Friday, 5 November 2010
New Beijing, Manchester
cold food but oh so helpful staff!
Hi readers! Hope I'm not boring you with my over enthusiastic blog posts on Chinatown- sorry, I just LOVE the place so much and the novelty of having such a glitzy place 15 min walk from home hasn't worn off yet. If you're a new reader, don't worry, I do discuss other foods too- even ready meals! I had a visitor from Liverpool this week who was desperate to visit Chinatown in Manchester; if you've been to Liverpool lately, you can't fail to miss the sad decline of our once glorious Chinatown, so Manc Chinatown is on the itinerary for Scousers hungry for authentic dim sum!
Time was of the essence, so we decided to eat at the first place we stumbled across, which was the New Beijing. Situated in a basement, the NB looks a bit like a bus station cafe- basic but nonetheless friendly, the type of place you can eat at as a sole diner and not stand out like a sore thumb. What attracted our attention was the fact that the tables were green and glittery and they sparkled up at us invitingly, a bit like Alice in Wonderland's 'Eat Me' biscuits. The buffet was a snip at £5.50 and half a litre of fizzy water was £1.20- not bad!
I explained to the staff that I was veggie and they were ever so helpful, pointing out 'safe' dishes. I helped myself to a bowl of seemingly veggie Hot n Sour soup and the kind gentleman rushed over before I managed a spoonful, explaining that it was in fact made with chicken stock. What honest, veggie friendly staff! My starter is pictured above- curried veg samosas, spring rolls,seaweed, mashed potato sesame toasts and battered aubergine with a chili hot, Vindaloo Queen approved dip. These dimsums were extremely tasty, but the only problem is, they were luke-warm to cold. It was like being at a kids birthday bash picking at cold pizza and sausage rolls. I ate them with a grimace, hoping that they were going to come and offer me usage of a secret microwave.
Now for the main course. I sampled veggie vermicelli, foo young, veg in garlic sauce and EFR. These too were cold, despite heatlamps being on full blast. These dishes looked well prepared but it was such a shame they were freezing- if the starters were reminiscent of a kids tea party, then the main course was either school dinners or a homeless hostel! It pains me to criticise the restaurant, as the staff were lovely but I am honest in my blog; constructive criticism is only a positive thing after all.
The only time food should be cold are when it involves salads and desserts, let's just hope they get the sweet temptation right! I feasted on beautiful, plump seedless grapes, gateau, mini individual Swiss Roll and juicy pineapple wedges. The dessert was easily the best part of the meal.
Overall, the New Beijing was a pleasant experience- if they can get the oven to work, I will definitely return and give it a re-review! However, MAN Chinatown is huge with so much competition, there are plenty more fish in the sea and more culinary delights to explore!