A cold, dark night presented the ideal excuse to be in the mood for a Chinese – it’s one of many I use regularly from my arsenal for this very reason.
Manchurian was the destination for the evening as it is a restaurant that has never let me down.
Thankfully it continued that record on our most recent visit with another fantastic offering.
From the outside the Manchurian is quite a striking building and certainly stands out in a city of granite.
But inside, although nice and clean, it is a bit plain – but the food that leaves the kitchen and arrives at your table is anything but.
The eatery was quite quiet – it was a chilly week night after all – but we were sat in a corner with a few other filled tables which created a sort of compacted buzz.
After several minutes perusing the menus we were unable to settle on just one of the delicious sounding dishes on offer to start, so we went for the combination starter (£6.80 per person) and a portion of prawn crackers (£2.00).
Not too long later, a large plate appeared with spare ribs, won tons, satay chicken skewers, prawn toast and Thai spring rolls.
The highlight for me was the chicken satay skewers – and an added bonus was the sauce had a bit of heat which put my dining companion off them, meaning I got two.
At the other end of the scale the spare ribs weren’t my cup of tea and the won tons were slightly on the hard side – but that view was countered from across the table and the prawn toast was the winner there.
For my main I went for the honey and chilli chicken (£9.50).
It was a fantastic dish – sweet with just a little bit of heat poking through the flavour.
Across the table my compadre, who has more expensive taste, went for the roast duck with plum sauce (£12).
Similarly to mine, the sauce was delicious and the meat perfectly cooked.
On the side we had a portion of egg fried rice (£2.80) and some decidedly un-Chinese chips (£2.50).
Between all the food that appeared for out mains we managed to get the best part of two full portions each – and any notion I had entertained of losing a few pounds before Christmas was well and truly out the window.
Alas, thanks to the large servings, there was no room left in either of our stomachs for dessert and the menus were politely turned away before we were tempted into making a decision that would have lead to undue strain on our belts.
Overall it was an excellent meal.
The food was delicious and well cooked, while the service from the staff was impeccable as always.
At Aberdeen’s Best Curry Awards earlier this year Manchurian was crowned the best of the North-east’s Chinese eateries – on the evidence when we visited it will take somewhere special to knock it from its lofty perch in 2018.
As for the final bill for the quality of food on offer, just over £51 isn’t bad to feed two folk when you’re including drinks as well.
We will certainly be back and if you like Chinese food The Manchurian is definitely somewhere you have to visit.