I’ve walked past Cha Cha Moon countless of times but have never given it a second glance, primarily because in a quad filled with food-trend beauties (ie Wright Bros, Shoryu
, Pizza Pilgrims, and soon the much anticipated Dishoom
) CCM seems like the older sister whose beauty had faded into the limelight. But she’s there and she still aims to please a crowd.
Share a seat, win a friend?
Walking into the dimly lit space feels like walking into a scene from a Wong Kar-Wai
film until you realise how chaotic the acoustics are. Punters are sat on sharing tables and it’s a feat to have a proper conversation. My friend F and I couldn’t hear each other so we asked to be transferred to the bar by the front (good vantage point for people watching). This noodle bar is definitely no space for secret gossiping nor confidential tête-à-têtes but a place for observing human nature.
Food is mainly Chinese (which may be slightly confused by the logo’s noodle-type font - I thought it was South East Asian like Thai for yonks) with a focus on noodles, but they do have other Asian favourites too. Like dumplings.
I love me a good portion of Schezuan wonton especially when the weather calls in the sweaters. CCM’s wontons (£5.25) weren’t what I’d expected them to look like but they were very ballsy.
The sauce could have been spicier but I was very happy with how much filling there was in each dumpling.
The mushroom and chestnut quotie (£4.95) was a different story. They looked incredibly amazing pan fried with sesame seeds seared on one side…
…but it was more dough than filling. And though there was an addictive crisp to the dough, I had hoped for a burst of that earthy, mushroom flavour.
The beef ho fun (£9) came plentiful of meat, a welcome break from all the noodles I’ve seen with extenders and little protein. The downside is that it was a little bit too salty. F couldn’t finish it.
I was chatting way too much (because we couldn’t hear each other!) until I realised I haven’t perused the menu. In one quick glance I just pointed to the Malaysian fish and prawn curry (£9.95) with the hopes of having something comforting and homey.
My curry came in a yellow sauce so vibrant I had to shield my eyes. The seafood swam in this sea of curry and I prayed for my dear life that the fish and prawn weren’t overcooked.
They were slightly over indeed but there was a hefty amount of seafood in the mix. Surprisingly, the sauce I feared actually made the dish and I enjoyed eating it with the rice it came with more than the fish. I doubt its Malaysian authenticity but it was satisfying enough for a quick bite to eat.
Overall, Cha Cha Moon is not the best Chinese/noodle bar I can recommend. Nor
is it the best place to catch up with friends. But if you’re up for a quick
bite to satisfy your Chinese comfort food cravings in between shopping along Carnaby Street then you can head down Kingly
Court and grab a seat… if you can.
Cha Cha Moon
15-21 Ganton St, London W1F
Average spend pp: £25
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What would you recommend as the best noodle bar in London?
I always enjoy Koya Bar (and I’m glad they’re still open despite Koya itself closing). I love Mama Lan’s spicy chicken ban mein, too and Shoryu is my quick dependable ramen fix place.
I’ve heard rave reviews about Kanada-Ya and Salvation in Noodles, too but I’ve not been! x
Eeek….doesn't look great, I've also been past in a few times but I didn't really fancy it!
It feels and seems like a canteen / food court for Asian food!
Ooh a fellow Wong Kar Wai fan! I have to say that I went to Cha Cha Moon a few years ago and didn't like the food which is pretty rare for me
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
I love his work, Suze! Chungking Express and In The Mood for Love were my favourites back in the day!
Save for the wonton balls, I didn't like the food that much either! x