The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a popular draw for young students thousands of miles away in China. The university must have one of the largest Chinese student populations in the country.
One of the side effects and positive benefits for the city of the huge Asian intake every year is the emergence of more and more Chinese food establishments. We already have several oriental food shops and takeaways. We also have six Chinese restaurants, including two buffets. And then we have Tang Restaurant on Fylde Road.
Rated number one restaurant in Preston (out of 317), Tang prides itself on authentic high quality Chinese food with Dim Sum, Cantonese and Szechuan Chinese cuisine. Traditional is the key word here.
Catering largely to Chinese palettes they offer a more adventurous foodie experience to your everyday takeaway. A quick glance at the extensive take out menu reflects ingredients unusual to Western tastes. Alongside familiar dishes such Sweet & Sour, Satay and Black Bean (£5.50 to £8) are Beef Flank Soup Noodles, Four Treasures Fried Rice, Minced Beef & Malaysian Shrimp Paste Rice (all £8.10), Deep Fried Squid Tentacles (£8.60) and Lucky Lettuce with Seafood.(£7.50)
That doesn’t sound too bad does it. Well, try Deep Fried Cuttlefish Cakes (£3.80), Tripe in Ginger & Spring Onions, Five Spice Honeycomb Tripe (both £3.40 each) Ducks Tongues in Sesame Chilli Oil (£6.00) and Chicken Feet with Chilli & Black Beans (£2.90). Certainly something a little different to your normal chicken balls in sweet sauce.
When I popped in the other week the place was packed and it was only about 5.30 on a Friday afternoon. Nice, light and airy inside. However, I wasn’t eating in that night. I picked up a take out menu to order later. The sit down menu offers a greater range plus saver set meals but I’m saving that for another day.
From experience I knew the main dishes were on the large side so one between two was enough. I went for the XO Stir Fried Mixed Seafood with Udong Noodles cooked with squid, prawns, scallops and veg. Also had a side of Salt & Pepper Chips and the Chicken Feet starter.
Delivery time is normally up to 45 minutes during busy periods but the food came well before that. Still hot and steaming. Big bag of free prawn crackers as well.
As you can imagine chicken feet may not be everybody’s idea of a tasty treat and I had this to myself as the other didn’t even want to take a look! I had to try them as they are very popular on the other side of the world. Not a lot of meat, no surprise, and texture of hard jelly – with bones – but they were alight. The spicy chilli sauce was delicious.
The Udong noodle dish (£8.10) was as expected, huge. All the seafood bits perfectly cooked, the scallops especially so. It can be hard to get them right in a dish like this. The thick noodles tasty, smothered in a light salty-savory-sweet XO sauce (dried shrimp, dried scallops, garlic, and other seasonings). A pleasant enough plate of food.
The Salt & Pepper Chips (£2.30) were not the best I’ve ever had. The chips didn’t look home made which is disappointment for a restaurant. The prawn crackers tasted slightly stale but as they were free I’ll let that go!
Also sampled the curry sauce. I tend to measure a Chinese by the quality of their curry. It can vary wildly from place to place. Sad to say this is not one of the best. A bit light and thin and not spicy enough for me.
I did enjoy everything but cannot rate Tang on the back of one (it must be said, fairly expensive) takeaway. So no score at the bottom of the page here. I need to sample more dishes and sit-in the restaurant to asses the quality of their freshly made food. I am a big fan of Dim Sum and plan to visit again later in the year just to try Tang’s huge range.
I would recommend for the more adventurous foodies.
241 Fylde Road
Preston PR2 2NH
Tel: 01772 729 545
Have you tried the food at Tang? Let us know what you thought in the comments below