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Chung Ku

Chung Ku Chinese Restaurant
Riverside Drive
Liverpool L3 4ED

Tel.: 0151 726 8191

Saturday 24th November 2001

Marg and I were in Liverpool shopping with our daughter, Kathryn. After running out of steam, we decided that we would eat out, rather than getting a take-away or getting Marg to cook. We had dined a couple of times at the Chunk Ku Chinese on the East Lanc's Road (A580) near Liverpool so having seen this establishment a few weeks ago, we decided to try it.

It was fairly early evening - just around six pm - when we turned into Riverside Drive, to be confronted by a distinctively designed building which overlooks the Mersey. The place certainly looked swish. We entered, and asked if we could have a table by the panoramic window, but were told that they were all pre-booked, so we took a table in the middle of the room. This still gave a good view of the lights of Birkenhead and the Wirral reflecting in the river.

I was still suffering from Tuesday's dental surgery and, being on antibiotics, could take no alcohol. Soft drinks for me and Marg, a Gin and Tonic for Kathryn.

We perused the menu. Fairly standard stuff, but with the promise of higher-class seafood hinted at by the words "seasonal" rather than a particular type.

We weren't too hungry, and had not intended on a large, plush meal, but Kathryn still wanted starters and a main meal - her favourite of Sweet and Sour Pork.

Prawn Crackers, Prawn Toast and Deep Fried Squid were selected as starters to be shared between Kathryn and me.

The Squid was an immediate disappointment, being very rubbery, and with the batter having a doughy flavour. Shortly after, the Prawn Toasts were delivered - these were soggy, overdone and flavourless. I even had to ask for some Chili sauce to try and pep the starters up. Kathryn agreed with my disappointment (Marg doesn't care for seafood much, so had not tried them).

I then found myself in a dilemma. I really wanted to point out to the staff that the dishes really weren't up to expectations - but neither Marg nor Kathryn would allow me to say anything. The waiters walked past, unsure as to why we were not completing the starters. In the end I had to ask them to take them away and bring the main course.

The waiters made no comment or enquiry.

Marg and I had decided to share the "Chung Ku Special Platter" which consisted of Fillet Beef Roll, Spring Roll, Seaweed, Rib, Satay Chicken Skewer and Crispy Wonton. Kathryn's Fried Rice and Sweet and Sour Pork was delivered onto a hot-plate (which wasn't hot), but was otherwise pronounced OK.

Our platter, however, was unfortunately just as disappointing as the starters.

The overall impression was that we had been served up left-overs from the lunchtime session.

Our verdict was that the standard of food was poor for any type of Chinese restaurant, let alone one which has the outward appearance of style and class that this one has. Moreover, it didn't seem to be an isolated lapse - all the components we were served (bar Kathryn's) were below the standard I would expect of a competent restaurant.

Chung Ku - if you read this, take heed! I was not in a position to make the point at the time, but I should not have needed to anyway. If your waiters had been better trained, perhaps they would have been able to elicit from us just why most of what we were served was returned uneaten. It is unlikely that we will venture again into this restaurant.

Finally, by the time we left, not one of the supposedly pre-booked tables had been occupied

Sandro, Marg and Kathryn


Eatanddrink Ratings

Chung Ku

Total Score: 47%
Quality: Below Average
Service: Average
Facilities: Above Average
Ambience: Above Average
Value: Below Average


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