Ah, the amazing British Chinese takeaway. However you’re eating it, there is no mistaking the ever-present culinary providing, especially no longer the British twist on Cantonese food that created deep-fried chook balls with a sweet and sour sauce hardly ever seen in Asia.
Sometimes you’ll have it added immediately to your couch – vibrant orange lumps of meat, from time to time-battered no longer, served in fogged-up plastic tubs and topped with a service bag full of prawn crackers. Or, on occasion, you will experience the UK’s favorite takeaway cuisine in a restaurant setting, with maroon patterned bowls, lazy Susans, and red napkins folded into crowns.
One new Greater Manchester eating place is doing things a little otherwise, choosing a very well contemporary decor and a menu that reads like a reasonably-priced highlights reel of British-Chinese cooking. At WowYauChow in Rochdale, you may locate bao, dumplings, and Szechuan sauce alongside salt and pepper chips, chow mein, and hen wings.
The Yorkshire Street restaurant opened simply over a month ago in what turned into the Cocka Doodle Moo website. It’s the second one starting below the WowYauChow umbrella, with another website in Altrincham appearing just before Christmas last yr. The bare bones of the Rochdale venue are splendid – ornate fireplaces, towering ceilings, large arched home windows, hard uncovered brickwork – and the proprietors have left those features in large part untouched.
A few splashes of vivid paint and numerous Stanley Chow prints have been delivered, developing a formidable and delightful decor with simply the right amount of gimmick. An army of Maneki-Neko (the fortunate golden waving cats believed to convey precise fortune, visible blankly saluting from countertops throughout the country) sincerely looks pretty clever when suspended en masse on a large mesh wall.
It’s busy too, even at 5.30 pm on a Sunday, with lots of families piling around wicker steamer baskets full of treats. We kick things off with a Saturday night-time staple, a part of sesame prawn toast – regarded here as terracotta soldiers (£four.50). They’re leaps and boundaries beforehand of your common, with all the crunch; however, someway not one of the greases. Instead, there’s a mild sweetness of sparkling prawn that manages to make its voice heard even after taking a swim in a vinegary candy and bitter dipping sauce.
These soldiers are so moreish they actually must be eaten in stretchy pants, semi-horizontal in front of Netflix, wherein you could unashamedly wolf them down with a bath of sesame crumbs all over your torso. You do not see bao on takeaway menus very often, and for a proper purpose – the ones pillowy steamed buns tend to deflate like a punctured lilo inside a couple of minutes of leaving a kitchen.
But they have made it onto the invoice at WowYauChow, with fillings including braised pork stomach, flank steak, and crispy duck. So, on our waitress’s advice, we move for the crispy duck (£4.25), all of the trimmings of conventional duck pancakes served in pre-made bun form.
The hoisin is fruity and fragrant, as you’ll assume; however, the ‘crispy’ promise has gone awry. The stringy bits of fatty duck are greater chunk than crisp, and the bao has both been overproofed or overcooked to result in a dense dough.