- Unit L, The Junction, Wembley Retail Park, Engineers Way
Pacific Plaza was a reasonably-sized East and South-East Asian shopping mall and food court in Wembley very near Wembley Stadium. It was very similar to (and touted as the replacement for) the now-closed Oriental City, but has now closed in its turn.
As of April 2011, Mitsu reports that her husband was turned away at the door by a security guard. The Pacific Plaza website described this as a "temporary closure", but signs of its reopening are not promising, and indeed as of September 2011 the website itself has vanished.
Tetote Factory, the Japanese bakery that used to be on the ground floor, reopened in South Ealing in Autumn 2011, at 12 South Ealing Road, W5 4QA. Doki, the tableware shop (previously Utsuwa-No-Yakata in Oriental City) also reopened in Harrow Weald a month or so later, at 207 High Road, HA3 5EE.
The information below is retained for people who want to know what Pacific Plaza used to be like.
The first tenants moved in just before the end of 2009, and by mid-February 2010 the opening had progressed far enough for the centre to host a Chinese New Year celebration. In addition to the businesses mentioned below, there were plans for a supermarket, a bookshop, a clothes shop, and a martial arts hall offering classes and demonstrations, though as of October 2010 very little progress is apparent on any of these. The supermarket has been fitted out since January 2010 photo, but since the opening has been announced and then put off a number of times already, it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen — as of early October 2010 it still isn't open, though some progress does seem to have occurred in that a rank of shopping trollies has arrived photo.
As of early September 2010, there are four or five businesses trading on the ground floor:
- 8AM Healthcare Ltd photo, offering acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
- Doki photo — this is the Japanese crockery shop that used to trade as Utsuwa-No-Yakata in Oriental City. It's open 10am-6:30pm Mon-Sun.
- Tetote Factory photo — a Japanese bakery open 10am-7pm Mon and Wed-Sun. It also sells hot drinks, and although there's no seating in the shop, it's fine to take your purchases upstairs and eat them in the food court.
- O's Beauty photo, a beauty salon which as of October 2010 was advertising opening hours of 11am-6:30pm Mon-Sun, but wasn't actually open on the Saturday afternoon of our visit.
- A ceramics shop photo (not sure this is still there).
(There was also a tat shop photo, but this closed in September 2010.)
The food court is upstairs, on the first floor. As of October 2010, there's a very small amusement arcade in one of the food court units, with four game machines photo.
As of October 2010, seven or eight of the thirteen units in the food court are open for business:
- Spicy Thai — Thai food! menu p1, menu p2, menu p3, menu p4.
- NP Star Snack Bar — Japanese and Malaysian, specialising in crepes, fried things, takoyaki, and fruit skewers with chocolate dip photo.
- China House — Chinese food, roast meats, dim sum, rice, noodles, Sichuan food dim sum menu, roasted meats menu.
- Hot Korean — Korean food photo, menu.
- Shan — Japanese, previously Zen at Oriental City website, photo, menu p1, menu p2.
- Nambu — Japanese donburi (rice bowl) dishes Facebook photos.
- Darjeeling Momo — as of October 2010, this is only open at weekends menu photos.
- Seleramu — Malaysian hawker food website, menu. An anonymous commenter tells us that Seleramu make their own rotis from scratch rather than buying them frozen. On our October 2010 visit, Seleramu was closed, and the member of staff we asked wasn't sure if they were closed for good or just temporarily.
More food stalls are marked as coming soon, including a fresh juice bar, a Vietnamese stall, and an Indian vegetarian stall, though these have been "coming soon" since June 2010 at least, and as of February 2011 the only one that we know of that's actually opened is the Indian vegetarian stall — see the Nac Mac Vegan report on this.
According to an anonymous commenter on this page, some of the food stalls offer discounts to employees of the London Borough of Brent, on production of a valid ID badge. We haven't verified this, and we don't know which stalls offer the discounts.
Comments on specific food stalls:
China House: Kake first tried the dim sum in January 2010. King prawn cheung fun (£3.80) photo was OK, though the wrappers were a little thick and the prawns a decent size but unremarkable in quality (and perhaps very slightly overcooked). Pan-fried turnip cake (£2.60) photo was good, with decent, not-dried-out chunks of roast meat, obvious shreds of turnip, and a decent amount of browning on the outside. Siu mai (£2.50) photo were pretty good too, with large chunks of prawn to complement the pork, and a well-judged fat-to-meat ratio. Jasmine tea (80p) came in a 300ml polystyrene cup with the teabag still in (a commenter, dapprman, tells us that you get an actual teapot if there's more than one of you).
Kake, Sarah, and Katie tried more of the dim sum in October 2010. The fried dough cheung fun photo was pretty good, with the doughsticks freshly fried and crisp. It came with the sweetened soy sauce on the side, to stop the doughsticks going soggy, and was accompanied with sesame sauce and hoisin sauce.
Shan: In June 2010, Kake tried the salmon sashimi bento box (£9.50) photo. This included one gyoza dumpling, one skewer of teriyaki chicken, a large handful of edamame, a generous helping of salmon sashimi, a leaf and cherry tomato salad, rice, and miso soup. The gyoza was freshly fried, with a nice crust on the bottom. The chicken was very tender, and its sauce nicely balanced and not too sweet. The edamame were served at room temperature, so not freshly cooked, but this was done competently and the texture didn't suffer too much. The salmon sashimi was fairly thinly sliced, and some of the pieces were a little irregular, but it seemed fresh enough. The salad was properly dressed with a well-balanced dressing. The rice was fine, neither undercooked nor mushy, and nicely presented with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds, and the miso soup had a pleasant if not particularly complex flavour.
Initially the food court also had another Thai place called Sawadee Thai (see photo of som tam with more info in the comments), but this only lasted a few months and as of October 2010 the unit where it used to be is empty and clear of all signage.
Accessibility: Step-free to get in. There's a large car park just outside (a commenter, dapprman, tells us that when they visited on a football playoff day in June 2010 there were security guards making sure that only non-football cars were allowed into the carpark). There are steps up to the food court on the first floor, but there's also a lift (go around the right-hand side of the stairs and you should see it). Toilets are on the first floor too, including a dedicated accessible toilet.
- Will Eat For Money blog posts: Dec 2009, Feb 2010
- Chowhound thread
- Meemalee's blog post
- Ferret Fabricates blog post
- Tamarind And Thyme blog post
- It Ends With Dovi blog post
- North/South Food blog post
- BBC message board thread
- Mr Foodie blog post
- Nac Mac Vegan blog post
- Facebook page
- Pacific Plaza group on Flickr
- Kake's photoset on Flickr