Look, I know restaurants have a life cycle and sometimes come and go (except for Rules, of course), but did it have to be literally my favourite restaurant in Chinatown? It’s with a good helping of personal devastation that I regret to inform you that Joy King Lau will be closing once service ends on Sunday, July 3, ending the storied reign of one of the tastiest, loveliest, most laidback joints in the neighbourhood.
This really is the end of an era; Joy King Lau opened almost 30 years ago, and ever since has been one of the best spots in Chinatown for a reasonable, delicious helping of Cantonese cuisine. You wanted a swift meal before a West End show? Joy King Lau. You wanted a filling feast before an evening touring Soho’s cocktail bars? You know where to go. Or at least, you did, because we’ll need to find a new spot now. And though it’s not like Chinatown is short on food options, this is still a heavy blow to endure.
In an Instagram post announcing the closure, restaurant manager King expressed thanks to all the team members who’d made it possible to serve banging Chinese food for 30 years (she may not have used the word banging, that’s my addition), and to all the customers who’d passed through the doors and spent the evening on a foodie journey. There’s no exact word on what will happen to the space after Joy King Lau closes – a ‘change of management’ was noted in their farewell post – but we can only hope something great will step up to replace it. Would an equally delicious restaurant that’s integral to the history, culture, and cuisine of Chinatown be too much to ask for? Please?
Also published on Medium.