Saturday 5 May 2007

Wong Kei London

Wong Kei
Originally uploaded by malias.

Some people tell me how rude waiters in Paris are I tell them that's nothing they should try Wong Kei's in London's Wardour Street.

It's become a London institution not for its food but rather for the abusive staff to such an extent that people go there just to experience the rudeness of the waiters. It's one of the must-do things to tick off the list on your trip to the capital; visit the British Museum, have your photo taken in Trafalgar Square and get insulted by the watiers at Wong Kei's.

The last time I went there was a few years ago with a group of friends. As soon as we entered and before uttering a word the waiter pointed skywards and said abruptly "upstairs!". We reached the first floor the waiter there looked us up and down disparagingly for a second and then pointed to the corner "you sit there". We didn't argue.

Friends of mine have got off far worse. Someone once complained that the food they had ordered was taking rather a long time to arrive. "If you want fast food go to McDonald's". No arguing with that. And I heard the story of an elderly woman finding it hard to walk asked to sit downstairs rather than upstairs the waiter replied. "This is a restaurant not a hospital".

I'm told that what they say about the customers in Cantonese is far worse. I don't speak Cantonese. Probably just as well.

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