It is a number of years since we dined at this great bastion of Chinese Food in both Manchester and indeed the UK, having moved from the area 5 years ago. We returned for a banquet to celebrate a rather special family birthday on a Sunday lunchtime.
Having booked the banquet we were quite surprised that at the beginning waitresses came with a tray of what looked like desert pies and cakes and because they couldn't really speak English we were not sure what they were or what to do. It appears that this is something that is offered on a Sunday but when we said that we were having a banquet the tray was taken away leaving us in total confusion about what was going to happen next.
The Head Waiter then as is the norm arrived and asked us what our likes and dislikes were. Then a bit later we were asked the same question by another waitress! So there seemed to be some confusion all around.
Having said this, the food was excellent and kept coming right through to the fresh fruit bowl at the end. Plentiful hot towels to clean are hands appeared at the end of the Dim Sum starters and then again at the end of the meal before we tackled the fruit.
A large Sea Bass cooked perfection appeared as but just one of about five main courses and was expertly de-boned by the waitress. For many this was the highlight of the meal for others it was the wide variety of tastes presented and not just Cantonese. My only criticism was that rice was served by waitresses but too infrequently and as the rice bowl was on an adjacent table if we wanted some we had to get up and go and serve ourselves.
The dishes didn't quite have the presentation sparkle of former years when edible flowers and other decorations adorned the dishes but having said that the quality of the food has not diminished in any way.
The restaurant at the time we arrived wasn't too busy, by the time we left it had filled up with many Chinese diners as well, which is always a good sign but of course as is often the case they may well have had a different menu in Chinese!
The Chinese love children and as we had a number in the group they received special attention ending up with sweet lollies at the end which perhaps is not the best for their teeth but went down well in the taxi home!
If the restaurant can just sort out the rather erratic service at times I would rate it at 5* nevertheless for a wonderful Chinese dining experience it still is up there with the best.
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