Wei Fun is the latest restaurant in the East Hampton area under the umbrella of Kevin Penner. Kevin Penner is the head chef who oversees Ben Krupinski empire of restaurants including 1770 House, Cittanuova, East Hampton Point and now Wei Fun.
Ben is a builder. His restaurants are all well designed according to the surroundings and food being served. Each has their own vibe and appeal. Running restaurants is not his best asset. I am not sure it is Kevins either. I can only find it comical each time we go to one of their restaurants at how poorly managed they are but it is summer so you have to let it roll off your back. We all found last night hilarious at best.
Keep in mind that Wei Fun opened last night so it was their first night. We tried to. It opened at 6pm. We got there at 530 realizing that it would be packed and we had to be drop off Emily’s friend in Sag Harbor at 8. Fred walked in with a few of the kids at 530. The woman managing the front said that they did not open until 6pm and that we’d have to wait outside. What? Fred came back to the car and told me the news. That is insane. So, I went in and asked the same thing. She gave me the same story. I basically said that it didn’t make sense to me since there were other people inside hanging at the bar. Also, if this is the first night you are open a few days before Labor Day weekend ( that would be when all city people leave and the locals breath a huge sigh of relief ) and it is pouring outside and we can’t wait inside until you begin seating at 6pm? She asked her manager and we were allowed to hang. We had drinks at the bar etc.
The vibe inside is great. I really like the way it was designed. Big front windows. All white seating. 3 large TV screens above the bar. A signature for their restaurants. Big bar. A very groovy vibe. At this point I asked the woman if she would take our name since we were hanging at the bar and more people would be coming in and we have been here for awhile. She wasn’t sure about that one but decided with 2 other people that it was okay to take our names. 6pm came. People were starting to come in and they were telling them that it was an hour wait but no one was seated. It took them awhile to figure out that seating would be a good idea.
The menu is reads great. Nice selection of choices. Big wine list by the glass too. The waiter asked us if we were ready to order. I asked him if they were ready for us. He laughed. He said that last night was the only run through and the first night that any of the chefs had cooked together. Yikes.
We began with four appetizers. Shrimp lollipops. Deep fried shrimp on sticks of ginger. Mushy and pretty much inedible. The barbecued ribs were not bad. They could use a little more basting but the taste is there. Green papaya salad with chillies was spicy, crisp and refreshing. Last and certainly least were the sesame noodles. The noodles were so starchy that they might have been cooked at 10 in the morning. Very little bland sauce. Sesame noodles are a no brainer. This was inedible.
It took about another 45 minutes for our main courses to come out. Totally understandable, first night. We split four entrees. Beef and broccoli. Sauteed beef, small pieces of broccoli in a dark sauce and thick egg noodles. Sort of bland and way too heavy on the garlic. There are 3 stir frys to choose from. We went with the Kung Pao chicken and Crispy Beef. Kung Pao chicken with peppers and garlic sauce. Over cooked chicken with so much salt it was literally inedible. The crispy beef was so over cooked that the beef was actually tough. Long bean and tons of garlic in there. The best of the lot was the Chicken Lo Mein with mushrooms. Brown sauce, chicken, mushrooms and lots of soft noodles. This one has potential.
We got there at 530, hung around 1/2 an hour or so and left at 730. Asked for the check the minute the main courses got there. Josh commented that Wei Fun does not mean way good. He’s right about that one. I would hope that they’d get it together as time goes on. They probably were in such a rush to open before Labor Day came and went. They space is fabulous. Now, can someone work on the service and food?