My family and I went to Sichuan Restaurant in Newmarket for a family birthday. We had reserved two tables, and on entering were greeted warmly and advised to sit and wait on the couches by the entrance until the tables were ready.
The entire restaurant is ground-level including the toilets so it's accessible for wheelchair-bound customers, and also families bringing children in baby buggies and not wanting to deal with stairs. As the restaurant is situated on a busy roundabout in Broadway in Newmarket parking is tricky but we found a carpark in an adjacent street.
The restaurant decor is fine - not particularly modern but typical red and gold decor. The upside of the table arrangements is that they are not placed too close together, which can be very common in Chinese restaurants. The big drum at the entrance kept our kids amused!
We were seated at our tables behind private screens, and given menus. The waiter didn't take our drinks orders and we had to chase someone to get a drinks menu. He had no idea about wine, so if you are hoping for some food matching advice from a sommelier you really have come to the wrong restaurant. However, they did replenish our drinks through the evening.
The food was good. We ordered yum char for 13 people and all the food came to the table quickly. I loved the pork dumplings, and the black pepper beef was tasty as well as the fried rice. Even the kids liked the roast duck. We had to order more rice as they only gave us 2 small plates to share for 13 people (maybe they though we had enough food already?). Prices were OK.
The cleanliness of the toilet facilities was questionable. This restaurant gets big groups eating here (one group was leaving as we arrived), however I have eaten at many busy restaurants with many customers and they have cleaner toilets. The lighting in the toilets was dim, the surfaces looked slimey and the paper handtowels wastebin was overflowing. It was pretty grim, in fact I didn't even notice if there was a baby change table as I wouldn't have taken my son in there even if there was.
The tanks for the crayfish were cloudy and murky, and surprisingly we did see crayfish in there - buy at your own peril. Also, they have shark fin soup on the menu (not unusual for Asian restaurants) so this could be a consideration to not visit for some diners.
Service could be improved - whilst 2 wait staff replenished our food and drinks, they barely said goodbye when we left. I think it is not a good option for special occasions, it is a restaurant with a true 'get them in get them out' mentality.
I love Chinese food and the food here was good, but I think I would only return if I could be guaranteed a cleaner and friendlier experience.
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