Emma had been wanting to take me to her favourite Chinese restaurant, Taipan, for quite a while now and today was the day we finally gave it a try.
After a shopping trip and a few beers we got a taxi to Taipan, which is located by the docks, but certainly not walkable from the town centre as its a bit out of the way. When we arrived the place was quite empty and Emma was a bit shocked as she said its usually packed. It is quite a big restaurant though.
One of the main reasons that Emma wanted to take me here is that they serve tripe. It is a food I have always wanted to try (yes, I know its the lining of a cows stomach haha) but my Dad has talked about how he used to eat it years ago. I will always try any sort of food once, no matter how horrible it sounds.
We decided to pick 2 dim sum each for starters as we were both quite hungry. There is a good selection of dim sum available here! I went for the tripe, which came in garlic and something else, and i opted for a safe option of Vietnamese spring rolls. Emma went for “charsu chung fun” and chicken satay sticks. The first thing I noticed about the dim sum here is that they are much larger portions that other dim sum places i have been to in the past.
It was now time to try the tripe….. i tried to pick it up with the chopsticks, which i am getting quite good as using, but I could not pick a piece of it up. It was slimey and slippery and didn’t want to be eaten! Maybe it didn’t want me to know how lovely it was going to taste?!?! I gave up with the chopsticks and stabbed a piece of it with my fork. The following 5 minutes was spent trying to chew one piece of it with Emma smiling at me haha. I can honestly say Mike does not eat everything now, as he wlll not be eating tripe again! It was one of the worst things I have eaten, but I was still glad I tried it.
When the waiter came over he looked at the tripe and then looked at me. He questioned was everything OK with it as i hadn’t touched it. I explained that I had always wanted to try it but it wasn’t for me. He said that he really likes tripe…..
For the main courses I went for one of my favourites, which is crispy beef in chilli and garlic sauce. It seems where ever I order this it is totally different. Sometimes it is orange, sometimes its a really dark red. This time however, it was neither and the beef wasn’t coated in the sauce and instead had a bit of a watery sauce at the bottom. I have to admit, it was one the the worst crispy chilli beefs I have had.
Emma said she was being boring and going for sweet and sour chicken. Luckily for me, she prefers to eat the veg rather than the chicken so there was plenty for me to munch on. The sweet and sour was really nice!
By the time we got up and left the restaurant was full and people were waiting to be seated. There was a lot of Chinese people in here, probably more Chinese people than English people. With it being located out of the way it must be good and have a good reputation as it takes a bit of effort to get there. Emma reckoned that since she went last time it has got a bit down hill as she wasn’t as impressed with it this time. I would go back again but would like to go on a Sunday when they have Dim Sum Sunday, apparently they come round with trolleys of dim sum and you just help yourself.
The bill came to £44.70, this was for 4 lots of dim sum, 2 mains, 2 lots of egg friend rice, 1 beer, and 2 cokes.
- Service: Good service, very efficent.
- Atmosphere: Quite a big restaurant but it had an ok atmosphere.
- Food: I think I was a bit unlucky with my choices as Emma’s dishes were a lot nicer than mine
- Cost: Not too bad!
Date of visit: Saturday the 16th of March
Have you been to Tai Pan? Let me know what you think in the comments in below.