If you Google "rudest restaurant in London" every result on the first page directs you to the same venue – the notorious Wong Kei. But now the Chinatown eatery that has earned cult status for its snarling waiters is under new ownership – and is pledging to improve the quality of its service.
The news may come as a disappointment to generations of diners who have grown accustomed to the grumpy insults dished out by serving staff to customers who resist being told to share tables or go upstairs.
Wong Kei shut its doors earlier this month, sparking fears among "Wonkees" that it might be closing for good. One loyal diner, archaeologist Brenna Hassett, 33, said: "This is deeply tragic. Wong Kei's is a student favourite of mine and a crew of friends. The order to 'go upstairs' rings for ever in my mind."
But manager Daniel Luc said that the restaurant in Wardour Street would reopen on 10 March after refurbishment, albeit with a slightly different approach. "Maybe there was an issue with rude staff 20 to 30 years ago, but I don't think so any more. I don't know whether that's a good thing or not!" he said.
"But, in my opinion, the things we will be improving are the service and the quality of food. We'll still have the same menu, so customers can look forward to their favourite things."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies