It’s 9pm Sunday night, five hours after the start of our goodbye-to-Pipe-Passage drinks party, and four of us are left standing… or at least still in search of food. And so we decide to head to the Castle – the new Chinese which has replaced The Panda Garden on the High Street. It needs a review in these pages, anyway.
Sober enough to realise my recall faculties might be impaired, I delegate reviewing responsibility to Rebecca. We order starters and mains from the à la carte menu, and listen to American David’s idiosyncratic take on this and that.
My memories of the experience are now hazy: I had some stupendous dim sum, some chicken in a sauce that was ‘Malaysian’. Rebecca really raved about her vegetarian chicken satay. I mean really raved.
She’s a bit sheepish when I see her in the office the next day. It appears her recall faculties were somewhat impaired, too. So on the day before deadline day, I opt to go for a solo lunch, to top up the memory bank.
I’m the only one there, so the music gets turned on for me. Chinese pop, I guess, the sort of thing that might do well if there were an Asiavision Song Contest. I ask the waitress where she’s from: Mauritius. I order a Tsing Tao Chinese beer, and two things from the £9.95 lunch menu: Satay chicken on skewers, and Honey chilli pork, with egg fried rice. I’m a sucker for dim sum, so I also order some Siu Mai steamed pork and prawn dumplings (£6), which she tells me will take ten minutes to prepare. I take this as a good sign... [read more]