Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Ko Sing, Lake Ko Sing, Lake
Ko Sing, Lake

The Ko Sing is a long-established Chinese takeaway in the small parade of shops that passes for the commercial hub of Lake. More often passed through on the way to anywhere else than a destination in itself, Lake can nonetheless boast at least five different takeaways. Ko Sing is amongst them, and is very well patronised by local people who will drive a considerable distance to visit – taking advantage of the convenient and large car park behind.

Matt and Cat visited Ko Sing in search of a quick meal for Matt, who was home late from some dismal work assignment. The takeaway is not new, but clean, small and bright, with many jolly decorations and plants, and a retro – yet very oriental – feel to it. Not like the swish, sparkling, chromed and soulless counters in some modern takeaways; the Ko Sing was unashamedly a traditional Chinese, with Asian satellite TV playing in the kitchen, and a very friendly greeting from the lady behind the counter.

Matt chose chicken with cashew nuts – a dish which he often picks in the Hong Kong Express. After a reasonable wait (during which time the large range of complementary tabloids was studied) the food arrived. Picking up their warm and steaming bundle, Matt and Cat left, with a courteous farewell from the proprietor.

Once taken home and dished out it was clear that the Ko Sing portions were very generous, with plenty of big chunks of chicken and mountains of toasted cashews. The tasty nuts were not soggy but crisp and flavoursome, just as they should be.

Matt also noted with approval that the food was not the powerful hoi-sin sauce mix that he was accustomed to at the Hong Kong Express, but a subtler, gentler, but more garlicky, blend. Like the establishment itself, the Ko Sing food reminded Matt not of modern zingy burger-bar style food and service, but of chinese takeaways from his childhood: arcane, rare and delicious.

Update, March 2016: Matt passed by again and this time brought home an excellent Special Chow Mein (illustrated). It was just as he remembered, tasty, perfectly cooked and subtle; with big chunks of meat. Once more there was no blast of sauce drowning the taste of the fresh veg and lightly fried noodles – a really good chow mein. Ko Sing is keeping the faith.

Like the establishment itself, the Ko Sing food reminded Matt not of modern zingy burger-bar style food and service, but of chinese takeaways from his childhood: arcane, rare and delicious.
  • Old-style great takeaway food in a modern setting
  • Good value
  • Invariably friendly and helpful service
  • Parking is tricky unless you know where to go (when it isn't)
  • It's in Lake

4 of 5

4 of 5

4 of 5

2 of 5

4 of 5

  • ghostmoth says:

    Ko Sing have radically updated their menu and it now features scallops, lobster and all sorts of other new items. I’ll be going back soon to work my way through their new menu.

  • Rob says:

    It’s just a bit meh, like Jacky said. But to each their own.

  • Veggie-girl says:

    After reading the reviews on here, we had a takeaway from Ko Sing the other night – our first one from here. I’ve got to say, they are our new favourite for Chinese Takeaways! We had one veggie dish (chow mein veg with rice, not noodles), one sweet & sour king prawn Hong Kong style with rice and some spring rolls. The food was all very tasty and the waiting area was very clean and pleasant. There were a couple of drunk men waiting there, making rude comments as we were ordering, but the girl serving was great – very polite, graceful and professional. OK, her English wasn’t the best which did create a few issues when it came to explaining dietary needs etc but she took great care over our order and was obviously very considerate of our needs. Definitely recommended.

  • Gary says:

    Well said Ben! I agree with every word!

  • Rachel says:

    Surely you don’t think Freya means ‘The Lake District’ in Cumbria?! It just refers to the district of Lake, meaning Lake and the area immediately around it.
    I’ve never used this take away so can’t say who I agree with in that respect, nor would I try based simply on 2 people’s different opinions.
    However, the tone of your post seems very harsh – she is just as entitled to her opinion as you are, perhaps before criticising her post you need to make sure your own is accurate, e.g. by spelling her name right.

    p.s. I’ve never heard of Freya before, I don’t know her, it just riles me when someone is criticised for something (i.e. giving her opinion, albeit in a badly worded post) by someone doing exactly the same thing.

  • Ben says:

    in response to “Freay Kirkland” there is nothing dirty about ko sing or their food. The food is more than appertizing and more than generous. If you speak to any of the local people they will say it is much better than the other take away in lake not “The Lake District” clearly she knows her food as well as her geography.

    The resteraunt boasts a 4* food hygeine rating which by standards is exceptional. I eat from here on a regular basis and can no longer eat chinese from anywhere else. This restaurant is still exceptional and has been for the last 30 years it has been there. Do not be put off by one persons ignorance.

  • Jacky says:

    It was a bit meh to be honest with you.

  • Graham cooke says:

    not too bad, quick service !

  • I was on holiday recently to the Isle of Wight and so I went on to Matt and Cat’s website, looking for a nice place to get takeout and since I was staying near the Lake district I found Ko Sing, (Of course I didn’t realise there was another one Chinese Take-away until we actually went there to pick up our food.)

    I went to Ko Sing with my husband and after reading James review, as I had heard good things about this place so I had high hopes.

    BOY! Did they come crashing down! The place was small and just dirty looking. The food tasted awful and was possibly the most unappetizing looking food I have ever had. I’m not sure if I had gone on a bad day or something. (I went on a Thursday if anyone wants to know)

    Definitely will not be going back to this place and in all honesty I had wanted to go to the other Chinese however, at least they looked clean compared to the unclean looking curtains covering the windows of Ko Sing, when I next visit you can rest assured I’m not coming to this place again.

  • James says:

    We used to use the Ko Sing a lot when we lived nearby, some years ago, finding it consistently good (and much better, IMO, than Kimbo’s a few doors away). We ordered food from them again recently, and were delighted to find the quality and service unchanged and (not surprisingly) the same family running it. The helpings are very generous, and the only problem with the menu is narrowing down your choice to a few dishes. Thoroughly recommended.

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