Another great institution is to close

I don’t want to give this a like as it seems inappropriate, but do want to show that I understand and respect the point.

Yes, god bless them. I’m sure these chefs whilst not being a celebrity, are although legendary amongst the local and wider communities.
Holding their secret cook books under lock and key.
Once they’ve gone the establishment only has a little while to wind things down before a tsunami of angry customers venting their frustrations on trip advisor.


Used to eat here in the 80’s when I worked in the west end, cheap, great noodles, crispy pork and rude waiters. If you wanted a sit down and on your own they would put you on a big round communal table in the window whether you liked it or not “you sit here” (this before the buffet on show in the photo)! sadly now long gone.


I am very sad about this. We have two daughters adopted from China and every Chinese New Year we would treat ourselves to a delicious meal at the Joy King Lau. We didn’t manage it earlier this year and were about to book in mid-July when we saw the sad news.


I am sure your daughters give you great joy……what a lovely gift, another life👍

I left London 20 odd years ago and Chinatown and the surrounds are fondly remembered here.

I also wonder if the new generations of restaurant owners are tentative about taking over restaurant businesses from their retiring elders. I can imagine it must be a little daunting with the high rents and increasing food prices….and changing trends.

Lee Ho Fook! I remember my parents taking me there in the late 60’s. I don’t remember the name of another Chinese restaurant we also went to. It was located in a basement just off Kensington High Street. Can anyone help me? :slight_smile:

Not Chinese but I do remember the Bangkok just across from the museums which was rather excellent.

The whole gentrification of Soho is so sad. Many a great night bar hopping around Covent Garden before ending up in Chinatown around 2am for some great food. I left Camden in ‘95 for the North Norfolk Coast. Obviously to begin with I visited London regularly to meet up with friends. Out around Soho on a Friday night, stay over and visit vinyl record shops on a Saturday, back up to Norfolk Saturday afternoon then out on a gorgeous beach in North Norfolk on a Sunday but the lure of London just got less and less as the years passed. I’m now seeing a similar thing happening along the coast where I live. Great pubs serving locally sourced traditional pub food now being taken over by chains and turned into expensive gastro pubs. Gone are the days when starters and deserts used to be around £4. Now at least £9 in most places. I rarely go back to London now and a mate of mine said it’s unrecognisable.

Gosh, this was favourite of mine back in the 90’s. Sad to see it going. It was always chaotically great to visit.

I think London is just different. I am in my late 50’s, stayed in London throughout my adult life, and yes the stuff I remember from my 20’s has either changed or is gone. Cheapo cheapo records and Steve’s sounds disappeared. Chinatown changing too. But new stuff appears. A few weeks a mate took me for some great cheap dim sum in a small place beyond kings cross with Formica tables. I have eaten lovely Vietnamese food on the kingsland road. In time I guess all these places will go too. London is constantly changing and evolving, but I guess as we get older we miss what we remember from our youth. My mum still laments the passing of dickens & jones!


Hi. Yes, I agree that in some ways things have improved. I’m in my mid 60s and back in the 70s Soho was a place you didn’t feel comfortable walking around late at night. It’s been massively cleaned up as has the Kings Cross area. I’ve loved the way the cafe culture has emerged over the years and the variety of food, bars and cafes. I just think that over the last ten years it’s gone too far with rent prices going through the roof and shops/bars/restaurants unable to pay the prices to stay in business. Consortiums buying up properties that are now empty and turning them into lucrative flats within easy reach for people that work in Canary Wharf. I’m not sure if the market still exists in Soho anymore? At least some of the record shops are still there but Sister Ray had to move to smaller premises. There was a time when we had Virgin Megastore near Tottenham Court Road, HMV Oxford Circus and Tower Records in Piccadilly. My parents called it the Bermuda Triangle because once I was in there you couldn’t find me!


Speaking of our much-loved and disappearing old city, I mourn proper pie n mash shops.

Dalston - gone these many years
Leyton - the one on the High Rd gone ditto.
Broadway Market (heavily hipstered area these days) was still there last time I checked
There’s still one in Leytonstone (I hope?)
Walthamstow - still there! Plus a modern caff equivalent over the road (never been in)
The Roman? I must check… haven’t been down the Roman in a few years.
Used to be one in Camden - again, not sure if still there.

I miss the one in Dalston a lot. Used to be my local.

1 Like

If you mean Manze’s down Walthamstow High St, that closed down not too long ago.

There used to be a pie and mash shop in Wood St, E17, but that went years ago.

There is one in Rochester High St, but tbh I was never a fan of pie and mash shops, even though I like pies (and mash)

My best friend at school had a half Chinese girlfriend. Our trips up to town, in the 1970’s, always involved a trip Wong Kei. My favourite part was reordering tea by turning the lid of the teapot upside down.


Manzes has gone!?!
Man, that’s sad, sad news…

Yes, I used to work not far from the Wood St one.

Dammit. The loss is worse than I thought.

It closed this year. I moved out of E17 nearly 6 years ago, but I keep a slightly horrified eye on what goes on in Walthamstow.

I was surprised the one in Wood St lasted as long as it did, frankly.

The one in Royal College Street in Camden is called Castle’s. Still there. There’s also Goddard’s in Greenwich. Bizarrely enough, when I was in Newquay about 10 years ago there was a traditional pie n mash shop in the high street. Sadly no longer there. Another one on the coast is at Walton on the Naze near Clacton.

1 Like

So was I. Brothers Fish Bar is still going strong I believe.

Hope my old watering hole after work, The Flowerpot, hasn’t been made over by the craft beer middle class lot :crossed_fingers:
They got The Drum at Bakers Arms - looks awful

Ironically, I never drank in the Flower Pot until the night before I moved, using the Duke if I did have a drink locally. AFAIK, the Flower Pot has not changed, and the Brothers is still open.

Given all the new flats that have gone up since Marlowe Rd estate was flattened, there may be much more of a case for some “gourmet burgers” and “craft beers” at the Flower Pot. *

I can remember stalls in the road on Wood St, and the “Wood St Walk” (sadly eclipsed by the London Marathon). Things must change,but I was glad to get out of the borough in 2016, and have only been back once.
PS: White Swan, The Plough, Essex Arms, Royal Standard, Lord Brooke all gone, although remarkably the Raglan is still going

*Recent reviews would suggest it is much the same as it was

1 Like