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Oriental Idyll (Westcliffe-On-Sea)

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1 Review

Food Type: / City: Westcliffe-On-Sea

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      09.09.2004 00:06
      Very helpful



      It takes a lot to truly impress me when it comes to Chinese restaurants. Having lived in Hong Kong for almost two years, and making regular beelines for Chinese restaurants here whenever I have the opportunity, I can be fairly blase, if not outright critical. So the unprepossessing facade of the "Oriental Idyll" near Southend didn't exactly make my heart leap. I glumly assumed that the promises of an £8.50 buffet on neon-coloured paper would be matched by sticky tablecloths, inedible food, and several lifetimes' worth of grease. No wonder, I thought, that were were the only fools to be venturing inside... If anyone ever needs a lesson in not relying on first impressions, take them here. The food is, quite simply, delicious; the service superb, the atmosphere friendly and genuinely welcoming. The tempura prawns ("how many would you like?") were perfect - the manageress recommended the chili sauce, which proved to be the perfect complement for our tastebuds. The 1/4 crispy duck was truly that - crisp, no superfluous grease, with the best pancakes I have ever had in Britain - wafer-thin, but strong enough not to split when we filled them with duck and freshly-cut cucumber and shredded spring onion. The squid in black bean sauce avoided the usual rubberiness. And when they call it sizzling, that's truly how it arrived. The beef in satay sauce was tender, piping hot, and delicious. The lemon chicken... ah... the lemon chicken. What can I say? If you've ever assumed that the dish only comes with sickly sauce, soggy batter, and dry, tasteless meat, then you need to visit the 'Oriental Idyll' to discover how mouth-watering it can taste when it's cooked properly. Impressed? Unreservedly, YES. This is the be
      st Chinese food I have eaten in Britain, ever. Even on a Tuesday evening, there should be a crowd battering down the doors in supplication for a seat: there should be a queue patiently curling around the block in hopes of a table. And the cost? Remember that sign I mentioned, advertising all-you-can-eat for the princely sum of £8.50 a head? Guess what. That's truly how much it costs. Don't wait for it to become famous, don't wait for it to acquire 4-week-long waiting lists. Go now. And a plea to the 'Oriental Idyll' - please stay this wonderful! 'Oriental Idyll' 50a Hamlet Court Road Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 7LX Tel: 01702 351 894 Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php


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