GREAT GLOBAL GATHERING AT NEW CHINESE
GREAT WALL CHINESE RESTAURANT
Where: 16 Bridlington Road, Beeford YO25 8AN.
Call: 01262 481689.
Open: Seven days a week, noon to 10pm.
Boiler Service only £35
Fire Service only £40
Also Boiler and Fire Service £65 Saving £30 from full prices
Lines open today
Please quote HDM on the phone
Gas Safe Registration number: 506483
Terms: back boilers not included
Contact: 01482 423356
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Accessibility: Slightly sloping entrance; disabled toilet facilities.
Vegetarian: Lots of options on the menu, including a mixed vegetable dish that is said to be a favourite with Buddhist monks.
Family friendly? No children present on the night of our visit, but no restrictions as far as we could see.
Parking: A large, private car park.
Chef's special deep fried king prawns (£5.90): King prawns in butter sauce, cooked in black pepper and butter.
Wanton soup (£3.50): Classic pork meat dumpling soup.
Rendang style chicken (£8.80): Dry curry chicken cooked in shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli paste, coconut milk and bay leaves.
Crispy aromatic lamb (£9.50): A Great Wall speciality (suggested as a first or second course) served with plum sauce and a crispy lettuce wrap.
O ur family party came from different points of the compass (in fact, two were visiting from New Zealand) to converge on the Great Wall Chinese restaurant, recently opened in a former public house in Beeford.
The hostelry had remained closed for some time before one of our number saw the Great Wall sign had gone up and a hand-written board outside declared the place open.
So we made plans to catch up over what we hoped would be a good meal – our well-travelled Antipodean contingent was interested in experiencing an "English" take on Chinese, hoping pig's brains weren't on the bill of fare – and fortunately, none of us was disappointed.
The staff seemed very relaxed about the fact we were busy chatting and enjoying a drink in the bar area, and not really concentrating on our menus, after we arrived just before our 6.30pm booking. It would still have taken time for deliberation, had we remained silent, with more than 150 dishes to select from and a detailed explanation about the Great Wall of China, its history and significance, to read at the front of the menu.
Our table in the airy restaurant was beautifully laid out and the seats comfortable and well spaced – I do like a round table when there's a large group (we numbered nine) because you can just about get to speak to everyone without having to lean over and bellow, and no one is on the end being ignored.
From an extensive appetiser line-up (almost 30 options) we decided to pitch in with the sharing from the outset, with a mixed starter of sesame prawn toast, satay chicken, crispy mini spring rolls, salt and pepper ribs and crispy cabbage.
All these items were beautifully cooked and nice and hot, and nicely presented with the obligatory rose cut from a carrot to decorate the plate. Humble root veg never get that kind of treatment in my house.
We ordered enough for six people (which came to £36), knowing we were pacing ourselves for what was to come, and there was plenty for everyone.
As a group, we'd toyed with the idea of ordering a banquet meal (these are priced from £19.80 a head, for a minimum of two people) but in the end chose individual dishes.
These ranged from a plain fried chow mein (£5) to a Great Wall special crispy noodle (£8.50), with a chicken in spicy Singapore sauce (£8.20), a shredded beef with chilli Szechuan sauce (£7.80) and a couple of helpings of chicken with Thai red curry (£7.80 each) in there for good measure.
Potato chips, boiled rice and noodles were chosen to accompany the various meals, which were shared around our party – sometimes it was a case of something tempting-looking stopping opposite you as the pretty glass turntable was revolved, so you just dug in to see what you thought. I ended up enjoying more of someone else's dish than my own first choice.
Amazingly, some of the group (including me!) had room for a dessert. A banana fritter with ice cream (£3) was a hit; the various "bought-in" iced desserts ranged from a Rockslide Brownie (£3.60) to a Caramel Fantastica (£3.50).
My own Sacher dessert (described as a mousse) looked heavenly and tasted fine, once I could hack my way through it – much too deep-frozen.
If I have any more little niggles about the night, one is that, for me, the temperature in the restaurant was a little too chilly (though I didn't really hear any complaints from the rest of the group).
Also, most of us thought the little bowls we were given from which to eat our main meals were too small – it made for some interesting sights as we tried (and failed) to be refined over the consuming of the noodles.
All in all, this was a very pleasant, unhurried experience, and there are lots more interesting-sounding dishes to go back and sample at Great Wall in the future.
Quality of food: An excellent choice – more than 150 dishes on the menu – and great-tasting meals
Atmosphere: The place wasn't packed (but we were early evening diners); it was pleasant and bright with some fancy lighting effects (echoed in the toilets!)
Service: Lots of attentive staff on hand, we were regularly asked if we would like more drinks, and they were efficient at clearing once we'd finished our courses
Value for money: Our party of nine ate and drank our fill for a little over £215; I don't think anything stood out on the menu as "too expensive"
Best for: Convivial evening with friends and family – round tables here are great for being able to converse with everyone and food-share courtesy of the giant glass turntables
Would you go again? I think anyone in our party would be happy to visit the Great Wall again, judging by the reactions to our meal