When the Hirst family decamp to Spain for our summer hols we go out for Chinese meals.
It’s so hot out there in the height of summer – 29˚C (84˚F) would be deemed cold and that’s often at night – we find it just too warm for curries.
Chinese food seems somehow lighter and if you flip to the back of a menu in Spain you’ll find menu of the day which will include three courses including a cold drink or half a bottle of wine for as little as seven euros. Now that’s affordable for the likes of we poor souls.
Back in the UK we rarely go for a Chinese but thought we’d try somewhere we’d not been for years – the Royal City Cantonese at Moldgreen.
It’s the one tucked back on Old Wakefield Road and you have to go up steps to get to the restaurant itself.
We arrived around 8.30pm on a Friday and it was busy. Buzzing almost.
Once we sat down and looked at the menu the reason for this popularity was staring us in the face. They do an Eat All You Want menu for £11 (£4.50 for children under 10).
But this is no buffet where you go and try what they’ve decided to put on that day.
It’s an extensive menu and you order the dishes you want from it. Any dish, even the king prawns. Any dish? Yes, any dish.
So that’s straight then.
To give you an idea how big this menu is there’s seven soups on the starters. Think of any popular Chinese dish and it’ll be there.
It’s difficult not to go mad with these kind of offers – kids in a sweet shop and that kind of
mentality – so start sensibly and then if you think you need more sustenance ask for more dishes. Simple.
We began with prawn crackers, salt and pepper spare ribs and prawn toast.
All absolutely fine – there’s plenty of salt and pepper on the ribs and the crackers are no shrinking violets when it comes to size.
For mains we had a vegetable curry, chicken sichuan style, king prawns in oyster sauce, crispy chilli beef, boiled rice and fried rice.
That should do the trick. And did.
Best dish was the crispy chilli beef that’s kind of goey, spicy and moorish all at the same time.
The curry was earthy, peppery and certainly vegetable-laden.
Even some broccoli had got in on the act.
If size really does matter then the king prawns ticked that box big-style and came with chunky pieces of onion and green pepper.
And the chicken sichuan was certainly a vibrant-looking dish – there’s a lot going on in there – but not as spicy as you can get with this sauce that combines sweet chilli and garlic. It could be upped a notch, certainly for us.
The restaurant itself is haven for lovers of artex. It’s everywhere – on the ceiling, down the walls and even beneath the dado rail. Now that’s some going.
Seats are comfortable and clean cloths on all tables. Service is really friendly and they are clearly a close-knit team judging by the hugs going on as one staff member was about to set off home.
So it’s a gem of a place for anyone wanting a very affordable meal out and ideal for families. They clearly have loyal repeat custom.
But there are some house rules with this offer.
You have the table for 90 minutes, water is charged at 50p per person, people are expected to be sensible and not over order and you can’t take a doggy bag home.
All sounds very reasonable.
313 Old Wakefield Road, Moldgreen, Huddersfield. HD5 8AA
Phone: 01484 435636
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 5.30pm-9pm and Sunday 1pm-9m. Ideally last sitting at 8pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Disabled access: No, as access is up some steep steps
The bill: £36.95 including a bottle of house wine and two small bottles of sparkling water
Would you go back? Absolutely ... with the family.