Mr Man's Chinese New Year, Part Two
As promised; the second half of the Mr Man's New Year's celebration! If you missed the first part you can catch up here, and don't worry; just like a good film trilogy the second part is just as good as the first! (I hope you've got a biscuit, side effects include hunger.)
To start we were treat to beautifully cooked ribs with meat that simply fell off the bone, marinated in a slightly sticky Honey and Chilli marinade. A definite surprise for me as (terrible I know) I've never eaten ribs before now.
This was followed by a lighter Seafood Lettuce Wrap. Not being a fan of either seafood or gem lettuce I was concerned by this course but, as usual, I shouldn't have worried – the seafood was cooked to perfection and mixed with vegetables and filo pastry giving it great contrast.
Next was the Crispy Duck which they shredded at the table….an absolute favourite of mine made better by the fact that it was cooked so, so well! More often than not with crispy Duck it’s either overdone or really fatty. This was neither and utterly divine, I could have happily just have eaten that all night.
Once the duck was demolished it was on to the main courses; Pork and Vegetable, Beef in Black Pepper sauce, Sweet and Sour chicken, Steamed Seabass with spring onion, and egg fried rice.
The pork was delicate and lean, and avoided the slimy pitfall that so many Chinese restaurants fall into.
The beef in black pepper tasted perfect. As a black pepper connoisseur I can honestly say this was a strong contender for the top three….I would have liked it to be a smidge more peppery but that’s a matter of personal taste.
I'm not normally a fan of Sweet and Sour, I find that it can be too sticky and stodgy, but unsurprisingly I really enjoyed it at Mr Man’s. It was lighter than I've had before but didn't falter in the taste department, it was perfectly balanced and the chicken wasn't overpowered either.
The Seabass was the only dish that divided us. I loved it, aside from the slight let down of pulling bones out of my teeth – not dignified or pleasant – the flavour was so delicate but packed a good punch.
As far as the rice was concerned there’s not much to say about it other than it was cooked perfectly, it was the perfect sponge for all the different sauces, that once soaked together made for an interesting – yet not bad – taste sensation!
Throughout the evening the staff were very attentive but not so much that it was irritating. They had a great system of serving that I noticed. They were aiming to get all of the dishes out to all of the tables as close together as possible which meant a very efficient signalling strategy was put in place; it was fascinating to watch!
Once the food was done and the tables cleared we had the coffee and tea round. These came with a fortune cookie. I love a fortune cookie, so many people I know won’t eat them but I adore the wafer goodness, Mr M is one of those people that just won’t eat them so once he had his fortune I had his cookie! We were also offered a complimentary nightcap but the thought of anything else going in our stomachs was too much to handle.
At £40 per head it’s not too expensive, given the experience you get throughout the evening. I would more than recommend a visit to Mr Man’s, if not for the New Year’s event then definitely for the food. Don’t expect an early night when you go, they like the evening to last and rightly so.
This Chinese year is the year of the Goat. The year of the Goat is the year of promise and prosperity. With this in mind I wish all of our Chinese brethren, and everyone else out there a happy and prosperous new year!