When it comes to lunch in West Bridgford, you’re spoilt for choice. One place on The Avenue that seems to change its face more than Arya Stark is Chin Chin. You know the one – it used to be The Oriental Pearl, and has now taken up lower-jaw branding x2. Think Pan-Asian, think sushi, think dim sum.
The decor inside is minimal, with a few splashes of maritime rope and vases to give it a traditional nod, as well as those massive light bulbs with thick wires hanging from the ceiling that seem to be a fixture of pretty much every venue these days.
We were offered the Prosecco lunch – three ‘Asian tapas’ plates, bottomless Prosecco, plus a sweet treat, all for £24.95. Not a bad offer at all, but we didn’t want to be on us backs by 2pm, so sparkling water, coffee and a selection from the main menu it was. First, we got stuck into the gyozas (£3.50), a portion each of the chicken and vegetable variety, both of which came deep fried and served with a vinaigrette dressing. All lovely stuff.
For the main, we had a load of bits and bobs to pick at – including a Thai green curry with grilled salmon (£5.50), kimchee beef lettuce wraps (£5.25), teriyaki duck (£8.50), and tempura soft shell crab (£8). Without a doubt, everything was absolutely delicious – from the crunchy beef lettuce wrap, expertly flavoured, to the creamy curry packed with fish and vegetables.
How. Ever. When you’re chucking in that kind of cash, you don’t expect to be walking out of a place hungry. Yes, I’d go as far to say the teriyaki duck was one of the best I’ve ever tasted, but you can’t bang out a tiny portion of food because ‘tapas’. If I’d have ordered that teriyaki duck for £8.50 on Deliveroo and got those five little breast strips for my dinner, I’d have jumped on my own bike and pedalled straight to the restaurant to have words with the chef.
That being said, the curry is seriously good value for money, and packed with flavoursome heat. Just make sure you ask for some rice to go alongside it as it wasn’t specified that it was on a solo mission. The kimchee beef lettuce wraps were also a favourite, with the crunchiness of the leaf complementing the softness of the meat inside perfectly.
Overall, it was a pretty mixed experience. I’ve had dreams about the duck, both in lust and anger, but I guess it’s all relative to how much you’re willing to spend on small, concentrated portions. Ah well. You dim sum, you lose some. Bridie Squires
40 Bridgford Rd, West Bridgford NG2 6AP. 0115 982 6288
Chin Chin website