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“Worst Chinese meal ever”
Review of Happy Panda

Happy Panda
Ranked #33 of 59 Restaurants in Monmouth
Price range: USD 3 - USD 20
Description: We are a Chinese restaurant in the evening and a cafe / bistro serving British fopd with noodles and Chinese food at lunchtime. We open at 9 am for breakfasts and close at 3 pm approx. in the afternoon and reopen in the evening at 6pm (closed tuesday evening) and close at approx. 10pm. We are opening a wine/ beer/ cocktail bar in the function room upstairs which is also available for private hire. We provide a takeaway service mainly for Chinese food.
Restaurant details
Description: We are a Chinese restaurant in the evening and a cafe / bistro serving British fopd with noodles and Chinese food at lunchtime. We open at 9 am for breakfasts and close at 3 pm approx. in the afternoon and reopen in the evening at 6pm (closed tuesday evening) and close at approx. 10pm. We are opening a wine/ beer/ cocktail bar in the function room upstairs which is also available for private hire. We provide a takeaway service mainly for Chinese food.
Reviewed 6 April 2018

It pains me to have to write this review as the two people running this restaurant obviously set out to give their own interpretation of Chinese food, and not stick to the traditional "Westernised" version with which we are all so familiar.

We went here after reading good reviews, but were rather surprised to find the place almost empty on a Saturday night! The (non-Chinese) gentleman who served us, sporting a red baseball cap, was cheerful, polite and efficient. So we waited with great expectations for the arrival of our food which we were eagerly looking forward to after a hard day's walking along Offa's Dyke.

But oh dear! The prawn dumplings looked about as unappetising as they turned out to be, and were slightly burnt. To say that they looked like aborted foetuses languishing on a large white plate was no exaggeration. And then I had the duck, which, when it arrived, looked more like South African biltong and was so dried up it resisted even a fierce attach with the knife. The sweet and sour pork was probably the best dish, but heavily overwhelmed with the taste of Soy sauce. When the noodles arrived, they were just that: a bowlful of sad-looking yellow limp things all on their own with no attempt to make them look more cheerful.

Needless to say, this was one of the worst meals I've ever had, and the wine was ghastly too. The only saving grace was that they didn't take a service charge.

So, if you're looking to eat Chinese in Monmouth, I'd look for somewhere else!!

    • Value
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3  Thank Geoffrey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philip P, Owner at Happy Panda, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2018

Sorry if you were disappointed with your meals, the majority of our customers are more than satisfied with our authentic Chinese food but we are always looking at ways to improve presentation and ambience.

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7 - 11 of 63 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2018

The food in this establishment is really, really good. The rest of the place is quite plain and ordinary, but if you’re looking for a lovely meal in very simple surroundings, you won’t go wrong. Phillip, the owner, is a great guy. Very helpful and just wants you to enjoy the food. His wife is the chef and she’s very good at what she does. The food takes a long time to arrive as there’s only one chef.
If you fancy an evening out for a great price, but are not too bothered about furnishings and ambience, give this place a try.
There wasn’t a great selection of drinks, but ever helpful Phillip even went out and bought some more!
We ate the Banquet menu, which was £14.95 for up to 6 starters and 6 main courses. Great value!
We were a party of 5 and whilst we had to wait a long time for our food, it was worth it!

Thank Jacqueline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philip P, Owner at Happy Panda, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2018

THankyou for your nice review, we are committed to providing a good dining experience with the banquet menu.

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Reviewed 25 February 2018

I don't normally eat Chinese meals as my experience of them has been pedestrian, greasy and a bit boring. Happy Panda is none of those. We chanced on it and gave it a try. As others have said, if you are expecting the meals that have been designed for the British palate, this is not for you. If you are looking for your expectations to be challenged, give it a go. The food is excellent from the egg fried rice onwards. It's obviously authentic, freshly cooked and totally different to accepted norms. If your idea of sweet and sour ribs is four ribs, side by side, in a sticky sweet sauce, think again. However, expect time to digest your meal as there are long delays in service, especially when there is a takeaway confusion. We would tried more of the banquet if we hadn't run out of time and that was a bit sad. Although the service was slow, there was nothing missing in enthusiam, knowledge and advice. My suggestion to the owners is that, as the food is so different, if you have a number of tables having the banquet, take out the multiple choice options. Tell what you are cooking next and ask if everyone wants to try the dish. The banquet could then be about taking customers on a Chinese culinery experience and tasting dishes that they would not normally try.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Kate P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philip P, Owner at Happy Panda, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2018

Thankyou Kate for your mainly excellent review, service was slow on that night due to takeaways , we need more staff on some nights.We pride ourselves on cooking authentic Chinese food and find the eat all you can menu gives customers a chance to try multiple dishes at one sitting.We would like to cook some dishes that are traditionally eaten in the home in China sometime.

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Reviewed 21 February 2018

This is my favorite restaurant for many many miles around serving absolutely stunning proper genuine chinese food a really rare find I hope to keep eating here for many years to come yum yum thankyou so much :-)

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    • Food
Thank Alex J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philip P, Owner at Happy Panda, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2018

Thankyou very much for your words of encouragement Alex,we are trying to stay true to the authentic taste of Chinese cuisine and not "westernise" our cooking, my wife is uncompromising and cooks as she would cook in China, unfortunately this isn't to everyone's taste but we like to please customers who understand real Chinese food.

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Reviewed 11 February 2018 via mobile

So we have a takeaway once in a blue moon. After taking the decision to try Happy Panda we have been left less than happy bunnies. A set meal and extra starter, I’d asked for the starter to be a slight change to what was on the menu, substitute Chicken Wings for Ribs in the chilli sauce starter, not hugely unreasonable I thought. So after a 15 mile round trip I get home to discover a tray of very dry, chilli sauces-less ribs. I call the restaurant to complain, they’d already realised their mistake “the chef was very upset about it” not have as upset as me mate after travelling 15 miles for our very rare takeaway treat. I was offered a few quid off our next order (we won’t be back) and told they could not offer us a refund back to the card (why???!) but could pop in sometime and we can give you some money back. Honestly, you keep the 4 quid. The rest of the meal was average at best, the chilli prawns had little to no chilli and the sweet and sour chicken was neither sweet or sour. Very disappointed.

Thank Julian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philip P, Owner at Happy Panda, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2018

Hi Julian, we were very upset we forgot the chilli sauce, providing good service is our priority,unfortunately our card machine doesn't allow phone transactions. The chillies were not as hot as normal , we won't use that supplier again. Our sweet and sour is normally very popular,sorry you were disappointed , please try us again.

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