Wei Fun

Wei_funWei 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?

Comments (Archived):

  1. justine

    First off I just have to say that your article was very poorly written. As a restaurant manager I welcome criticism both good and bad. I find it hard to even take you gals seriously. All of Ben Krupinski’s Restaurants are highly spoken of by both locals and city folk. Kevin Penner is a well renowned chef and I do not even have to justify your statement that he is not capable of opening a restaurant. There seemed to be very little intellegence and knowledge backing the statements that you so openly threw out. Opening a restaurant is not an easy task and I admire how well Wei Fun is doing. There is a great buzz about it around town and it is busy every night. Reviews from credible newspapers like Newsday and the East Hampton Star prove that Ben is doing a great job with all his restaurants and his management team is hardworking and experienced. Wei Fun and the other restaurants are run with friendly enthusiastic staff who deal with often demanding testy customers like yourself. Also it was the very first night that Wei Fun opened the doors to the public and it is only getting better each and every night.

  2. Michael

    There really is a fine line between a professional restaurant critic and a grumpy, generally unhappy, asshole wannabe critic. Your review, if that’s what you want to call it, actually widens that once fine line between professional and amature. A professional critic is critical based on experience. They have a deep and well-rounded knowledge of the entire restaurant business. The wannabe critic usually just likes to go out to eat, and does so to the extent that they feel that they have earned the right and the knowledge to be critical of someone else’s restaurant when all they have earned is a larger dress size. Another astonishing difference between the professional(employed) critic and the wannabe is that they will ALWAYS post their review based on multiple visits. That you had a bad experience at a brand new restaurant in the Hamptons on a rainy Labor Day weekend most likely has very little to do with the restaurant. It most likely has more to do with who you are. You don’t seem to know the first thing about the restaurant industry or how to write a proper review. When your friend came back to the car and reported that you couldn’t do exactly what you wanted to do exactly when you wanted to, what did you do? You went into the restaurant youself already unhappy and in an argumentative state. It is know wonder that you were not welcomed as warmly as you thought you should have been. While the vibe inside was nice, yours was not. Your sarcasm and general attitude is such that if you came into my restaurant I might have asked you to leave. You are a guest when you enter a restaurant, would you have walked into a friends house the same way? Your comment on Krupinski’s other operations was just as genius as the rest of your article. Nice job on commenting on three of the most successful restaurants in the Hamptons. Really! You are clearly not a professional. Your writing resembles a third grader’s and you culinary expertise suffers even more.

  3. Giordano

    Ehm… do you people know what a blog is? Naturally she s not a pro. She s a person who likes to eat out, and shares her toughts with the world. If I want to read a restaurant review written by a professional, I buy a newspaper. If I want to know how other normal people enjoyed a place, I visit a blog. Chill out, folks.

  4. Giordano

    And, yes. Now we have the opportunity to speak out to everyone so if you, Micheal, trow people out of your restaurant, they will bash yourself on the Net, and everyone will find that when looking for info on your joint.
    People dont care about how much work you put into it, how difficult it is, etc… perform poorly once, and you´re already in trouble. Scary, eh?

  5. janekaplan

    Hey Michael, are you the official spokesperson for Wei Fun? Just checking. And don’t worry in case you are, GothamGal isn’t a restaurant critic so you can take a chill pill ok? Its just a stupid chinese restaurant for godsake.

  6. tsykes

    I agree – the decor is nice but food there is awful!

  7. Roninpl

    Sheesh…this is just someone’s opinion. She does like the space and the green papaya salad.

  8. Drew

    Everyone who is bashing the Krupinski company needs to step off. I work for this company, and they are all great establishments. If you think it is so easy to run a restuarant or work in them, then by all means come out and try. I think you are all a joke and should be ashamed of yourselfs for your rediculous comments.

  9. pnorris

    It doesn’t matter if the food sucks, it sucks.
    That’s great that you are very loyal towards your workplace. But that doesn’t excuse the establishment from serving lousy, tasteless food. Thank god there are forums such as gothamgal where people can honestly express their opinion.

  10. Alicia

    I happen to be a local here in east hampton and i love going out to eat, try new places and revisit old ones. I consider myself a foodie. I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and here is mine… In regards to Ben Krupinski’s restaurants I think they are some of the best places to eat here along with Della Feminas and Fresno. The 1770 House has a reputation for being pricey but all the restaurants out here are. The food there is amazing and consistent. The tavern is cozy and different. Citta has a great lunch and dinner menu. The food there is traditional and tasty. It is by no means fine dining but it is good and on the cheaper side. You cant go wrong with their pizza’s, pastas, and citta burger. East Hampton Point Restaurant is one of my all time favorites and the fact that it is on the market is sad. It has the most beautiful sunsets that anyone has ever seen. Reggae sundays are always a blast there. They have a fine dining side and a Deck which is more casual. I love both. I am a new comer to Wei Fun and unlike the rest of you i will go at first when a restaurant opens and go back again when they have had some time to get on their feet and get the kinks out. My first experience there was pretty good. The food was tasty, some things could have been better and the service was great. I have been back since they opened about 3 months ago and it was awesome. The dim sums where excellent (crispy shrimp, ribs, Scallop puffs) The salads (crab salad) and soups are all great. The food there has improved 10 fold and i recommend a second chance. They have definetly got it together and i only see good things for the future. Check it out again and try to be more openminded. Dont let one bad night ruin what could be possibly many good night out in the future

  11. anonamous

    As both a close friend of Mr. Krupinski and the nephew of one of the co owners of chitta nuova, weifun, and the 1770 house i have to disagree with the original critique of wei fun. I ate at wei fun on the run throught night and on the first night it was open to the public. I also ate there a week later. On the first night it was obvious that the food needed some work which was expected because of the first night, however the food on hte second night was a thousand times better, and a week later you would expect to see a world renound chinese chef in the kitchen, but kevin penner is not chinese.

  12. steph

    just curious if anyone has thoughts on renting a house mid-june 08 in east hampton. I know its pretty early in the season to go out. do you think its a waste to go out? do you think the restaurants and bars will be crowded? Any suggestions on whats good for 08? The usual staples nick and toni’s, cyrils-not sure how the crowd is, etc. thanks