The half crescent Shanghai-style dumplings tasted like the chef’s pan needed an oil change and were less successful.
The gloriously gloppy roast pork cheung fun (a sausage-shaped rice noodle, reminiscent of a pig’s intestine) was another hit.
Three of them bathe in sweet soy sauce – for three quid. What a steal.
We bulked out the dishes with some soft seafood noodles, comprising king prawns and squid. I hankered for some rice but I just don’t think we could have eaten it.
Lunch for two was £35.
It’s great value and I can see why the place has a loyal following.
I’d go back, but maybe skip the feet.
Stretching out those pennies
Retro risotto, beetroot and goat’s cheese (Serves 4)
Families are never flush in January, but swapping takeaways for home-cooked meals can make the pennies stretch further.
Cooking low-fat, nutritious and filling food doesn’t need to be expensive and time-consuming. With a little imagination, the most humble ingredients, from carrots to lentils, can deliver winter warming suppers with serious tastebud appeal.
It is worth embracing a few handy tips for bargain basement home cooking, such as always ensuring you have got eggs in the fridge. Scrambled eggs are a quick, cheap, protein-rich dinner.
Think about making soup from leftovers. Blend vegetables and meat with some low-fat creme fraiche and add beans or pearl barley to bulk it up.
Cut out your most expensive ingredients. Meat and fish tend to be the priciest, so opt for cheaper cuts and alternatives.
Lentils and chickpeas are cheap and can be quickly transformed with the help of onions and spices into a delicious curry.
* For money-saving advice and recipes, have a look at Family Food For A Steal, edited by Kyle Cathie, published by Vincent Square Books, priced £6.99.
* 2 large beetroot
* 50g butter
* 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* Sprig of thyme, leaves only
* 350g risotto rice
* 150ml white wine
* 1 litre hot vegetable stock
* 150g goat’s cheese, crumbled
* 75g Parmesan, finely grated
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and dice the beetroot as small as you can.
Melt the butter in a shallow-sided pan and add the shallots, leek, garlic and diced beetroot. Cook them slowly and allow the shallots and leeks to go translucent. Once this has happened, add the thyme and rice. Turn the rice over and ensure that every grain is coated in butter.
Turn up the heat slightly and add the white wine. Keep the rice moving at all times. When the liquid has all been absorbed, add a ladleful of hot stock. Continue to add a ladleful at a time, stirring to keep the rice constantly on the move. This takes about 15 minutes.
When the rice is just under done, add the goat’s cheese and the Parmesan. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.