Time Out says
A traditional Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown.
A decidedly utilitarian Chinatown stalwart, Four Seasons doesn’t really do a red-carpet welcome (you’re required, for instance, to have your whole party there before you’re even allowed in). But once settled, you can expect professional, courteous service and a table for as long as you want. Plus some very fine Cantonese staples. Because while other London restaurants are exploring myriad different aspects of Chinese regional cuisines, Four Seasons continues to plough its Cantonese furrow: and it’s as good as it gets.
The menu features the usual dishes – among them sweet and sour, lemon, and black bean sauces – but the go-to dishes here have to be those three pillars of Cantonese cuisine: roast duck, char siu pork and crispy pork. All are pure meaty succulence and flavourful intensity, and served in generous portions. There’s a delicious soya chicken too, which, like the duck, is available as a boneless option, meaning no faffing around trying to debone your dinner with chopsticks... instead, you can focus on those flavours. And what flavours! The meats are as good as anything you’ll get in Chinatown, and need to be eaten with just some steamed rice and a pile of vibrant green choi sum to make you feel that life – and food – really doesn’t get much better than this.
By all means try some spring rolls and dumplings while you’re waiting, and add in a deep, rich hot pot of aubergine and minced pork to balance the simplicity of the meats, but leave plenty of space for the main attraction. With a few beers and complimentary orange slices, it’s a very satisfying reminder that doing one thing extremely well is more than enough.
12 Gerrard Street
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £50.|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (24)
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:11
I've been to this restaurant many times. My impression was horrible customer service while the food was okay. However, after 2 incidents, I won't go again.
First incident: I arrived earlier before my friend, so I asked the staff can I have a table for 2, though I saw 5 empty tables in front of me (just wanted to be polite). The staff asked where is your friend. I said, well, she is on the way just off the tube. Then the staff said: wait outside. Excuse me?! it was 2 degree outside, while she got 5 empty tables, and that time wasn't a peak dining hour. Second incident: I was dining alone one day in this restaurant. The staff pushed me to finish quickly, and showed me her rolling eyes whenever she passed by my table!
Have been a regular customer over several years, both dining in restaurant or purchasing takeaways. However, have found the standard and taste of food have deteriorated in the last 6 months especially. Their ‘famous’ roast meats were bland and extremely fatty and gristly and some of the dishes were cold instead of sizzling when they arrived. Service was abrupt and rushed. Family and friends who have dined with me or who I have purchased food for responded similarly. Maybe Four Seasons is getting a tad complacent and arrogant following positive reviews from Time Out or a victim of its own success???
Awful dirty restaurant,service non existent and very rude staff.god knows what the kitchen looks like judging the state of the restaurant and toilets.
Don’t waste your money and time
As a Chinese, I would say food standard is appalling for such a well known restaurant.
As an Asian, you can forget about getting good service. The waiters/waitresses all have a condescending attitude and talk/serve you as if you owe them your life. Don't think of getting to finish your food either... they will bring the bill the minute you start digging into your food and ask you how you want to pay. They clearly want to get you out so they can pull in the next poor fella and take their cash.
Fortunately/Unfortunately they do have double standards towards Westerners so you poor fellas will probably never think of trying out the truly great restaurants that the real Chinese people go to.
Four of us went for a birthday and had four set menus with three lemonades each and all I can say is that if you are willing to pay £135.00 for this including being sandwiched between other tables to squeeze in as many people as possible; receive every dish warm to cold probably due to the time it takes to transport it using the dumb waiter between the floors; eat food that appeared to be cooked from frozen; be rushed between meals so that they can vacate the table for the next party; eat all food off plastic plates; have the drinks arrive warm in cans to pour yourself; eat amongst drab decor in need of refurbishment and then have to pay a service charge for this poor service, then this is the place for you.
Had dinner here with 2 children and enjoyed it. Prices are correct and the bill is electronic and accurate. Indeed an automatic tip is added, about 10%. A lot of local chinese folks eat out here which made us chose for it. Would recommend it.
They served warm beer and tried to charge us. Unbelievable! I will never go back to this restaurant.
Ate here after a night out in soho at about 10.30 on a Friday night, had a great experience. The food was delicious, not greasy as some Chinese sometimes can be, was quick to be served, portion sizes were large, prices were very reasonable. Two of us ate for £20 (without drinks) with plenty left over to take home with us. The staff could do with cracking a smile now and then but overall the food was great, all you could want from a cheap eat.
I joined the queue with others today for the roast duck after some nudging by the HK compatriots who have been living in London for a long time. Now it seemed the queue was overdone. SERVICE: First, as a citizen of HK, the service reflects a bad image of Hong Kong people. I am ashamed to be a Hong Kong-er once inside the restaurant. Am surprised customers stuck to the bad treatment. Humans can be a bit of a "b*tch" at times aren't we? LOL. But let me assure you HK people are friendlier than these people in the restaurant. You have to forgive them, if HK people were more educated, do you think they would serve you ducks?? I mean, these guys aren't even serving ducks, they were just coordinating tables. At least they look techie with the cheap walkie talkie on their earpieces! Most importantly, tips shouldn't be imposed! FOOD: A little disappointing. The duck meat was rightly cooked. Taste was acceptable but not any better than Gold Mine at Bayswater. What many people wouldn't have noticed was the amount of MSG and dye being used to marinate the duck apart from the five-spice herbs. Sugar content disguised in the form of maltose syrup was higher than average. This ingredient was used in the duck gravy to produce the sweet-savoury sauce to go with the duck. As a food gastronomy critic, I investigated the sauce content. Soy sauce-sugar ratio was 1:0.5. What this means? Is that for every bowl of soy sauce, there was potentially half a bowl of sugar mixed in the ingredient. What's the big deal, as long as the duck tasted good, you ask? Cakes have more sugar content. At least you know about cakes, but what did you know about the gravy? MSG and sugar, the perfect ingredients to dry your throats and dehydrate the kidney hence you might realise you're exceptionally thirsty after a meal at good ol' Four Seasons. I downed a bottle of 500ml mineral water in the car when I left the restaurant. Sure the duck tasted good but I'll stick to what I know best about what goes into my duck at Bayswater. It was an enlightening experience at Four Seasons but I'll stay away from it for now. If I am at Chinatown and have a craving for ducks, I'll probably pop over either to New Mayflower or Young Cheng (both located next to each other on Shaftesbury's Avenue, a street parallel to Gerrard's Street).
The food is delicious and the BBQ meats are fantastic. Particularly the roast duck and crispy belly pork. However, the service is rude and not overly efficient if you're European. I had to dispute the service charge due to the lack of service - seriously, if they want a tip, I am happy to give it to them, but the staff need to be polite. After a slanging match with three of the staff, over 2 quid, I told them I will not be going back. Shame. But honestly there are far friendlier restaurants nearby.
Absolutely appalling service! made it a really unpleasant experience. Our table of 9 was deliberately ignored by 2 out of 3 waiters serving our floor. We felt rushed to finish our meal & leave. They took our teapot away and didn't return it until we asked for the 4th time. It's a shame because the food is good. I will definitely never return there again. I visited on Wednesday 8th August 2012.
Lunchtime roast duck. In the window I read the FT article on how it's the 'best in the world'. It is good - but, not the best. Not actually close, baby. Within a 5 mile radius I can ping five places better. I think they have very good marketing techniques though! Online reviews of other restaurants seem to have an above average number of suggestions that the reader forsake this one and go along to Four Seasons.
You'll find four seasons has the biggest queues out of all of the restaurants in China Town, mostly consisting of South-East Asians, and this is for a reason - it's the best duck place outside Beijing - no exaggeration. Ignore what the other reviews said, have the duck and you won't be disappointed. I must have been there over 20 times and keep coming back.
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