Sunday, 3 February 2013

China Palace

Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? Any excuse! We try something new every week, which led the Pickle and I into some amazing taste adventures. The rules of the game are that we need to try everything, but if we don't like it we can leave it. We are old hands at Dim Sum after being inspired by Chinese New Year a few years back. Pickle tackles new flavours and cuisine with gusto. DB is more reticent. His standard reaction to anything other than smoothies and Babybel is to grin and shake his head engagingly saying 'No'.

Dim Sum was a risk, but I am a bit of a gambler. I could not resist scoping China Palace on TripAdvisor and it was worth a laugh. It was not so popular! Surly service seems to be the main complaint, like the incensed family who barely got a discount even when the adjacent table started vomiting into the bowls

Rarely has DB been so clucked over as at lunchtime, each one having a new and game to play that generally involved prodding or stroking him. He looked patronising and indulged the attention.

What can I say about the food? Clear plates! It hit the spot. It is not the best, and the worst - looking at the clientele it seems to keeps the local Chinese community happy. The atmosphere is light and airy, with the black lacquer panelled friezes with pictures of water lilies and cranes as well as the obligatory paper lanterns.

The cheung fun is a family favourite and this was enough to give DB the confidence to tuck in. It was soft and gelatinous and so soothing. We also had some Vietnamese spring rolls, steamed buns and a selection of steamed dumplings. Simple, formulaic and very satisfying and it avoids the worst excesses of catering for Western tastes.

At £23.50 for the four of us including a tip, I really could not fault it. We had great fun, DB has developed his confidence and I have to agree he is a little fella with most excellent tastes in life.

P.s. since his experience the other day at the China Palace DB has turned the corner with his pickiness. He seems to have decided that trying new foods can be fun.

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