As part of a series of “spoilies” before my operation, we went out last night for a Chinese meal in a posh Chinese restaurant in town. After my surgery, I will not be able to eat Chinese food again for a long time, and maybe forever, because Chinese vegetables are supposed not to be stoma-friendly, so last night felt a bit like the last meal of the condemned man!
My hubby asked our local Chinese takeaway owner where he would go if he was going out for a Chinese meal, and he recommended this place – that’s a pretty good recommendation! The building itself is an old-fashioned villa-style house with high ceilings and an air of Victorian elegance about it, but the interior had been designed in the Chinese style, but not too flamboyantly – in place of the usual red and gold dragons and lanterns, it is understated and elegant, but distinctly Oriental. Here are some pictures, starting with the entrance lobby.
There are two dining areas, and we were in the first one. It is decorated with a very subtle pale green wallpaper with a slight sheen to it, and delicate lines reminiscent of bamboo leaves. The photos don’t do it justice, as usual with shimmery surfaces.
There is a broad arch leading into the second dining area which was illuminated with soft coloured lights, and trims created from thick half bamboo canes.
Back in the first dining area, beside the doorway into the bar is an arched window.
From this picture you can see what an elegant room this is, with the high ceilings and plaster mouldings.
The bar is decorated with a Chinese-style roof.
In the bar are several large fish tanks.
I loved this beautiful peacock wall-sconce in the bar.
In the arched window into the bar is a traditional Chinese plant made from pieces of glass or semi-precious stones. I remember my grandmother had a bonsai tree made like this. It looks so real!
Arriving at our table beside the arch into the second dining area, I noticed the very pretty floral arrangement. The gold-lined glass candle holder shed a soft glow.
We started with crispy duck and pancakes – my absolute favourite! We shared a quarter duck between us, much as I would have liked more and could have coped with a half, we wouldn’t have had room for anything else!
Constructing the pancake roll with the crispy duck, thinly sliced vegetables and hoi-sin sauce. Rolled up and eaten in your fingers, there’s a gorgeous combination of flavours and textures, and I always seem to manage to have the sauce dribble down my chin!
Our main course. Firstly, chicken and cashew nuts and egg fried rice.
Then Peking-style beef and sweet and sour pork.
The sweet and sour pork and chicken and cashew nuts are my two favourite dishes, and my hubby despairs of me because I always want these dishes! This time he didn’t make too much of a fuss because after all, it was my last Chinese meal!
Tucking in to my bowl.
There was far too much food for the two of us – enough for three or four! They kindly made us up a doggy bag to take home, and we had it for lunch today. If possible, it was even more delicious second time round.
Before we left, one of the waitresses took a photo of the two of us.
What a lovely evening out! It’s a gorgeous place, and very different from anywhere we’ve been before. On the table next to us was a sweet couple with their absolutely charming Down’s daughter, who delighted us both with a big hug when they left!
We were not the only ones to have spoilies today. When we got back, my hubby gave the kitties some of the treats they had for Christmas – we have to give them very sparingly because Beatrice (on the left) is sick if she has too much of anything, with her delicate little stomach. She is very keen, though, as you can see from the attitude of those back legs and her whole body straining forwards! Phoebe is a bit of a butter-fingers and always drops hers, and if my hubby doesn’t rescue them, Beatrice zooms in and wolfs them down!
In the background you can see some of the many lovely cards I’ve had from friends and family, wishing me well for my operation.
I am still feeling very tired after all the recent stress, and very glad of this fortnight’s respite before I go into hospital, and I’m determined to continue resting and relaxing and trying not to worry about what lies ahead. Not sure what spoilies remain to be enjoyed before that time!