You know when you are choosing a restaurant for a sit down meal, the ambiance of the restaurant will be one of your selection criteria? When it comes to takeaway, I think the speed and ease of ordering and collection is the equivalent to the atmosphere of a sit down meal. No matter how delish the food is, if I leave the shop with a ball of agro sitting at the bottom of my tum apart from my order, you bet I’ll be reluctant to return. Today’s joint is case in point. Good food, lousy service!
Had to make a trip back to my other office today for a meeting and since we are moving, thought I give Lemongrass Kitchen another chance. This small takeaway shop is located in South Quay Plaza and is the only Asian food joint in the South Quay area. Its serves a limited lunch menu with pre-made dishes in a steamer table. There is a fridge area which holds a selection of sushi, salads and tubs of noodles.
If you are after the hot food, queue up at the cash register, make your order and you will get a receipt with a number. Then you mill around in the small shop while waiting for 3 moronic servers to assemble your order. I’m serious, they are really moronic! Let me explain… Today, I ordered the Aromatic Duck Noodle and went for the tom yum soup base (other soup options include lemongrass and lime or miso). Server 1 spooned the soup into the noodle tub and hand it Server 2, Server 2 then places it into the microwave and set the timer. Server 3 then took it out of the microwave, closed the container, looked at the receipt, opened the container again to check that the contents matches the receipt before placing my order in a plastic bag. All these tasks done at snail pace! The same happens when you order dishes from the steam table. Server 1 scoops rice/noodles into container and pass it to Server 2, Server 2 tops it up with the dish selected and hands it to Server 3. Server 3 then checks and double checks the order before bagging. Cmon! This is not exactly a production line, why spilt the task up that finely? If each of them manages an order from beginning to end, it will save so much time!
It makes my blood boil watching them work. I know this place is popular with the workers in this area, but I think the source of the queue and the milling is predominantly caused by the inefficiency of the serving crew. It does not help that the shop has introduced 3 sizes for their hot meals. It just causes more confusion for the servers.
Ok, enough ranting, does the noodles justify the agro? The tom yum soup base is nice and spicy with hints of lemongrass and lime leaves. Maybe it’s a bit too oily but it hits the spot on a cold and windy day. The egg noodles are those used in wonton noodles
, thin but with a nice bite. The duck I think was slightly roasted before slicing and is nice and tender. The other condiments include spinach, chinese leaf, julienned carrots, bean sprouts and pieces of fried tofu. Since the last time I had it, the price has increased by quite a lot, in fact all prices has increased across the board. The duck noodle was £5.85 the last time I had it. Today, it’s £6.55. I’m undecided as to whether it is value for money.
As much as I like the noodles, it is not enough of an incentive for me to endure the aggravation of getting it. The price does not help.
Unit 5 South Quay Plaza
185 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SH
0207 537 9392