Peking Diner, BR1 5AA
- 020 8464 7911 or 020 8466 5359
- 71 Burnt Ash Lane, BR1 5AA
An excellent long established Chinese restaurant at one end of Burnt Ash Parade in Bromley.
Nick first went there 21 years ago — it was good then, and it's still good now. The windows are very dark, and at times one might be mistaken for thinking that it was actually closed, so don't be put off before you try the door.
Whilst it is possible to order from their "A La Carte" menu, as of early 2012 they are very keen on their "eat as much as you like" promotional menu, and by default this and the drinks list are all you are presented with. For £16 each (£17 on Fridays and Saturdays) you get a first course of 12 starters, a soup course with five options, a duck course (or alternatively lamb) and then 35 main course options, from which you can keep ordering more. In fact, the staff helpfully ask after each course "enough starters?" or "enough duck?", and the option seems to be to repeat any course you enjoyed (until you go pop). Desserts consist of ice cream, cakes, and fruit. Service has been very good, with the staff ready when you need them, or easy to catch their eye. Late on a Sunday evening (in 2008) there were a few other people in, but in early 2012 we visited early on Saturday evening without a reservation and were very lucky to get a table for 2. It's popular.
There are discreet touches of conscious styling — larger mixed dishes used for starters arrive with sculptures made from carrots, and the doors to the toilets are discreetly hidden behind folding screens, but apart from that the decor blends nicely into the background, which is how it should be. They don't waste effort on things that aren't needed — for example the sign outside still carries the 01 phone number.
Whilst the official closing time is marked as 10pm on Sunday, it seems that the only part that is strict is that it's the time that the kitchen closes, and you can't order any more main courses. We were the last customers in on one occasion, and the staff did not pressure us to go, instead being happy to prepare all the other tables for the next day's opening. On another occasion, they actually turned the sign in the window round to "closed" at 10:15pm.
Burnt Ash Parade now has a ticket machine for parking. Roslin Way to the side of the restaurant is unrestricted, and I have seen vehicles parked up on the pavement in front of the restaurant. (Probably strictly acceptable, as only the 2m or so of the pavement nearest the road is actually the council's.) 126 and 261 buses stop nearby.
It seems that they also do takeaways, but they don't promote that locally, unlike the "all you can eat" menu, for which I have received a flyer.