WHEN you walk through the front door of the China Rose in Bawtry, you are met with a sign informing you of a strict and smart dress code.
As soon as you pass through the doors it becomes clear why this is - it’s only a reflection and mark of respect to the impeccable high standards on offer.
We’ve all been to our fair share of bog-standard Chinese restaurants, haven’t we? You know the kind: the service is brash, the food is cheap and the chef’s special looks as if it’s already been chewed - but China Rose is truly in a class of it’s own. The interior of China Rose can only be described as palatial. As I sat myself beneath a chandelier, I began to soak up the atmosphere and the grand sense of luxury.
For an appetiser, I was torn between squid meniere and barbeque spare ribs, but eventually decided upon squid with black pepper and garlic dressing.
For my main, I salivated over the options of beef curry, chicken in satay sauce, sweet and sour monkfish and scallops with chicken. The choice on offer is remarkable, which is why it was such a battle to eventually choose Cantonese fillet steak with special fried rice.
My dishes were brought to me in a flash. Presented on a hot plate, my squid came in a light and crispy batter but wasn’t too greasy. The spicy kick was mild, but the whole dish would have been lifted by some kind of sauce. I don’t say this lightly when I say that my Cantonese steak was one of the finest and most tender pieces of meat I’ve ever tasted. The slim slices of flavoursome beef were coated in a tangy and irresistible sauce, accompanied by rice cooked to perfection.
It’s an unspoken rule that you should avoid any establishment where the menu features pictures of the food like the plague - but when it comes to the desserts at China Rose you should make an exception. Their inventive range of sweets are as pleasing on the eye as they are to devour, and the Oreo cake was a chunky piece of heaven. I’d eat it every day if it wasn’t such a guilty pleasure.
Every waiter and waitress I came into contact with was attentive without being intrusive and efficient without being brash or sloppy. When quizzed, the staff seemed to know every dish inside out and were on hand with advice. They tended to my every whim and request and couldn’t have been any more helpful.
It’s a little on the pricey side in comparison to a lot of other Chinese restaurants out there, but when you look at the sheer quality and high calibre as on offer, it’s a small price to pay.
So whether it’s a special occasion or if you just fancy a rare and refined treat, then why not put on your gladrags and head down to the China Rose for a touch of class?
By Andrew Trendell