Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frozen in Time (#3)

Whilst searching around for 'Frozen in Time' Chinese restaurants and takeaways around London I managed to overlook the most obvious place to look - Chinatown itself.

The last few years have seen massive change in Gerrard Street (and it seems there's more on the way) with businesses opening and closing all the time. When even the ancient Kowloon Restaurant gets a makeover, you know things really are changing.

Friendly Inn, at the eastern end of Gerrard Street, has been here as long as I can remember. I think it was even here before Gerrard Street was pedestrianized and had a road running through it.

The exterior sign may look old fashioned now at first glance but it was clearly designed to suggest modernity and class in its time; You can almost picture businessmen with 70s sideburns and wearing large kipper ties coming here for a post-work dinner. Looking inside, you can see fittings and furniture that might not have changed in decades.

In all these years I've never eaten at Friendly Inn once, yet I'd love to see it remain as it is.

'Frozen in Time' is a bbc blog celebration of Chinese establishments that have stood the test of time and kept their original look in an age of constant revamping and updating. If you see any other 'frozen in time' Chinese establishments, drop me a line!


almostwitty.com said...

I ate there once, stumbling back from a pub. The food was ok, not brilliant but not bad either.

Madam Miaow said...

The Canton opposite the pagoda in Newport Place seems to have been there forever, and is where I used to go in my clubbing years. It used to be open 24 hours a day so was a great place to have breakfast after a hard night's dancing.

I still pop in there for a fiver's worth of pork and duck on rice when I'm in town.