Sunday, 28 October 2012

Review: China Red (Ware, Hertfordshire)

Date of visit: 27 October 2012

Winter decided to arrive in full force this weekend and the thought of having to put on layers and layers of clothing and go out in the wet and cold was not appealing.  But you can't allow the weather to get in the way of good food and good company.  I love Chinese food, but had never been to China Red in Ware before.  Our dinner guests had been to China Red on numerous occasions and recommend that we try them.  

On arriving you enter through a little alley way and find a beautiful stained glass window door.  They have a nice little pub and leather couches in the front and when you walk through to the next room you are greeted by a classy well maintained old building, the d├ęcor is classy and very clean.

The staff were friendly and very professional from the moment we arrived.  You were made to feel that you were a regular.  Our drinks orders were taken immediately, of course a bottle of wine was ordered and a couple of beers for the men.  The staff were always just a stone's throw away from you but you never felt that they were intrusive at all.  

Their Menu has numerous set menu's or you can select your own courses.  Our guest went with their Emperor Feast at £21.80 per person.  This consisted of:  Hot Starters; Crispy Seaweed, Tea smoked chicken, Golden pancake rolls, Prawn toast, Barbecue spare ribs in a light fruity sauce.  Crispy aromatic duck;  Succulent duck marinated in a blend of spices, served with light pancakes, Cucumber, spring onions and Hoi Sin Sauce.  Main Course;  Stir fired prawns with four treasure vegetables, traditional sweet and sour chicken, Sir fried beef with chilli oyster sauce and special fried rice.  They also ordered some Singapore Rice  Vermicelli (which is actually very fine noodles) for £6.50.  My understanding is they thoroughly enjoyed their meal.

Emperor Feast Starter
Crispy Duck

Stir fried beef with Chilli
As you have got to know me by now, the wine was flowing, us girls were on our second bottle of Stone Cellars Zinfandel Blush at a cost of £17.90, this was a bit on the expensive side. Oh well if you are spending so much on food what is a little extra on the wine.

David and I ordered:  Chef's Special Hors D'oeuvres; Crispy seaweed, Satay beef, Golden pancake rolls, Honey spareribs and smoke chicken at a cost of £7.00 per person.  As I do not eat duck it was great to actually find a Chinese restaurant that did not only have crispy duck for the middle course, China Red offer crispy fried lamb at £8.00.  This was also served with the same goodies as the crispy duck, this was delicious.  For mains David had Stir Fried Szechuan Beef for £6.50.  David said it tasted lovely, could have had a bit more beef.  I have Deep fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce for £6.50, it was very nice and I had it with egg friend rice (at an additional cost of £3.30).

Chef's Special 

Crispy fried lamb

Szechuan Beef
Sweet and sour Chicken

We ordered two of their desserts between us; Souffle al Cioccolato at £4.00 (not very Chinese, but who cares I love chocolate) served with ice cream, it was absolutely delightful as well as banana fritters, this did not disappoint either at a cost of £3.70  The total cost of the meal and drinks did come as a bit of shock at the end it was £169.00 for four of us.  

Overall Experience

The evening was great and much laughter was had by all.  The service was very good and the whole ambiance of China Red is lovely and makes you feel that you are truly on a special night out.  They are definitely not one of the cheapest places to eat.  Do I think the prices are justified, not really.  Yes they are a step above Paddyfields that cost the four of us £110.30 for the same quantity of food and drink.  But I don't think that it was £50 better.  Will I go back, YES.

8 Baldock Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9DZ

Tel: 01920 460 900

Rating Guide

5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Hertford Food Festival 2012

The 2012 Hertford Food Festival is a HUGE Success!

It was a beautiful and bright autumn day that saw the first Hertford Food and Drink Festival make its 2012 debut. With events spanning across 3 days the Hertford Town Council organised festival paid homage to the very best local produce on offer across Hertford and the surrounding areas.

With hundreds of local people making the effort to come into town over the weekend, it shows what a well educated bunch of foodies us Hertfordians are! Many enjoyed the numerous cookery shows on offer and of course the McMullen Brewery tours went down a treat with beer and history lovers.

But it was the sense of anticipation and excitement for the coming few months that really shone through. As nice as Spring and Summer are, the explosion of rich and comforting food that only Autumn can bring mean that this time of year is always special to those that love food.

Hopefully the Hertford Food Festival 2012 will be the first of many, and on behalf of everyone who attended we would like to say a big well done to The Hertford Town Council for organising this.

Article Written by : Rob Glover from The Best Of Hertford

Catch up

Catch up

I am sorry that I have not been reviewing and posting for so long.  I recently took on a full-time job and have found myself with very little spare time and desire to look at a computer screen when I get home.  This however does not mean that I have stopped eating out.  It took an email from someone in Hertford today to make me sit up and stop being lazy and to make a decision that I will start writing and reviewing again.


I came across your blog whilst looking at Hertford restaurant reviews in Tripadvisor and have found it very helpful and informative. On the strength of your reviews I'm planning to visit both the Raj and Loch Fyne soon. Something that is worrying me, and this is my reason for writing, is that you seem to have stopped reviewing restaurants. Please don't give on it. I've bookmarked your blog and am looking forward to loads more reviews.

Keep up the good work

Thanks very much”

I have forgotten what pleasure my writing has given me in the past and make a pact from today onwards that I will be trying to post at least once a week. There are a few places that I have eaten at recently and will start to write about them.

So stay posted and watch this space.