black bean chow fun. Every time I'm in London I have to eat here at least twice. The toffee apples are also pretty delicious. It's always crowded so the seating can be uncomfortable but it's all worth it.
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