MIDWEEK EATS AT LYCHEE ORIENTAL, GLASGOW
There's nothing quite like the launch of Victoria's Secret in Glasgow and the queue to end all queues to really build an appetite on a blustery Wednesday. Lychee Oriental, located on Mitchell Street in Glasgow, is somewhere I've passed on about a million occasions but have never quite got around to trying out yet. My sister, Louise, on the other hand is something of a regular there as she works in Frasers and the staff entrance is located, rather conveniently, across the road from Lychee.
Between the interior and the menu choices, it's clear that Lychee is a contemporary twist on a traditional Chinese restaurant. We were shown to a large, dimly lit booth towards the back of the restaurant which was roomy and comfortable, showing me to a booth is always a good start to any dining experience. For a mid-week/school night, it was surprisingly busy and there was a nice buzz and atmosphere in the restaurant.
We started with the wine list and I'm always pleased when there is a choice of wines available by the glass and ESPECIALLY when there is a rich and fruity Malbec, just ripe for the picking.
We were both absolutely starving and had been teasing ourselves by peeking at the menu online all day so we had a pretty good idea what we fancied going for. We decided to share a couple of starters between us and we opted for the chicken and coriander gyoza (which wasn't, I'm pleased to report, too coriander-y) and the crispy duck spring rolls. Both starters were really generous in size and the perfect sharing combo.
For my main, I decided to go for a very non-traditional Chinese sounding, 'surf and turf', with a slightly more traditional sounding Cantonese sauce. Louise had decided about 7 hours before we went to Lychee that she was going for the pulled aromatic duck, served with hoisin sauce, pancakes and cucumber. We also went for a side of noodles and salt and chilli fries to share between us too.
The beef in my surf and turf was deliciously tender and the king prawns went perfectly with the Cantonese sauce. As you can see, there was about an entire duck in her portion of the pulled duck and plenty of pancakes which meant I got a little taste bit too without disgruntling my non-sharing sister too much! The duck was so tasty and the hoisin sauce was perfectly sweet and tangy.
The salt and chilli fries were particularly spicy which was more than okay with us and the noodles accompanied my dish delightfully.
After a looooong break (and maybe another glass of Malbec), we decided to give the deserts a whirl. Louise tried the banana fritters whilst I went for the sweet Belgian waffle drizzled in chocolate sauce, particularly naughty but it was absolutely worth the extra calories.
I honestly can't fault the menu, food or service at all and I now understand why Louise has been so many times. There are so many other things on the menu I'm dying to go back to try.
The always delightful Jimmy Lee, chef and owner of Lychee, has won so many awards for the restaurant including 'Best Asian Restaurant in Scotland' (no mean feat) as well as 'Chef Personality of the Year' and you can tell how popular he is as he worked his way round just about every table in the restaurant.
There were a few tables of birthday celebrations when we were in who were obviously regulars and I always think it's a great sign about how consistent and treasured a restaurant is to a family when you see so many people choosing the venue for a special occasion.
Thanks to Lychee Oriental and Phil for Skapa PR for inviting me in to try the menu out, all opinions expressed in this blog post are very much my own though.
Lychee Oriental, 59 Mitchell St, Glasgow, G1 3LN