I hadn’t been for a Chinese meal in a long time. But on hearing it was the Chinese New Year I felt a sudden yearning for aromatic duck.
Yang's Chinese Restaurant is literally three minutes from where I live in Clontarf, Dublin.
Located on the seafront overlooking the Royal Dublin golf course I’d heard that the restaurant had recently undergone an extensive renovation. My mind was made up.
Whenever I go to an ethnic restaurant I subconsciously note how many ethnic people work there - they're the experts after all and ambassadors for their cuisine.
We were greeted at the door and led through an authentic Chinese dining feel.
I spied a couple of famous faces from the area amongst the lively atmosphere of families and couples alike enjoying the authentic looking dishes served by smiling and knowledgeable Chinese waiters and waitresses.
The food is all cooked to order so don’t be thinking of this as a quick bite to eat, this is gourmet cuisine.
Sizzling platters and large dishes of fabulous looking Chinese food are placed on a rotating inner table for ease of access by all.
We had to start with the crispy aromatic duck pancakes, my favourite which would determine the meal for me.
I can honestly say they were the best I’ve ever had. Perfectly moist and full of flavour on the inside and crunchy crisp on the outside.
To follow we opted for a variety from the well balanced menu. Crispy chicken and the chefs recommended sea bass.
I often find Chinese style beef can be chewy but the fillet of beef in pepper sauce was mouth-watering and melt in the mouth.
The kids menu gave options for the less developed palate as well as those little ones who are more adventurous.
The mains were accompanied by both noodles and stir fried rice. Although 10-year-old James opted for a plain kids dish of chicken wings he couldn’t stop picking at the sea bass that arrived almost like a centre piece at the table.
The entire meal was a delight of fresh flavours, textures and side dishes that made the meal feel like an event.
The Chinese beer was the perfect accompaniment but there was also an extensive wine list if that is more your taste.
Feeling rather full from a little over indulgence we looked at the dessert menu more out of curiosity. However the delicious ice cream cakes on offer were just too good to walk away from.
When we finally tore ourselves away from the menu, we were all in agreement that the food and experience overall was incredible, with James asking when we could come back before we even reached the car.
For a gourmet Chinese experience you can’t get better than Yangs of Clontarf!
For info see www.yangs.ie