Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant

This restaurant has ceased trading.

Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant
107–109 St Leonard's Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QY
  • Telephone 0131 662 0777
  • Food served Wed–Mon 4–11pm. Closed Tue.
  • Pre-theatre times Sun–Thu 4–8pm, Fri/Sat 4–6pm
  • Average price £15 (evening meal)
  • Pre-theatre price £11.45
  • Email
  • Website www.karenwongchineserestaurant.co.uk
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2014 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2013 edition.

Karen Wong is the name above the door and, unsurprisingly, the host’s personality is front and centre of this cosy Southside restaurant. The warm welcome and attentive service has been rewarded with a loyal clientele who return time after time since the restaurant opened its doors in 2005. The prices, too, are very reasonable, with a pre-theatre menu available most nights and a range of good-value banquets on offer. The sit-in menu is extensive, and while it may offer few surprises, the cooking is of a consistently high standard with sauces augmented by generous helpings of crunchy vegetables. It’s a good idea to start with a sharing plate, such as the crispy combination platter, which features won tons, spring rolls and tasty, sticky chicken wings, or the wonderful crispy aromatic duck served with cucumber, spring onions, pancakes and hoi sin sauce. Of the mains, the honey chicken arrives tender with a sweet glaze that’s offset by a good kick of spice, while juicy king prawns are served with cashews in a yellow bean sauce that complements rather than smothers the taste of the fish. The dessert selection is underwhelming but you’re unlikely to have much spare capacity in any case.

  • High point: Great value food and friendly, attentive service
  • Low point: No big surprises on the menu
  • Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Pre-theatre menu
  • Music on stereo: Piano versions of soft rock classics
  • Capacity: 50
  • Largest group: 50
  • Open since: 2005
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
  • House wine: £13.95 per bottle

Comments & ratings

4. Tom A13 Apr 2012, 2:23pm5 stars Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant Report

Fantastic little restaurant! I reckon it's the best place in the capital city to get some Chinese food.

The food is really delicious, have visited several times and this has always been the case no matter what I or my dinner guests have ordered. Unlike many other Chinese restaurants in Edinburgh the food here is light and full of flavour - not stodgy mounds of nondescript fodder covered in MSG. The natural flavours of the ingredients used are allowed to shine and all accompanying sauces enhance and bring out these flavours. On particular note the lemon and sweet and sour sauce from Karen Wong's is something I really enjoy, it tastes so much more subtle and less sickly sweet than what I've come to expect from most Chinese restaurants - it isn't the same mass produced cash and carry stuff the local take away deals with.

The restaurants itself is small but never feels crowded, tables are spaced comfortably apart from one another and it never feels like your privacy is being intruded on by other diners.

The host Karen Wong is very friendly and attentive making sure that the needs of all diners are being catered for - whether that be in the form of insuring dietary requirements are being met, reading glasses are on hand or just making sure that everything is right with your food and drinks.

I recommend this place to friends and family all the time and love to come here once every month. If you're looking for some delicious Chinese food but are bored with what the buffets have to offer give Karen Wong's a try - you won't regret it.

3. Leith29 Dec 2010, 9:33pm1 star Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant Report

I wish I could concur with the last two reviews unfortunately not so. Looks like the stars were not shining on the night we picked up our takeaway. Starters were bland, no spice and looks like they ran out of salt in the kitchen. Dumplings were in fact deep fried wan tons and the tampura was from a sweet and sour bottle, possibly blue dragon. Mains - chicken chowmein would be great for lovers of reconstituted chicken peices that are bought in airsealed bags, personally I prefer fresh chicken cooked on the premises, reconstitited chicken is like eating a tasteless rubber car tyre. Duck in black bean sauce-a great portion of duck, which was swimming in what can only be descibed as thin tasteless (beef) gravy, and I am being generous in mentioning that the stock had any beef near it. I think the duck must have eaten the taste of out of the sauce and again no salt. Altogether a most dissapointing meal and I dare say I could do a better job myself. I suggest the LIST pays another visit and that their food critic gets their taste buds checked by a GP beforehand or at the very least they make sure they go when they are not suffering from the cold or flu as this can often affect one's taste.

2. Lynda3 Feb 2010, 12:43pm4 stars Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant Report

Visited recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is certainly a very friendly place. Food was delicious too. The chicken and cashew nuts was beautifully cooked but far too mild for my taste - needs to be spicier! Prawn wontons were fantastic. Shall definitely return!

1. XYY16 Jul 2008, 5:37pm Report

Words cannot describe how good Karen Wong's chinese resturant is. It is opposite the police station at st lenords. Not exactly a buffet, but 6 courses for UNDER £20 is what I call great value, we couldn not move after it. Just wait until you meet Miss Karen Wong, she is hillarious, a very very very funny woman, she is nuts. Very good!

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Average rating 3.5/5 from 3 reviews of Karen Wong's Chinese Restaurant.

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