C&R Restaurant

Prawn CrackersLondon has a huge number of Chinese restaurants, many that are quite good, and others that are easily avoidable. In contrast, Singaporean and Malaysian restaurants are a little harder to come by. I’ve been meaning to visit one that is really close to me on Westbourne Grove, the C&R Restaurant, and last night was a good a time as any. C&R is strangely decorated for an Asian restaurant, with plain white walls and dim lighting giving a little bit of a sterile feel.

Tables are moved about to form smaller groups, though I found it slightly discomforting with our table moved to a mere 4cm away from the next one. It wasn’t a problem for us last night, but it could be if you were sitting next to some really loud people. The menu arrived with a small bowl of complementary prawn crackers, and I was impressed with the variety stretching from Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian dishes. Even the drinks include a number of more classic Asian drinks including sugar cane juice and warm Milo! We decided to have the Mee Goreng, and the Singapore Noodles and a side of vegetables. The dishes took a long time to arrive, and I was surprised that they didn’t even ask us if we wanted more drinks throughout our waiting.

Out of the three dishes, I most enjoyed the Mee Goreng noodles since it seemed to have, what I thought of as, the right level of smokiness, sweetness and heat. The vegetables with garlic were the next bet, though very greasy and with an obvious touch too much sherry added. I was most disappointed with the Singapore Noodles that were both excessively soupy and lacked heat of any kind. I ended up having to ask for some chilli to add to it to give it some semblance of proper Singapore Noodles.

Ice KachangI don’t normally have desserts when I eat Asian food, but seeing as they had some dishes you don’t see anywhere, we decided to try the Ice Kachang. An ice kachang is designed perfectly and is a must have dish if you end up in the food courts of Singapore or Malaysia to take the edge of the ridiculous heat and humidity. The dish is typically made of heapings of sweetcorn, grass jelly, red beans (amongst many other subtle variations), topped with shaved ice followed by drizzlings of evaporated milk and a variety of sweet syrups. I think it’s nice that C&R attempts to provide it, and though it certainly serves the purpose of refreshing the palette is definitely not worth the £4 it costs.

C&R has a lot of going for it if you a reminiscent of some more regional Asian dishes, but I think it falls short of anything really authentic, especially if you consider the lack of Asians eating in the place. Their food is rather average and I’m sure there are places that serve better Malaysian, Singapore or Indonesian food, but is okay if you happen to be in the area.

Details: C&R Restaurant
Found on: 52 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH
Contactable on: 0871 0757874
Highlights: Good variety of regional Asian dishes, not easily found in London. Most food is priced quite reasonably still and you get free prawn crackers.
Room for improvement: Half the dishes fell short of average quality, tables were really too close together and the setting seemed a little sterile for my liking.
The Kua Rating: 6 out of 10

5 Replies to “C&R Restaurant”

  1. I thought that the dishes were quite oily and greasy overall – not just the veges. Clearly it was so that the heat (and I mean temperature heat not spicy heat) could be maintained but they could have lain off it a bit.

  2. Do you realise westbourne grove is a franchise?
    being a masssive fan of C&R cafe, i would like to state that the first the original C&R cafe is so much like a south east asian kopi tiam. if you go to the C&R in chinatown it is much different atmoshpere because for some strange reason the one in westbourne grove is much more formal. if you want cheerful laid back atmosphere fulled with malaysian and singaporean locals go to the one in chinatown , it is tucked away in a alleyway. it gives you the upbeat kopi tiam feel . it is the exact opposite of the one you reviewed ,
    i recommed you eat the prawn noodle soup and singaporean laksa.
    please go review the C&R in soho because i think that the westbourne grove one is a dissapointment and don’t let that tarnish the image of C&R in your mind.
    the first reason i visited C&R was because of london eating
    i recommend you read this page.

  3. Hello! Thanks for this. I was wondering if there were many vegetarian options on the menu (@ Westbourne Grove)? I’m going to be close by for a float session and husband is fussy and vegetarian. At first I thought Urban Turban, then read the negative reviews, then thought of Hereford Road, but the vegetarian options are practically non-existent…

    Helen Yuet Ling

  4. Hi Helen,

    I can’t really remember if there were lots of vegetarian options on the menu. If you’re okay with Indian, I’d try Khan’s just up the road. They’re cheap and quite reasonable.



  5. Baywater branch – Thumbs up for starter. HOWEVER… The restaurant was awfully cold and all food were serve in cold plates. The main course was disaster and when we made a complain, the manager seems to prioritise his lunch, walking around with toothpicks in his mouth after. No member of staff put any effort to resolve our complains about the stale and sour taste vegetables and the weird taste in our noodles. I wonder how they hide their track when Food Inspector is around? We paid and left the restaurant very cold and hungry. I was very embarass and will never bring friends around there ever again!
    As for the branch by London C.Town, it’s about the same. The ambient is far more uncomfortable. At least ‘some’ staff are polite but most of them pull a long face anyway. How can we expect good service when the SO CALLED owners relative (fair female with glasses) that is in this branch do not set a good example? I had never seen her smile nor polite at all. Her ignorance Attitude stinks! Such a shame for her to be around there or otherwise, a good example will bring the environment chirpier. But at least the food is far far better then Bayswater Branch, that place is a waste of time and money. And I do have doubts for the food handler to serve stale food.

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