I want to like Chinese food I really do, but there is only so many times I can be cheaply won over by salt and sugar. Mercifully Tang is helping fight the battle against stereotypically luminous Chinese cuisine, with authentic dishes that thankfully do without the fortune cookie.Advertisement
Tang is managed by Rob, a vivacious gentleman who obviously cares very much about what he does. He’s permanently on hand to make sure diners are enjoying themselves, and to keep an eye on his well organised and polite team. I encourage readers to speak to Rob, who will happily elaborate on what is potentially an intimidating menu. Perhaps the Chicken Feet won’t be for you, but I urge you to take his advice and break free from your safe choices (I’m looking at you Sweet & Sour Chicken).
In regard to atmosphere, Tang has a rather sparse philosophy on interior design, and I’m not sure the televised PowerPoint presentation of the menu helps create an ambience. Call me old fashioned but I can do without rotating images of stomach and intestines – what’s wrong with a special board? On the positive, it is kept spotlessly clean and there is usually a contingent of (I assume) Chinese diners which helps give a feel of authenticity.
I don’t know if dipping prawn crackers in one’s soup is considered band form in China, but I’m like a Pavlovian dog when I hear them sizzling. The Hot & Sour Soup is rich and thick, maybe a little bit gloopy, but I find that strangely comforting. It is packed with vingerary, peppery flavours that I’m sure do you good. I’d have liked some crunch to the vegetables to add some texture, but the soup is damn tasty.
The Deep Fried Aubergines are just so moreish they need to be criminalised. The salty, chilli crumby bits will be fought over, and the fluffy aubergines with their crispy, fatty skins are lip smackingly good. They make for a great alternative to chips, although probably not any healthier.
The slightly oddly named Char Siu Honey Roast are porky clouds, which don’t really have an equivalent in British cuisine. They have such an unusual texture if you are not familiar with them, like a sponge cake if anything, but hey with bacon! Unlike the aubergines which I could happily eat until I died (or the restaurant closes), they are deceptively filling and too sweet to stop me from gorging.
As with all the main courses, the Duck Chow Mein is very generously proportioned. If you have a soup, something from the Dim Sum menu, a main course and then ask for the desert menu you need to be locked up as a menace to society. I would have liked to have traded a bit more duck for loads of noodles, as there really is a daunting amount. The duck itself was well cooked, while the Chow Mein had a good selection of lightly cooked vegetables peeking out. I found the dish a little oily, but overall was enjoyed.
At Tangs you’ll receive a warm welcome, an interesting and generously portioned menu in a casual atmosphere – give it a try.
Don’t just take our word for it, see what everyone is saying on Trip Advisor. Tang currently has four out of five stars and a certificate of excellence.
Our food reviewers pay for themselves and aren’t invited by the venue, if we are we will always say in the review.
Have you eaten in Tang? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below