Newest Review: ... search for it on google map 44 Oxford Street Manchester, M1 5EJ 0161 236 6557 As a chinese guy, I know whats good and whats chinese footb... more
Tai Wu possibly the most popular restaurant in Manchester if not the North-West
Tai Wu Cantonese Restaurant (Manchester)
Member Name: Penfold88
Tai Wu Cantonese Restaurant (Manchester)
Advantages: Dim sums, a-la-carte & buffet
Disadvantages: Can get really busy but food this good, it's worth the wait.
Isn't it pain when you want to go for a Chinese meal and you can't decide whether have a proper sit down meal or a buffet. Tai Wu (TW) offers you that choice.
Situated on Oxford street at the city centre end on the outskirt of Chinatown (Manchester), this restaurant is a big favourite with the Chinese community during the lunchtime service for their yummy dim sum menu. Oh, and not forgetting their gr8 value for money all-you-can-eat buffet. TW have 2 floors, the ground floor is the a-la-carte part of the restaurant which also serves the dim sum during lunch and the basement is the buffet restaurant.
When TW first open it's doors they offered half price dim sum in direct competition against the other local restaurants and this became such a hit, customers were prepared to wait for an hour (even longer) for a table. This obviously had an knock-on effect, the other restaurants were losing trade especially on Sundays as this is the day all the Chineses families get together for a sit down meal. The competition had no choice but to drop their prices, too. But TW had a trick up their sleeve that kept the customers coming back where the other restaurants couldn't compete. In Hong Kong, the restaurants there they use hostess trollies pushed around by staff shouting out what they have in their steaming, piping hot trollies. This concept was copied by TW and it was an instant hit!! Previously customers would order their dim sum not knowing how much to order but with this system you can never order too much. Most importantly you do not have to wait long for your food as it's almost instant. The moment you sit down the waiter takes your drinks order and when the trollies comes past, you stop them & ask what they have and if you like the sound of the dish, they'll put the dish on your table & then mark your ticket. Almost like a ice-cream man, stop me and buy one. There are dishes you can order if you wish but by the time it's cooked you may well have stuffed your face full of dim sums, which isn't a bad thing at all. The kitchen steams the most popular dishes in massives steamers which in turn transferred straight into the trollies, so if you happened to eat only the dim sums you could possibly be in there for 30 minutes :-) This system works extremely well as it creates a quick turnover thus reducing the waiting time for the other guests. Me being Chinese , I have been to alot of Chinese restaurants in Britain and I have never come across the hostess trollies concept upon these shores but that's not saying there aren't any. I travel to London frequently & indulge myself in Chinatown but not notice any restaurants taken this idea in their establishmnets, it may well be down to space. It's a shame that our capital do not have such restaurants offering this classic Hong Kong novelty.
The all-you-can-eat buffet is also another experience in itself. There are dishes that many of you may recognise as all buffets are quite similar. But it's the only Chinese buffet restaurant I ever been to that uses certain ingredients that you wouldn't expect at your local take-away & restaurants i.e. 'white fungus' & ' woodears'. Normally, you do not find many Chinese people dine at these places as the dishes that they serve aren't the type of cuisine we Chinese cook at home, but TW overcome this and use certain ingredients that appeal to us. The main problems with Chinese buffets is the unbelieveable thirst you get whilst you're there & afterwards. This is due to the high quantities of salt & mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) that's used in the cooking, when ever that happens to me then I never go back and you should do the same. Luckily, at TW the buffet dishes are well seasoned & flavoured and I haven't had the thirst experience, yet. The choice of starters & main course is huge and you also have a good selection of deserts, English & Chinese, too.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Manchester, take a visit to Tai Wu and sample their delights but there always be one problem. Will it be 'Dim sum' or 'Buffet'? I'm afriad you'll have to fight it amongst yourselves and don't say I didn't warn you :-)
Summary: An all-round Chinese restaurant, the best one I've been to.