Sparkling service but food falls flat

IN LIFE, there are few comforts more satisfying than a night in with a Chinese take-away – it’s one of those simple pleasures but everything needs to be just right.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 24th August 2011, 8:00 am

After a hard days work, I figured I’d treat myself to a slap-up Chinese. I’d never tried the Great Wall Chop Suey Centre on Church Street before but thought I might as well with it just being a short stroll from town.

I’d tried to take a menu away to give it some thought, but sadly none were available, which was a fair inconvenience and a very basic failure on their part. Take-aways should have menus to take away.

However, as I stood in the restaurant and pondered the menu on the wall, I was greeted with a very warm welcome.

The waitress and I exchanged some banter and with her infectious laughter and charm, I was made to feel at home as I took my sweet time attempting to come to some sort of conclusion with their impressive, vast and eclectic menu.

I’d heard that they do a mean beef chow mein and was also strongly tempted by their chop suey, but after many minutes of consideration and battling with the remarkable choice on offer, I eventually settled on a curry of fried king prawns and bamboo shoots with oyster sauce and egg-fried rice.

I wasn’t waiting long before being presented with my food and the smell and thought alone was enough to make me rush home to tuck in.

That, sadly, is where my anticipation took a nose dive.

The egg-fried rice was stodgy, bland and didn’t really taste of very much. It was by far some of the least impressive rice I’ve ever had from a Chinese restaurant.

While the whole dish could have been lifted by the curry, it was watery, flavourless and hardly inspiring. There just wasn’t much too it - let’s just say I was left a few prawns short of a curry.

On paper, that should have been a Chinese to remember, but my experience was a very forgettable one.

Maybe it was just my choice of dish or the day I went, but I was left severely underwhelmed and disappointed by my meal from the Great Wall Chop Suey Centre, and as a result, that simple night in I had planned fell flat and flavourless - just like my food.

I really wish I’d tried that chippy next door now, but maybe you’ll have more luck than me if you visit the Great Wall, and maybe it will live up to its name for you.

By Andrew Trendell

Star Rating HH