[Manchester, city centre] Middle Kingdom

It’s a while since we were last at Middle Kingdom. It was a bit of a worry when we looked at the menu outside. Everything was Cantonese, even though their website still describes them as Sichuan and Hunan. Would there even by Sichuan to eat? The other worry was also just at the entrance – a load of exposed electrical cabling. Really dangerous.

Well, fortunately, they still have a Sichuan menu running alongside a Cantonese one. The latter was described to us as the “normal” one , with the other as the “spicy” one. So, we looked at the Sichuan one. It looked as though it had been pared back from the one online, particularly with the starters. I’d fancied trying a spicy aubergine starter but it had gone. None of the others appealed. So we just stuck to main courses. Fish fragrant pork for one of us. Very small shreds of pork and indeterminate vegetables. It was OK – a little vinegariness in the sauce, along with a little sweetness, and a comforting background heat from chilli – although nothing like the chilli aggression you expect from a Sichuan dish. Also from the allegedly “spicy” menu was a stirfry of aubergine, peppers and potato. A poor choice which even your elderly granny might have thought just boring – no spice, an indeterminate bland sauce and vegetables cooked till they were school dinners soft (yes, I am a child of the 1960s and remember them well). And, to top it all, the rice was claggy.

We may give them another chance but, then again, maybe not.

(PS: Sorry Jan. You may have to try somewhere new next time you’re in the Rainy City)

This just sounds bad.

Well, that’s just sad. I’m bereft!!

Jan - fear not, help is at hand.

I have a feeling that there is chef or owner change.