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Friday, 31 October 2014

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New takeaway a real treat

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DELIGHT: Mixed platter from China Tang

THE sense of anticipation when a new takeaway opens in Barrow is like that of a new Coldplay album or an England squad announcement.

Everyone is eager to see if it lives up to expectations.

The menu boasts ‘Restaurant Quality at a Takeaway Price’, and the fact that all the chefs have worked in some of the top restaurants in Manchester’s Chinatown means that expectations were certainly higher than usual.

With it being a midweek meal out, myself and my housemate were lucky to take advantage of the Wednesday deal that sees orders over £15 augmented by a free Dim Sum (small starter).

We opted for the Special Banquet – not that we had anything to celebrate, just that we’re a pair of greedy blighters – which came to £12.50 each.

That’s quite a lot of food to prepare but it was with us in about 10 minutes, so no complaints in that department. Living only two minutes away, when we cracked into the hot and sour soup it was still warm – possibly a world’s first. Packed full of pork, prawns and tofu, I’d have to say it was the best soup I’ve had from a Chinese.

Our Dim Sum, a handful of curry beef samosas, is very much an Indian delicacy, but here they’d got them just right.

To compliment this, you also get a bag of Thai-style prawn crackers, which is a much better take on the traditional version, and a couple of appetisers: aromatic crispy duck and a mixed platter.

The duck was crunchy but succulent and the mixed platter, containing salt and pepper spare ribs, prawn toast, won ton, spring rolls and crispy fried seaweed, was a meal in itself.

Stuffed, and with so much still to come.

The first of the main courses, chicken fillet and sweet chilli dip, was a little bland and I’d be disappointed if that was all I’d ordered, but the second was king prawn in XO sauce with a delightful hint of asparagus, that was far from tasteless. The Singapore-style fried rice was a revelation, and there was so much of it that we’ve still got a tub-full in the fridge.

I can’t say the dessert was worth the wait, simply a tub of lonely-looking lychees, but by this point they were just a trivial extra.

Both bursting at the belts, it was a good hour or so before either of us mustered the willpower to make a start on the washing up.

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