PERFECT Friday nights around our end have something of a set pattern.
A few at The Lescar, hop over the road to the Porter Cottage, and then to Hing Lung.
Come pub closing time this tiny takeaway on Sharrow Vale Road is a beacon of hope to tipsy revellers on the way home, with a hungry queue spilling outside.
But after months we realised that the only thing we’d eaten there was, shamefully, chips. They were doused with salt, pepper, garlic and chilli – a fiery, lip-licking combination – but still... chips? At a Chinese?
It was time to put this wrong right, so off we headed to Hing Lung to look at the menu.
Being sober immediately explained some of the previous indecision.
There are 177 items on the main menu, plus traditional deep-fried chip shop fare, to choose from.
After some agonising choices, it took ten minutes for our food to be ready so we popped off for a quick half while we waited.
A steaming hot bag of food, and free prawn crackers, proved enough to feed half of China.
Giant portions aside, the satay beef was infused with creamy coconut and went down a treat with the sticky garlic egg fried rice and just-greasy-enough noodles.
But the real star of the show was our Cantonese-style sweet and sour pork.
Tangy and tasty with vegetables, it was a dish to fight over and devour in minutes, making us glad we’d not opted for the English battered version when presented with a choice.
There was also a special Wandering Dragon – king prawn, chicken, Chinese vegetables and cashew nuts ‘delicately cooked’ in a special sauce – but it proved too delicate for us with not enough zing.
When we asked how long Hing Lung had been open the friendly woman serving us said simply ‘a long time’.
Hopefully we’ll be working our way through the menu, and breathing deeply at the well of choice at Hing Lung, for many years to come.
Hing Lung, 302 Sharrow Vale Road, Hunter’s Bar,
Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 6pm to 11.30pm, Thursday to Saturday 6pm to midnight, Sunday 6pm to 11.30pm. Closed Mondays.
Service: Helpful, patient
Waiting time: Ten minutes for our dishes to be cooked from scratch - chips straight away
Menu: 177 Cantonese and Chinese dishes plus fish and chips
vWhat we had: Satay beef, Cantonese-style sweet and sour pork, Wandering Dragon speciality, noodles, garlic egg fried rice, prawn crackers. Total: £17.90
Verdict: A staggering array of choice which is well worth trying