Posted by: mikeydude | November 26, 2009

Tai Tung Wing Yip Chinese Restaurant Croydon Review (6/10)

Come on Chinese Chefs I KNOW you can do better than this!!!!

Perhaps I am too critical of chinese cuisine, but I just can’t help it because the standards in the UK are generally so bad it’s astonishing. I laughed out loud when a couple of years ago I read in a Times article that our cantonese restaurant in Cardiff called Happy Gathering was listed as one of the top chinese eateries in the UK. What a joke…. well they’re going to have to pull their socks up if they are to reach the standards that I know chinese food is more than capable of. Right now I just feel it’s just MSG MSG MSG, and it just always tastes the same.

Ok maybe that’s not true. The Salt Baked Chicken in Southampton’s Panda House when done correctly (i.e. on a good day) can even rival the top Hainanese Chicken Rice stools in Singapore and Malaysia. Also the roast duck in Paddington’s Pearl Liang can rival any roast duck I’ve ever had in Hong Kong itself. I generalise of course…

Anyway after my final of my 3 weekends in London on an exam course I decided to have my last meal at the ‘nationally renowned’ Wing Yip restaurant with a couple of friends.

Drinks: ‘Metal Buddha’ Chinese Tea

This essentially ruined the meal for me. It tasted funny. Now I’ve had this kind of chinese tea plenty of times before, and it hasn’t tasted like this. I wonder what they put in it…..

Salt Roasted Chicken

This actually looks a lot better than it tasted. It’s all nice and well serving up a whole chicken with tender thigh and leg meat, but then only the supermarket rotisseries (bar Waitrose) fail to do that. The difficulty from my experience is serving perfectly cooked tender chicken breast with it. Unfortunately this chicken failed in that respect. The skin lacked that silky smoothness that makes this dish so great. The meat was generally a tad overcooked. The sauce was not bad and served to nullify some of the dry meat but could not hide the flaws of the cooking. Not bad by any means… but not great either.

Cantonese Roast Duck

Nope. Definitely not the best roast duck I’ve ever had. The skin wasn’t crisp enough. The meat wasn’t succulent enough. You are left with mediocrity. They just cooked it for too long. Don’t get me wrong … I’d still happily eat this for dinner, but I’m searching for the best here.

Chilli-Pepper Deep Fried Squid

My dad orders this dish sometimes when we eat out in Chinese Restaurants… and I’ve always loved the slight chewiness of the squid meat encased in a light crispy batter that carried the slight kick of chillies and pepper. This plate was essentially deep fried squid mixed in with fried chillies and peppers. As you can see from the picture the batter was not crisp enough. It was still pale (flour) looking… not long enough in the fryer. The batter was seasoned thankfully. However it was 2 separate distinct tastes. The chilli and the squid. The batter should be spicy. Luckily the squid was not overdone and on its own was a tasty if somewhat unauthentic dish.

Fried Tofu with Prawn Paste Filling

Another chinese classic. This is basically squares of tofu with seasoned prawn filling placed into the middle and deep fried. A sauce is then poured over to finish. This was actually pretty good although they topped it with too much garlic I think. That is unnecessary unless the tofu is not fresh… which this wasn’t… but then not unacceptably so. Not bad by any means.

Water Spinach with Pickled Tofu & Chilli

Water spinach is one of my favourite vegetables when stir-fried with pickled tofu and chilli. They’re such a good combination that makes the experience of eating greens so much more pleasant 🙂 Anyway I have no complaints here except the veg was slightly overdone.

We ate all the above with white rice which was served and charged by the bowl.

The total was around £60 for 4, which is pretty good value as chinese food is on the whole. Food was satisfactory but I have no reason to come here again. Paddington’s Pearl Liang still remains my favourite for the time-being.


Tai Tung Restaurant
Wing Yip Business Centre
544 Purley Way

Tel: 0208 688 3668



  1. I guess when I get the chance, I will check that place out. I would pretty much want to eat the same thing except the first and last dish. =)

    • It’s alright… just beware of the tea!!! I suppose there’s free parking outside plenty…. which makes a change for london standards..

  2. I enjoyed it there… dont think i would order the last dish either!

    • It’s not bad as long as expecations are not sky high, but just nothing special. Haha… I must agree with you that the last dish has a colour that makes you nauseous if you don’t know what to expect. However those vegetables are delicious when they’re quickly stir fried with garlic, chilli, and fermented white bean!!

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