This Is It - Hands Down The Best Chinese Food In Manchester
When all you're craving is a proper Chinese - this is the one
The city's iconic Chinatown - it's certainly one for The Manchester Bucket List.
So when I was asked where I'd like to go for my birthday quite frankly it was a no-brainer - off we trotted down Portland Street.
I’ve walked through Chinatown many a time in the day and not batted an eyelid but in the evening the bright lights and hustle and bustle of people venturing to the many restaurants, bars and even karaoke bars, immerses you into a new environment and city culture more comparable to Beijing and Shanghai! It was indeed quite hard to believe I was still in Manchester.
Little Yang Sang is a long-established restaurant renowned for its quality and choice. On opening the vast menu, we were so spoilt for choice we struggled to decide which dishes to try.
We started off with the standard choice of prawn crackers served with a sweet chilli sauce. No qualms with that. For the starters we opted to sample a variety of dishes found within the combo platter. Priced at £9.95 a head, it was one of the more pricey options, with the platter ordered for 4 coming on one big dish costing almost as much as the mains total.
However there was more than enough for us all and in hindsight it may have been wiser to order 2 or 3 to split between the four of us, this leaving more room for the mains!
The combo platter
Prepare to get stuck in with messy fingers here!
Chicken skewers in a delicious peanut & satay sauce, sumptuous, tasty BBQ spare ribs (which were soon devoured!) Chilli & spicy mini pork chops, cold smoked fish and shins of beef as well as pickled vegetables. All these treats were surrounding a mammoth portion of crispy 'C’weed.'
The quality and presentation of the food simply cannot be faulted, all elements were cooked to perfection with my favourites being the ribs and the chicken skewers, while arguably the cold beef slices seemed slightly out of place and bland. I felt one of the vast sauces available in the restaurant could have really brought the beef to life with little effort. Overall though, a solid starter experience and would recommend outright.
Now onto the mains
I was adamant on having my standard favourite dish of chicken Chow Mein. We opted for four dishes to share between us all. This turned out to be a wise choice as the Chow Mein was far from the best dish of our choices.
Perhaps I’m more used to my takeaway Chow Mein dripping with greasy goodness but something seemed to be missing here. The chicken with vegetable Chow Mein on first glance looked amazing with lots of fresh veg incorporated into the soft noodles but on sampling it was lacking that gnawing flavour which doesn’t normally let me stop eating until it’s all gone. In this case one portion was enough for me as there were more tasty plates sat in front of me to get stuck into.
I must confess, as a Northerner, I do love my dishes smothered in sauce
With this in mind, the next lot of offerings were very promising. I got myself a helping of egg fried rice and set forth on to the chicken in curry sauce. Things were starting to pick up here, being a big fan of Chinese curries, this was perhaps the nicest I have ever had, certainly rich but not overpoweringly so, it perfectly complemented the soft chunks of chicken.
I then ventured on to the sliced pork in Cantonese sauce. I was dubious about this choice initially, I tend to stray from pork when having a Chinese as it runs the risk of being quite tough and chewy; however there were no concerns here! Perhaps sliced pork doesn’t give the most accurate description as this pork was in thin, almost twisted, strips covered in a thick and flavoursome Cantonese sauce making the outside slightly crispy with a centre of succulent pork.
I was certainly pleasantly surprised by this dish and the general consensus proved it to be the favourite as this was the first and only dish we managed to finish.
I saved the best til last
The fried sliced duck with green pepper and black bean sauce.
I can’t say I regularly eat duck but when I do it's always enjoyable and this dish did not disappoint. As with the other meats, it was cooked superbly and was so tender and complimented the green pepper and black bean sauce unbelievably well.
The meal was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, especially accompanied by a couple of bottles of pleasant Pinot Grigio adequately priced at 17 quid a bottle. In total the food came to about £140 (this including a 10% service charge on top of the bill) with the mains ranging from £10-£12 each. It was a real treat and you definitely pay for a quality of food unrivalled by your standard take away.
Little Yang Sing is open 7 days a week, noon till late and offers lunch specials of 2 courses for £11.99 or 3 for £13.95 as well as the A La Carte menu in the evenings. Check out their latest updates over on Twitter.
Highly recommended, do not miss a treat!