Just two minutes walk from everyone’s favourite place, the Information Commons, Orient Express is the perfect place for a tasty dinner treat. The atmosphere in this authentic Chinese restaurant is always vibrant, and come lunch or dinner it is always full of people.
We visited at a quieter time, earlier in the evening, when we were able to absorb a more calming atmosphere and the delicate decor; hand painted murals on the walls and ceilings, and big round wooden tables.
The atmosphere could only have been better complemented by some traditional Chinese music; we felt that British pop didn’t quite suit.
Service was swift and professional. Recommendations were happily give to us by our friendly waiter, so we began our experience with a classic choice; duck pancakes with hoisin sauce for just £7.
They were delicious. The quarter duck was tender and not dry or greasy, and there was more than enough for the two of us.
A slight break between courses might have been appreciated, but all impatient diners will be satisfied as our mains rapidly followed.
We had chosen to share Kung Po chicken (the Chinese favourite apparently) and crispy shredded beef in Peking sauce accompanied by a generous portion of egg-fried rice. Most mains cost around £7 and our egg-fried rice set us back a mere £2.
All the dishes were superb. The Kung Po chicken was tender and packed with spicy chilli which didn’t overwhelm, but complemented the vegetables and was calmed when eaten alongside the tasty egg-fried rice.
The beef was sticky and slightly sweet, a nice contrast to the soft chicken, although more beef less crisp would have been better! The portion sizes were overly generous which made for great value for money.
Prices aren’t cheap, this is no Oasis Pizza, but for West Street standards this is definitely below average.
Although we stuck to water, the wine menu was certainly appealing, ranging from £11.80 to £13.90 for a variety of bottles from Sauvignons to Merlots.
We were simply too full to sample the dessert menu, but we must admit, the chilli and chocolate ice-cream was certainly tempting. Perhaps if we had sacrificed one of our tasty mains then we could even have squeezed in a portion of Sheffield-baked passionfruit cheesecake, for just £2.80.
Judging from the brimming tables all week nights and weekends, Orient Express has built up a fantastic reputation in the city centre, popular with international students and locals alike.
Whether you are going for a light lunch, a blow out evening meal or a pick-me-up from revision in the I.C., we challenge you to find a tastier restaurant in such a great location.
Top Tip: Orient Express deliver for free when you order over £20…
Tel: 0114 2728260