If there’s one thing that Sheffield seems to lack, it’s Chinese buffet restaurants.
Many have tried and failed over the years – we’ve seen what was the Jumbo on Norfolk Street, U Buffet on West Street and No 1 on Commercial Street all come and go.
However, one that’s sticking around is Wong Ting on Matilda Street.
The difference with this Cantonese buffet is that it has the surprise factor.
What is just a modest narrow entrance at ground floor leads to a beautifully decorated restaurant up a flight of stairs. Myself and my dining partner were welcomed by a friendly waiter who took us to our table, explained how the menu worked and offered us a choice of chop - sticks or a fork (which I was very grateful for!)
This isn’t a buffet in the traditional sense. All guests pay £18.95 each and food is ordered and delivered fresh to your table. There's no toing and froing between the table and buffet which makes the dining experience smooth and much more enjoyable.
We started with mixed hors d’ouvres which consisted of the usual prawn toast, seaweed, spare ribs, satay chicken, crispy won ton and spring rolls. This was all tasty and well cooked, if not a little too similar to a typical takeaway appetiser.
Every table receives complimentary duck alongside their starters, which was a lovely touch.
There were no complaints from our table as we already had our eyes on a selection of main dishes.
Service was very quick and all food was served hot. For mains we ordered Sin gapore noodles with chicken, duck in orange sauce, chicken with seasoned veg, egg fried rice, beef chow mein and crabmeat with asparagus.
A favourite of mine, the Singapore noodles were per - fectly seasoned with just the right amount of kick from the chilli. The dish seemed to be endless and, although the waiter had explained that every dish was around half the size of a usual serving, we struggled to get through it!
My partner pointed out that he wouldn’t normally choose orange sauce to go with duck, but thought it was very tasty. The sauce was thick and made for a delicious coating over the meat.
The noodles which came with the beef chow mein were great, although the beef was a little chewy and didn’t seem to be of a good quality.
I will admit that I’m usually not one for vegetables when it comes to a Chinese meal.
Having said this, the chicken with seasoned veg - etables was a perfect addition which made it feel like we weren’t going too mad on heavy carbs.
The crabmeat with asparagus was an interesting one, I do have to admit. I expected something a little meatier and solid than the soup-style dish that was brought out to us – yet it was still packed with taste.
One particularly enter taining waiter came over to make conversation with us on numerous occasions, which added to the fun.
And of course, a Chinese restaurant wouldn’t be a Chinese restaurant without serving Cobra on tap.
As you would assume we left Wong Ting with very full tummies and smiles on our faces.
The bill does add up (in our case, to £53) when you consider your bar tab, but for a Friday night treat this was perfect.
It's nice to get out every now and again to enjoy Chinese that doesn’t come in plastic containers, even if you do have to eat with a fork!