He had kindly offered to accompany me on my review of Dinnington Operatic Society’s latest pantomime, Cinderella.
Instead of him meeting me there and us not having chance for a catch up, we decided to make an evening of it and grab a bite to eat beforehand.
As he was coming over from Sheffield and I was travelling from the Guardian office in Worksop, the Cantonese restaurant in Wales seemed the ideal location.
We had just over an hour to eat, so its close proximity to the Lyric Theatre in Dinnington was also another plus point.
I expected the restaurant to be empty as we arrived around 5.30pm on a Tuesday evening.
It only opened at 5pm and it was a cold evening, so surely people would not be venturing out just yet, I thought. But I was wrong.
There was a big party already perusing the menu when we arrived and a young couple were waiting for their food.
The dining area was spacious but the decor looked a little tired and could do with a fresh lick of paint.
I had already looked at the menu on Ka-China’s website (www.ka-china.co.uk) to try and decide what I would have. Another effort to save time.
We both decided that one of the banquets and set menus would be our best option. Neither of us have a favourite Cantonese dish so what better than to have several different ones to try.
There was a host of dishes available, far too many to mention, featuring seafood, chicken, duck, pork, beef and sizzling steak, as well as a variety of vegetarian dishes, rice and noodles.
There is also a variety of chef specials available, which include stuffed aubergine with black bean sauce and sizzling mixed seafood with sea spice.
We settled on set meal F, which was £16 per person and available for a minimum of two people.
It featured hors d’oeuvres, followed by barbecued roast pork Cantonese style, chicken with lemon and honey sauce, kung po king prawns and yeung chow fried rice.
I had less than 10 minutes to tuck into the complimentary prawn crackers before our starter arrived.
We were greeted with a huge dish with four sesame prawn on toast, two huge barbecued spare ribs, two spring rolls and four crispy won tons. In the middle was an impressive serving of crispy seaweed.
The won tons and spring rolls were delicious and tasted freshly cooked. The spare ribs had a lot of meat on them and the sauce was flavoursome. I’m not a huge fan of prawn toast but they were tasty nonetheless.
I tried not to eat most of the starter, mindful that I needed to leave some room for the main course, but it was so tasty that there was little left.
The main course was of similar standard.
There was a good amount of meat on each dish and a generous helping of king prawns in the kung po, which was my favourite dish. There was big, chunky prawns in the delicious sauce full of water chestnuts, peppers, onions and chilli.
The barbecued roast port was nice, but my dad found a few pieces a bit chewy. The honey and lemon was well cooked in a light batter but there was too much sauce which tasted a like lemon curd.
The yeung chow fried rice was fluffy and full of flavour.
The bill came to £34.60 including drinks which was reasonable for the size and amount of dishes we had.