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    • Qype User krisfa…
    • London
    • 3 friends
    • 7 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    28/3/2011

    Ahh.... "The OC". Not exactly service with a smile, but for £3 for a steaming plate of delicious roti canai, I would expect to have to fetch it from the kitchen myself.

    The Singapore Laksa was not as strong as I had hoped, but for £5, I was warmed to the cockles and given a taste of home. You could even say that they were trying to emulate the ramshackle hawker canteens in Malaysia with their artful use of brightly coloured, deliberately mismatched plastic cutlery and crockery.

    Far superior to the deep-fried polystyrene they serve at Paper Tiger next door, and in an ideal spot for refuelling after a hard day at the museums.

  • 2.0 star rating
    13/9/2014

    Odd experience here because I got absolutely terrible service but will be going back. The man who took my order seemed very cold and unhelpful when I asked him questions about the menu. He also took forever to get me my change and gave me trouble for wanting to pay with a 20, which is a reasonably sized note. The guy just seemed annoyed about everything. The wait time for simple food seemed a bit longer than usual also. However, the place is cheap, close to my place and tastes pretty good so I will go back out of convenience and respect for my wallet.

  • 1.0 star rating
    29/7/2014

    We were absolutely starving and made the mistake of eating here. Microwave food, rude service and place just didn't feel clean.

  • 3.0 star rating
    4/1/2010

    I have to confess to having a great attack of indecision as I walked past Oriental Canteen. I must have walked past this place at least 5 times trying to decide whether to chance going in - the owners probably thought I was going to rob them!

    In favour of the restaurant, AA Gill, the Times critic had named this place in this Best Eats of 2003 list.

    Against the restaurant, there was a tired photo montage of the different dishes available and the nice pictures on the walls inside were of dishes not on the menu.

    In the end, my quest for Malaysian food led me in as there were quite a few Malaysian dishes on the menu. I ordered the laksa, which is a curry broth containing noodles and a selection of seafood and meat.

    What arrived wasn't laksa but the broth seemed to be inspired more by Indian flavours rather than true south east Asian spicing. It was also alarmingly fluorescent yellow, perhaps indicating the use of a lot of tumeric.

    Sadly, standards seem to have dropped since 2003 or perhaps with the proliferation of Malaysian restaurants in the last few years, Oriental Canteen is no longer good enough

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/11/2013

    maybe I should give 3.5 stars if possible. I stop here several times a month when I have to eat alone quick and/or take away.  My favorites are mapo tofu, all soup noodles.

  • 3.0 star rating
    6/12/2011
    1 check-in

    Hmmm what to say about the OC.

    I have to confess I didn't eat here and I probably wouldn't have gone in if my friend wasn't starving and needed a quick bit. First thing I noticed is that they only serve mains. I had already eaten but probably could have snacked on a side or starter but that wasn't an option so I had a Tiger beer which was only £2.00 so that wasn't bad, especially for South Ken.

    My friend went for the Singapore fried noodles, which looked a little thin on content and was a very small portion. One thing I really hate is if you're going to do something, do it right and if not don't charge a fiver for a tiny almost dish.

    I have to say that the staff and service were both fantastic and just because of how they were, makes me want to go back again, but honestly I don't think I will be going back, and if it wasn't for them I probably would have only awarded two stars. However do not that I personally didn't try the food and my friend had no complaints and he has eaten there more than once.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/5/2009
    Listed in Food on the go!

    The mere mention of the term "canteen" should let you know that this is not a destination restaurant. Indeed, due to its rather cozy and compact size, spending much more than half an hour in here with food is realistically frowned upon!

    There is not much in the way of ambiance, unless you count the fact that about 20 seats are packed into a space not much bigger than the size of your average bedroom! But it does what it says it does on the tin, and with good quality, cheap, fast Chinese food, it gets 4*.

  • 2.0 star rating
    23/12/2008

    This small split level restaurant only has a handful of tables, but it's great for squeezing into for lunch. Brave the shiny roast ducks hanging in the window near the door and you'll find a friendly spot to enjoy a quick lunch.

    All the dishes are advertised on the menu propped up in the window with their corresponding photos (why do they always o this!) but don't let the faded, yellowy pictures put you off as the food is good. I've tried their crispy duck pancakes as it does look very appetizing hanging there and you can smell it as you walk by, which is obviously their ploy. Their green tea is also very good, fresh from tealeaves and not a bag.

    There are mostly a couple of friends or often lone workers sat munching away so it's a very laid back go-in-eat-and-leave style place. The only problem I have with it is that you can feel like you're virtually on a plinth on the pavement if you sit in near the window. Being subject to gawping passers by as you try not to send your artfully balanced chopsticks flying (fork is a dirty word here) is a bit nerve wracking, so we only go if there is a table free on the other row, which is still very visible, but slightly less street level. It's much nicer than the one at the other rend of the street so it's definitely worth a try if you feel like Chinese for lunch.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/11/2008

    The Oriental Canteen does precisely what it says on the tin: its serves basic Chinese and other popular Asian dishes in a very pared-down but clean setting. Seating is shared with other customers and service is to the point: there is normally a waitress waiting to take your order before you sit down.

    Now in most restaurants I would find that a supremely annoying trait. But it's just a part of the no-nonsense vibe in the Canteen. Sit down, shut up, stuff your face, then be on your way.

    The food itself ticks all the boxes for those in search of a cheap and filling meal for around a fiver. There is tofu and ginger stir fry, special fried rice, lots of noodle dishes, even Peking duck, and many dozens more. Other pluses are they serve Tsingtao beer, which is excellent with any Chinese food, and that the plain sticky rice served with most meals is delicious even on its own.

  • 3.0 star rating
    7/3/2010
    Listed in South Kensington

    As cheap and easy as bedding an ex-Big Brother contestant - but then isn't that what you want from a Canteen? Dishes for £5, no waiting around, just stick your bum at the nearest free space and get ordering. As  challenging as hanging outside Tiger Tiger until you spot a failed reality TV contestant.

    It's instant gratification that feels good on the spot but later leaves you somewhat unsatiated. On the plus it's quick, cheap and fun and there is an interesting selection of Chinese canteen classics like fatty pork on rice and roast duck combined with Malaysian staples like sambar fish, roti and nasi lemak. It's better than spending your fiver at Boots or Pret, innit? But on the downside, you can see in clear view that so much of the food is not fresh but heat-lamp and microwave-cooked. It's the fake blond and fake tan of the culinary world. Cheap and easy.

  • 3.0 star rating
    17/11/2008

    Probably the cheapest value Chinese eat within a mile from South Ken station. The dining conditions are rather cramped, but for a fiver you can get a big plate of rice and roast meat, or a bowl of noodles.

    Pretty good tasting and authentic Chinese and Malaysian food are served. Do not expect to be able to stay long and chat however; during busy periods the staff will try their best to shoo you away!

  • 3.0 star rating
    30/3/2011

    If you happen to be around South Kensington and need somewhere to grab a bite that is fast and cheap, there aren't many choices around.

    A group of us were there recently for the Pan-Asian Film Festival and with only a 30 minute break to the next film, we walked around hurriedly looking for a place. A short walk later, we spied Oriental Canteen which I've been once when I first arrived in London.

    In we went as there was a table large enough to fit us all. The dishes averages around £5 and the place comprises mainly of students.

    The food was decent enough, tasty and quick. Sometimes you just want a quick bite and I found mine.

    • Qype User Timina…
    • Sydney, Australia
    • 634 friends
    • 758 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    30/11/2008

    It's a tiny, corner-slice-of-a-building place. It's cramped, and has simple, laminated board for tables, old wooden stools whose chips and scrapes are not down to artificial antiquing. Even my teapot was a well-worn old tin thing, but it was filled with proper loose tea and was only 50p.

    My duck chow mein was a good-sized plate of noodles, sprouts and roast meat for only £5. It was tasty and not too glutinous; I couldn't pretend it was fancy or elaborate or took hours to prepare. The service feels like they just want to feed you and get out.

    But today all I wanted was a quick fuel-up at a table for one and some tea to wash it down. Oriental Canteen gave me exactly that with nothing else besides. Don't go for a romantic dinner or expect any frills and this is just fine, for very little money.

    They don't appear to have a toilet.

    • Qype User CsCJan…
    • Hamburg, Germany
    • 16 friends
    • 37 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    6/5/2010

    It's a tiny place but the fact that there were so many Asian people eating there lead us in because I was hoping for some authentic cuisine.

    Luckily it was and it was really delicious.

    The menu really reminded me of the food varieties in Malaysia and Singapore.

    We ordered lemon chicken and duck with rice. Both were delicious.

    It's no place for long chats, you go there, eat and leave. But it's so much better than various "Chinese" food chains around.

  • 2.0 star rating
    31/5/2011

    As students of the area, we happened to be working very late in school, and for fast and cheap food around South Kensington, there's not much.

    As the name may indicate, this is no fancy place, a chinese fast food. If you are looking for a nice place to have dinner and stay an hour, walk away. If you're picky about service, extra clean tables,...you're probably not in the right place. It is not dirty, not more than a regular fast-food like macdonalds or burger king; but not up to the standard of a nice restaurant obviously.

    Taste for basic dishes is not bad, you get serve in time, extra portion of rice is FREE if you order a rice-based dish (yaaaay ! ). I especially love the pan-fried dumplings, because you can taste there actually is meat inside and they taste good to me, not to mention cheap. I ate rice + barbecue pork if I recall, no bad surprise there, no good one either; quite generic.

    In the end, what's good is the price ! starts from 3£ (for my beloved dumplings) or 4£ for a rice dish.

    • Qype User chrisg…
    • London
    • 22 friends
    • 119 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    23/4/2011

    The OC is a good little restaurant and takeaway, providing Chinese, Malaysian and other asian food, popular with students and located very close to South Kensington Station.

    The food is good quality and you get seated and served very quickly, provided of course that there are seats free, as being so popular it's usually pretty full! If it is, there's always the option for takeaway, they'll provide you with cutlery and you can wander around the corner and sit either on the steps of the V&A or there's a few little bits of greenery with benches around Thurloe St.

    The food is simple but tasty, and very cheap - you won't pay more than a fiver for a filling plate of food. The meat+rice dishes are always a good option, and if you run out of rice on your plate, they'll usually top you up for free. The OC is always full of Chinese people eating, and to my mind, if there's Chinese folk eating in a Chinese restaurant, it must be pretty authentic and tasty, and therefore worth a try.

  • 5.0 star rating
    19/10/2008
    First to Review

    Good quality food, low prices.

    Oriental Canteen is located close by to South Kensington Station, and is very well priced - which might explain why it always seems to be full!

    The restaurant serves a variety of meats and other delicious chinese foods.

    • Qype User mewtop…
    • Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    • 8 friends
    • 99 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    26/8/2009

    Great value, nice and cheap (and there aren't many of those places around S. Kensington!)

    Food is tasty and from a range of East Asian countries, Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean. Much better than the Wokbox-type Chinese fast food place round the corner.

    • Qype User chopst…
    • London
    • 12 friends
    • 105 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/3/2011

    If you happen to be around South Kensington and need somewhere to grab a bite that is fast and cheap, there aren't many choices around.

    A group of us were there recently for the Pan-Asian Film Festival and with only a 30 minute break to the next film, we walked around hurriedly looking for a place. A short walk later, we spied Oriental Canteen which I've been once when I first arrived in London.

    In we went as there was a table large enough to fit us all. The dishes averages around £5 and the place comprises mainly of students.

    The food was decent enough, tasty and quick. Sometimes you just want a quick bite and I found mine.

  • 1.0 star rating
    3/1/2014

    This place is cheap but unfortunately they don't seem to cook chicken fully. Both chicken dishes and the appetizer were served with uncooked chicken. The meat was soft and in some cases even slightly pink. Avoid this place

  • 2.0 star rating
    18/3/2011

    Having read good reviews about this place, I was keen to try it out.  But was hugely disappointed.  Yes, it's cheap and cheerful and the fact it was full is evidence of its popularity.  But in their haste to turn tables, mistakes happen and for my friend and I, it meant receiving prawn spring rolls where the prawns were uncooked, they were literally still slimy, grey and raw inside.  Disgusting and not good considering my friend was heavily pregnant!  This knocked our confidence for the rest of the meal. The Singapore noodles were ok, but quite a measly portion.  Dirty tables and generally not great.  Shame really.

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/11/2012

    It's kind of an unusual place for the neighborhood which attracted me to it initially.  I was hoping it would be one of those can't judge a book by it's cover kinda places but the feeling you get from looking at the decor is about the same feeling you get eating the food... which is a bit dirty.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/12/2008

    This very basic restaurant is a bit of a godsend in chi-chi South Kensington. Food is straightforward Chinese, mostly based around the meat and rice or noodles formula for around £5. Seating is at communal tables and don't expect to linger after you've eaten. The bill will arrive promptly and pointedly and you will be asked to leave if there's a queue. Still, there is no pretence that you'll get anything different and the food is very decent. At least if you're starving you know you'll get fed very quickly.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/10/2013
    1 check-in

    This is a nice place to get dinner for a reasonable price. The interior is very simple, but it is clean, and the food is good. It reminded me of all the small Chinese restaurant I used to have dinner at when I was in Shanghai, so I would really recommend it for those who are looking for a cheap and filling chinese meal

    • Qype User mathie…
    • London
    • 12 friends
    • 33 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    10/11/2009

    A nice cheap family-run place in the heart of South Ken. Serving tasty Chinese and Malaysian treats. It's always packed, and while the setting is unglamorous and functional, the food is invariably nice and cheap. Definitely recommended plus gets additional kudos for doing it cheap and cheerful-stylee in Kensington!

    • Qype User levant…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 35 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    16/11/2008

    Cheap chinese and malaysian food in this basic restaurant. The roti canai is great. Good for a quick, reasonably-priced meal.

  • 5.0 star rating
    21/7/2013

    So cheap but so tasty!!  Love this little gem.

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