Cha Cha Moon
15-21 Ganton Street, Soho, London W1F 9BN
- Oxford Circus Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (0.5 km)
- Contact us:
020 7297 9800
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
“Zen China specializes in Imperial Beijing cuisine, with a focus on traditional North Chinese regional cooking, influenced by the imperial tradition. Zen China’s signature dish is the Authentic Beijing Roast Duck, as known as Peking Duck. We are...” more...
67 reviews of Cha Cha Moon in English
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
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.
I guess this place use to be an institution but now theres new kids on the block and there better!!!
Funky and buzzing in the evening: the food is a quirky, fresh and healthier take on traditional Chinese food. the staff are friendly and very fast service is the standard. Has a very funky New York kind if feel about especially later in the evening.
Sub-standard food. You can tell the ingredients used are of low quality. The Hong Kong milk ice tea was good though! Ordered crispy duck lao mian. Duck was good, but the noodles accompanying it were awful! Worth a single visit since the atmosphere's not bad. Sadly, can't say the same about the food!
The perfect fast food restaurant. I've been here dozens of times and will keep coming back. My only gripe is I wish they'd change the menu slightly once in a while. Nevermind, this place is 10 x better than wagamamas. I would recommend the cha cha mooli, the curries, and the ho funs. Great value too, the wines are basic but spot on and well priced.
Not bad Chinese fast order food. Good for a pit stop. Had Singapore pan fried qwea teow which had a little wok chi but the slightly liberal use of soya sauce drowned out the individual taste of the constituent ingredients (sliced wind dried sausage and Cantonese fish cakes). Calamari was fried well (crispy and not greasy) but the taste of the key ingredient didn't quite come through.
Better than Wagamama any day I would say and slightly better value. Hey, Alan funny how things have come full circle!
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Not bad food. Very reasonable prices for what you get.
The food won't blow you away, but you won't be asking for your money back.
It's worth checking out, so you have an opinion on the place, but personally, it's a bit too much like Wagamamas, which I don't rate very highly at all.
Food is ok but the poor service leaves a bitter taste at the end. Went here for dinner and at the beginning quite like the place, less chain like than Wagamama. Menu looked good, ordered crispy noodles, some asian salad and veggies, all passable but can´t say the same about the service, not very polite, especially when we asked to pay by card. Think I might try another place next time I want to get my oriental fix
Comment 1 comment on this review
rahuleurope, 6 July 2010:
Cha Cha Moon opened in 2008 amid much fanfare as Alan Yau went back to his Hong Kong roots to open up a Chinese noodle bar in Soho. I went a couple of times during the launch period but sadly the noodles didn’t live up to the hype. Apologists may point out that they were selling all dishes for £3.50 during this period but frankly low prices are not an excuse for some of the crap that was served.
Cha Cha Moon doesn’t do starters or desserts; they serve only mains and sides with the objective of getting punters ‘in and out’ as quickly as possible. That said my side dish of fried prawn guotie (£4.60) arrived first. This dish immediately got my hackles up, as these weren’t guotie, which are dumplings that are steamed and pan-fried on the bottom. These impostors were deep-fried with a meagre underseasoned prawn filling. They reminded me of the ersatz Chinese snacks that supermarkets sell and the only redeeming feature of this dish was the garlic soy dip.
Sadly things didn’t get any better with my wonton mian (£6.00). The broth was flavourless with the only discernible taste being a slight taint of ‘gan shui’ – the soapy taste of potassium carbonate. Now don’t get alarmed, as it’s normal for fresh egg noodles or san mein to use potassium carbonate to give it a springy texture. However, any potential aftertaste should be removed by rinsing the noodles thoroughly, something that they failed to do here. As the broth was so insipid, it was a relief that the garlic soy dip that came with the guotie was on hand to pep up the noodles.
On the plus side, the chicken and prawn wontons were properly seasoned although there wasn’t enough prawn for my liking. These were passable wontons but I’m not sure why chicken was used instead of the traditional pork. The portion size was a total rip-off too as there were only four wontons in the bowl. Most Chinatown caffs charge no more than a fiver for this dish and they serve at least five or six wontons. I was still hungry after spending £13 including tea and service, which is just plain wrong.
I know some of you may be thinking that I ordered the ‘wrong dish’ but if a Chinese noodle bar can’t knock up a decent bowl of wonton noodles then you do wonder what its raison d’être is? I mean would you think it acceptable if a pizzeria served up a sub-standard pizza margherita?
Service was better than I remember although their intention to get you in and out as quickly as possible wasn’t particularly well disguised (perhaps they’re more Chinese than I give them credit for). Some people may like the trendy interior design but I think it’s pretty soulless. The communal benches also got on my nerves, especially the one I was sat on with high chairs.
I think Cha Cha Moon can probably survive catering to tourists and kids with silly haircuts but this is probably more to do with its Soho location. An exercise in style over substance, Cha Cha Moon (together with chains like Ping Pong and dim t) in many ways represent the worse of Chinese and Oriental cuisine in London. It says it all when the highlight of my meal was the garlic soy dip.
If you want noodles in this part of Soho, then go to Ramen Seto, where you won’t leave feeling hungry after spending £13.
Had high hopes for Cha Cha Moon based on recent reviews but I left disappointed. The mooli was too soggy and hadn't been fried enough, so was lacking delicious crunch. The wonton noodles was hit and miss: the wonton dumplings themselves were really good; alas, the soup itself lacked depth of flavour and tasted more like it was hot water flavoured with soy sauce, rather than a stock-based soup. Given the prices - high for this kind of food - I expect more.
Won't be going again.
What a good remember I have of this place...
Plan : Day of work, then a pint in a pub and obviously a meal at the ChaChaMoon with a couple of friends !
Service is very very fast... do not go there to chill out or for a date ! It wouldn't work ! lol.
Located in the very central London, quality served is fair enough !
I would not advice the alcohol... better before or after if you like... Cocktail to avoid !
Huge tables to share.
Kind of lounge... KIND OF I said ! :-)
Let's try, you will not be disappointed !
Go here instead of The Diner over the road. Cha Cha is basically what Waga's used to be like, but cheaper and better.
The room manages to be both huge and intimate with lots of clever lighting. The staff are very friendly and you don't feel rushed like you do at Waga's either.
My only niggle is there isn't much description in the menu items, so if you're not familiar with the lingo then you might not get what you expected.
All the noodles are superb, and the duck is extremely good for the money.
I admit it, I was starving when we went here and had menu envy so we ordered various things that we could see other people eating around us.
The mooli was incredible. The portions were huge. Despite it being rammed, service was great too. I'm now a fan of Swedish pear cider too, though I still can't quite figure out why that's on the menu. Awesomely good value.
Alan Yau did us proud!Located in the trendy area of just behind Carnaby Streets resites this joint!The potions are very fair and my appetite is satisfied. It has low lighting and the layout of chairs reminds me of school dinners. You don't privacy and it is always jammed packed. I guess this is a good thing because the food meets the expectations. The price of food is very very reasonable especially with their potions!I have tried the steamed taro cake and spring onion pancake for my starters!!For main course i usually get the ho fun. The food isn't at all greasy unlike your usual take away meals. For my drink i always get the salted lemon sprite where they put ginger to bring out the zestyness of the lemonade!I would reccommend this for anyone who likes chinese cuisine and wants to try a new outake on chinese
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