After a few false starts I've finally eaten a really good Chinese meal in Sheffield. The Noodle Inn restaurants come highly recommended from those in the know, and after a solo visit to the original branch on London Road a while back I was almost convinced, but the gargantuan menu made it tricky to pinpoint the good stuff.
The new branch in town has a slightly more focused approach, there's still a lengthy Cantonese and Sichuan menu but no dim sum list to complicate things further. All of the main dishes are available as one plate meals with rice, a great option if there aren't enough you for a full on sharing feast (and if your dining companion isn't a spice fiend).
Gong bao chicken (it might have been kung pao on the menu here) was a cracking rendition. Laced with sichuan pepper and chilli and coated in an addictive sticky salty-sweet sauce, there are few things more pleasurable than scooping this stuff up with chopsticks. It's not just the flavour that satisfies, but the mouth feel; soft chicken, the crack and yield of nuts (cashews rather than peanuts strangely), tongue tingling pepper, fluffy rice.
A plate of salt and chilli chicken wings were also damn fine and utterly more-ish, as you'd expect meaty wings fried to a good crisp and smothered in fried onions, garlic and chilli to be.
Sweet and sour chicken's not really my cup of tea, but A was happy with hers and it looked like a decent version. Only veggie spring rolls were a pointless, but then they always are.
The one plate meals are all under a tenner, remarkable value given their enormity. We took home enough leftovers for another full meal. In total we paid around £28 including a drink each and service. Free ice cream for afters too!
I'll definitely be returning to Noodle Inn. The keen pricing and name suggests a pile-it-high noodle bar, big on quantity but lacking in quality, but don't let that put you off as the food is far better than that provided you order carefully. A Red Chilli style Sichuan knees-up is definitely on the cards.
15 Westfield Terrace
15 Westfield Terrace