[Manchester, city centre] Glamorous

This was our first meal out in 2018. Makes me wonder how many different restaurants we’ll go to this year – in 2017, it was 87 (excluding chains). It wasn’t a bad start to this year.

Pretty much as always, most tables were occupied by Chinese folk. Not a guarantee of quality, of course, but at least an indication. Knowing the generous portion size, only one of us wanted a starter. That was fillet steak rolls – thin steak, encasing bean sprouts and other veg – a sort of meaty spring roll if you will. There’s a little sauce to moisten everything.

For mains, there were stir fried mixed vegetables – broccoli, onion, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts. Everything cooked but still crisp. A little indeterminate sauce held it together. On the other plate, chicken in satay sauce. Not peanutty Indonesian style satay but simply a savoury one, nicely hot with chilli. Peppers and onions, still crisp as the other plate, counted to the five a day.

I do have a couple of moans. First up was the addition of a 10% service charge to the bill. Now, I’ve no problem with service charges nor have I problem with leaving a traditional cash tip of 10%. But here, the menu says the charge will only be added to tables of 8 or more. It looked to me that they had sneaked this on in the hope of it not being spotted and so getting a cash tip a well. Be warned to check your bill properly. And the second moan is the state of the carpet. It’s filthy and in urgent need of either a good clean or replacement. It really does make you wonder about other hygiene matters (in spite of the 3 on the “scores on the doors” environmental health website).


90% of the Chinese restaurants in the UK will never pass the health & environment inspection in Singapore. You’re too tolerant!

We are.

What is bad is that places are not required to display the “scores on the doors”. Which, of course, means that the ones with low scores don’t display them. Which means when you go to a new place (not having checked out the scores before) you don’t know if they’ve deliberately not displayed or just not bothered. There’s a growing campaign to make it compulsory which I think has already been successful in Scotland.

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There should be some name-and-shame list for recalcitrant places. The problem is also prevalent in London’s Chinatown eateries as well.

Rather than just name-and-shame, the environmental health authorities should use their powers to close recalcitrant places.

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