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Lee Ho Fook's

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Lee Ho Fook
Lee Ho Fook (From the song) - panoramio.jpg
Lee Ho Fook in January 2008
Restaurant information
Street address15-16 Gerrard Street
CityLondon
Postal/ZIP CodeW1D 6JE
CountryUnited Kingdom
Reservations020 7494 1200/2100

Lee Ho Fook's is a Chinese restaurant located in London Chinatown at 15-16 Gerrard Street.[1] though was previously located at 4 Macclesfield Street.[2]. In 1974 it became the first Chinese restaurant in the United Kingdom to be awarded a Michelin Star.[3] The restaurant is best known internationally for a reference in the lyrics of 1978 song "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon.[4]

Reviews[edit]

A 1968 review of Lee Ho Fook's in The Times described it as "undoubtedly one of the best new Cantonese restaurants in London". One of the three owners of the restaurant, Vincent Tsui told The Times that initially they had not expected their cooking to appeal to English people but found that they had come regularly and that "We're not going to make any concessions". A small card with the Chinese names of dishes to present to waiters was given to customers who only spoke English.[5] The 1969 edition of The Good Food Guide praised Lee Ho Fook's "strikingly individual cooking" as "the work of an artist".[6]

William F. Heintz called it "one of the top places to dine in all of London" in a review for The Chinese-American News Magazine in 1974.[7]

In a 1978 review for the New York Times wrote that the food was "quite good...though it should be characterized as Chinese food for Westerners" and praised the "sweet and sour pork, beef stir‐fried with peppers and onions, chicken soup with egg drops" and "Cantonese staple" crabmeat soup with corn. The decor was described as "a mishmash of Chinese restaurant clichés—panels embossed with dragons, lanterns, woven bamboo, and with rather cramped seating". The waiting service was described as "virtually non-existent".[8]

In culture[edit]

In the book Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA Robert Ji-Song Ku wrote that Zevon’s reference to Lee Ho Fook's was emblematic of his perception of the ubiquity of Chinese food in the daily life of British people.[9] The writer and novelist Will Self wrote that he was a fan of Lee Ho Fook's for the fact that it was mentioned in Zevon’s song.[10] The comedian and writer Rich Hall imagined dining at the restaurant as a werewolf in his 2010 short story collection Magnificent Bastards.[11]

References[edit]

  1. "Go to Lee Ho Fook's, get a big dish of beef chow mein". Bob Cromwell: Travel, Linux, Cybersecurity.
  2. "Lee Ho Fook". Evening Standard. 13 July 2000.
  3. Rachel Dixon (7 August 2008). "Nibbles". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  4. "Story Of The Song: Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon (1978)". The Independent. 11 July 2008.
  5. "Care with Cantonese". The Time (57142). 6 January 1968. p. 20. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  6. Turnbull, Tony (19 April 2008). "Back to the Future". The Time (69302). p. 20. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  7. East West: The Chinese-American News Magazine. 1974. p. 4. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. "...And Rating Restaurants in Soho's New 'China'". New York Times. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  9. Robert Ji-Song Ku (31 December 2013). Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 70–. ISBN 978-0-8248-3921-5. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. Will Self (26 September 2002). Feeding Frenzy. Penguin Books. pp. 437–. ISBN 978-0-14-192131-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. Rich Hall (4 March 2010). Magnificent Bastards. Little, Brown Book Group. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-0-7481-1873-1. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png


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