KINGSLEY Park Terrace has always been vibrant and it’s a little more so now following the arrival of a new kid on the block, the impressive Golden China restaurant.
When you get a friendly voice down the phone to take your booking it always starts you on a good footing and so it was with the welcome on a Saturday night, following a dash between storm showers.
The restaurant has a pleasant, contemporary feel, but it’s also quite small and intimate so perfect for a family gathering or a table for two with your better half.
The menu is fairly standard fayre, but has certain offerings including squid, mussels, vegetarian and egg foo yung dishes which are perhaps not so well provided for in some other Chinese eateries. We started with a delicious and beautifully-presented mixed hors d’oeuvre, the best we’ve had in a long time.
Succulent seaweed in the middle, two meaty spare ribs, delicate sesame prawn toasts, chicken satay and crispy vegetable pancake rolls (£12).
It was a perfect warm-up for the quarter crispy aromatic duck (£8.50) that looked wonderful and tasted even better once our waitress had tantalisingly dismantled the meat from the bone. The duck was beautifully moist while the skin was perfectly crisp and both were bundled into our pancakes with the cucumber, spring onion and hoi sin sauce. A textbook delivery of a Chinese food favourite.
For mains we really came up trumps with a fantastic plate of squid with mixed vegetables in oyster sauce (£8) and king prawn with cashew nuts (£8), served with boiled rice (£2.50). By this time we’d moved on to chopsticks; we had to ask for them which, I think, is a mistake (ie ask for a knife and fork if you can’t use them). That aside, the squid was perfectly cooked while the prawns were plump and tender. Crucially, in both cases there were plenty of them, so both of us tucked in with gusto.
Because we’d pre-booked, we were also treated to a chef’s special called Wandering Dragon, a fairly hot chicken dish served in a garlic and black bean sauce. It was a little too spicy for us and we didn’t do it justice having weighed in first on the seafood, but it was a tasty (and generous) extra on the night.
Amazingly, the restaurant had only us and a table of eight for dinner that evening, which suggests Golden China hasn’t yet got the word out about just how good their food is. Quite rightly it trumpets its green credentials: Only free range eggs, farm fresh meat and vegetables and fresh vegetable oil, all brought together by an experienced chef from mainland China. The presentation of the food was superb throughout and it tasted wonderful.
Downsides? Just two. The wine (a £16 Pinot Grigio) could have done with being colder (no major deal) and the bill included a 10 per cent service charge. Our service did warrant 10 per cent, but it’s always a risky strategy pre-supposing customers are happy paying that. Overall, Golden China far surpassed expectations. It’s a real gem of a restaurant, just go and see for yourselves.
FOOD:Delicious and well presented throughout
SERVICE:Good. Fixed 10 per cent charge justified on night
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: Plenty of places to park nearby
COST OF OUR MEAL
£55 (plus 10 per cent charge)
FINAL TOTAL: £60.20
Richard’s star rating: 9/10
Golden China, 34 Kingsley Park Terrace, Northampton, NN2 7HG