“ MONGOLIAN/ORIENTAL. Havants, Nr. Portsmouth. „
Havant is about 10 min car drive east along A27 from Portsmouth Hannibals - (023) 9249 9876 This restaurant is described as 'Mongolian'. Never having been to that part of the world, I really don't know if it's remotely authentic. I do know it's fun, reasonably priced and tasty. Get yourself a bowl and load it up with stir-fry veg with or without meat or chicken and spices and sauces of your choice, then pass it to the chef to cook on a huge hotplate to your liking as you watch. On return to your table, you'll find a bowl of fluffy rice has arrived to soak up the juices and take the edge off if you've been a bit too brave with the chilli. Go with a bunch of mates, let the wine flow, talk and enjoy yourselves. Hannibals is popular for parties, which can sometimes be a bit noisy - joining in with the '70s background music is favourite sport. You pay £10.50 for the 'Hannibals Experience' help-yourself main course and you can go back for seconds, thirds and more till you are totally full up and it's time to stagger out of the door. There are starters, such as seafood dim-sum, calamari, and vegetable samosa and a small selection of desserts - mostly variations on chocolate gateau - very generous servings with a big puddle of fresh cream. Alternative main courses include spit roast chicken and lamb which can be basted with your choice of sauces, and generous steaks and fresh salmon, cooked on the hotplate. These include jacket potatoes or chips and a portion of stir-fry veg. The wine is cheap and drinkable, although you might prefer beer as it gets very hot with all that cooking going on - you can have a 4-pint jug of good-quality lager for £8. Go early in the evening and take advantage of low prices. Surroundings are utilitarian. Don't expect comfy cushions or tablecloths. Most of all, go there really hungry and come out feeling y
ou won't need another meal in a week.