You may not get the friendliest service or the best quality but If you want quick and cheap eats then this is the place to go. This cafe is located in the centre of Chinatown, with only a few tables indoors and outdoors. You are not allowed to sit down at a table, because if you do you will get told off by the angry boss. You are meant to order at the counter and they will allocate your table, and too bad if you didn't want to sit outside. Someone got told off in front of us, the boss was quite rude. They are pretty strict about that, I am not sure if I like the idea. What happens if you're waiting for someone and then you can't order and therefore you can't sit down at a table, then by the time your someone comes, there are no tables left? The waitress who served us did not understand good english either, we had to keep repeating ourselves and repeat the order and she still got it wrong. The boss lady was very rude, we asked if there was fried rice and she pointed to the pictures and said this is what we have to order and that was all they served. After a few minutes of sitting down at our table, the boss lady had to come and and confirm our order again. I didn't understand how hard it was to take orders for four dishes that were on the pictures, and we pointed to them.
This cafe pretty much works on order your food, food comes out in a timely fashion, you eat and then you leave. They would want quicker turn over time for the customers. If you want to sit down and mingle, this is not the place to go. All the waitresses there will clear the table as soon as you put your plates or bowls down and they will walk up and down, which can get very annoying.
Food arrives at your table quickly!!
The hainanese chicken rice was pretty sad. The chicken thigh was dismantled, and the presentation didn't look great.
The seafood laksa looked like a bowl of yellow noodles in white colour soup. I thought it was meant to be coconut based curry soup, all I could taste was a little bit of coconut milk with some flakes of chili inside. The only seafood was a couple of prwns and three or four squid rings.
Char Kway Teow was not too bad, it was just missing some shrimps, fish cakes and dark soy sauce. It could have been fried a little bit more to get more of the wok taste.
I must say the quality of food has gone down a lot. I remembered dining there a couple of years back and it used to be very good. I am not sure if they changed chefs or what. I would only commend them for serving the food very quickly and the price of the food, but that's about it.
Chinatown Cafe - 38 Moonta Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, (08) 8231 2230