Gyoza - Lucky Yu Canteen

Lucky Yu Canteen

20th November 2018 6pm

Lucky Yu Canteen is a tiny restaurant on Leith Walk aiming to meet your dumpling needs. My friend booked via Facebook but it seems they didn’t have our booking. They were as accommodating as they could be and squished us round a corner table, which actually was enough space for us, with a bit of space management on the table.

Lucky Yu Canteen

Lucky Yu Canteen

We were provided with a menu and pencil, where we could indicate how many of each item we would like. We were recommended to get several dishes (albeit a couple were not available that evening), so that was exactly what we did. Whilst gyoza are their main offering, there are other bits and pieces available too. We chose edamame beans, Thai prawn crackers, karaage chicken, fried chicken katsu sando, roast chicken gyoza, dirty burger gyoza, tiger prawn gyoza, the day’s special gyoza (cheese) and a lobster and chorizo bao bun. This place is BYOB so we just stuck with soft drinks.

Edamame beans - Lucky Yu Canteen

Edamame beans – Lucky Yu Canteen

Karaage Chicken - Lucky Yu Canteen

Karaage Chicken – Lucky Yu Canteen

Fried chicken katsu sando - Lucky Yu Canteen

Fried chicken katsu sando – Lucky Yu Canteen

The small plates came out first, as and when they were ready. The edamame beans were great, with a smattering of smoked sea salt. The prawn crackers were also excellent. The karaage chicken were popcorn bites deep fried and came with a saamjang mayo which was delicious. However the most popular of the small plates was the katsu sando. Essentially a sandwich, with fried chicken and a lovely katsu sauce. This was succulent and filling.

Gyoza - Lucky Yu Canteen

Gyoza – Lucky Yu Canteen

The gyoza and bao followed. The gyoza were steamed and had seen a pan before reaching us – just how I like them. Two of the gyoza came with dips and two did not. Let’s talk about the dirty burger gyoza first. Yes, it’s not traditional but you really should try them. With a mustard dip, these were both fun and tasty. The chicken gyoza probably averaged out as the favourite but they were all pretty decent. The filling was generous in all of the gyoza. Top stuff. The bao was also packed full of filling but it was felt that it needed more of the chorizo in it, as the flavour wasn’t strong enough.

Deep Fried Mini Bao - Lucky Yu Canteen

Deep Fried Mini Bao – Lucky Yu Canteen

After a bit of a wait, we ordered some dessert bao, which came in the form of a deep fried mini bao with a choice of an ice cream. We picked the pear ice cream. These. We’re delicious and the perfect way to round off the meal.

Food – 8/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall – 30.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

Cost £66 for 4 small plates, 4 gyoza, 1 bao, 2 dessert bao and 3 soft drinks

Bangkok Dirty Fries - Miss Woo's

Miss Woo’s

14th June 2018 6.20pm

We decided to visit Miss Woo’s in Leith without booking, but even early Thursday evening meant we couldn’t get a standard table and had to perch to eat along a bar ledge. I’m not sure if it’s just because they have an itison voucher at the moment (which we didn’t have) or its just popular anyway. Either way, book in advance just in case.

The menu is relatively simple, breaking down into fries, gyoza, bao buns, wings, ramen, pad thai and sides. Even though we didn’t have the voucher deal, Miss Woo’s has a very reasonable deal of one cocktail plus 3 items from a highlighted selection on the menu for £18, which we decided to try. I chose a Miss Woo Woo cocktail and then pork gyoza, Asian bbq chicken wings and spicy Korean pulled pork bao buns. My friend chose the same wings and buns but opted for the Bangkok dirty fries instead of gyoza.

The food came out pretty much at the same time. The Bangkok dirty fries had pulled pork and chillis slathered over the top of the fries. These were really substantial and enjoyable. The bao buns were beautifully soft, although it was a little annoying that they stuck to the cardboard container there were served in. The hot and sour flavours were great.

The pork dumplings were served in a bamboo steamer basket and were cooked well, with a decent amount of filling. Dipping them into soy was lovely. However, my favourite was the Asian bbq wings. The portion was generous, with each wing having a good amount of meat on it. The glaze was sweet and smoky in equal measure. I could eaten three servings of that!

We did originally get charged with the full price rather than the deal price but this was quickly fixed. We enjoyed our trip to Miss Woo’s and will definitely head back to try more of the menu.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Oh yes!

£36 for two of the special offer cocktail and three eligible dishes

Deep fried shredded beef in chilli - Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon Restaurant

20th January 2018 7.45pm

A friend and I had taken a trip up to Edinburgh Zoo to see the Giant Lanterns of China and it subconsciously got us in the mood for Chinese food. We headed back into town and had originally intended to visit Rendezvous but it was closed for a break, so we wandered along to The Golden Dragon Restaurant. It’s one of those places in a central location but so easily overlooked. Inside, the Golden Dragon is an old style Chinese restaurant – so nothing flash but focussing on great food and warm hospitality.

The Golden Dragon Restaurant

We settled down to look at the menu and I was delighted to spy char siu dumplings, so opted for that immediately. I added some deep fried shredded beef and my friend chose salt and pepper prawns to start and chicken satay for main. We decided to share mains so also got some egg fried rice between us. After ordering my friend spotted a sign on the wall saying their customers rated the shredded beef the best in Edinburgh. A bold claim that we could test them on. But first, the starters.

My char siu dumplings came as a pair and were white and fluffy on the outside and full of tasty pork on the inside. Not too spicy, these buns are quite filling but so satisfying. Across from me, the prawns sat on top of a bed of salad. They were coated in batter and chillis were scattered across the dish. My friend heartily enjoyed this starter, finding the prawns of good quality and size and the flavour was hitting the spot.

The mains came along not long after and smelt divine. They say you eat with your eyes, but your nose also plays a part and it was telling me to hurry up and get stuck into the delicious smelling food. The deep fried shredded beef was quite subtle in its appearance, unlike other places where it’s been day-glo orange. The beef was crispy rather than chewy and the coating didn’t hide the beef. The sauce itself was full of depth and complexity that surprised me. Spring onions gave a nice contrast too. I have to say, it is definitely the best deep fried shredded beef that I have had in Edinburgh, and possibly ever. The satay was also ticking all the flavour boxes. The chicken was moist and the vegetables not over cooked. The satay sauce itself was not too thick and had a gorgeous nutty tasty. The egg fried rice worked well between the two of us and mopped up those sauces well.

This was a wonderful find and somewhere central that gave a satisfying meal. We really enjoyed the food.

Food – 9.10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

Cost £50 for two starters, two mains, one rice and four coke zeros.

Karen's Unicorn

Karen’s Unicorn

8th April 2017 8pm

Somehow I seem not to have visited many Chinese restaurants in Edinburgh, which is odd as I like Chinese food. In an attempt to rectify this, I took a friend’s recommendation to try Karen’s Unicorn. Situated a couple of minutes walk from St Andrew Square, Karen’s Unicorn is easy to reach. The restaurant itself was simple in its black theme but was spoilt a touch with the weird blue lights, which were not far off ultra violet as well as some pink lights higher up the wall. It gave an odd mood lighting to the place and felt a bit harsh. The friendly staff were on hand to sort out drinks whilst we eyed the menu, a lot of which was what I would consider standard Chinese offerings, all of which sounded scrumptious. In the end I went for sesame prawn toasts followed by chicken satay with some boiled rice. My friend chose the soft shell crab to start, followed by the ‘original’ roast duck with a side of noodles. The starters seemed a bit expensive to my eye in relation to the mains (prices are not on the website but many of the starters are £8-£9), so I was intrigued to see what we got for our money.

The food came out really quickly, weirdly with hot towels at the same time. My sesame prawn toasts looked a bit underwhelming. The bread was small and with four less than generous triangles, I was a bit disappointed. On eating, they tasted lovely, but not enough to warrant the price tag. The chilli sauce was nice but the accompanying salad was limp and a bit brown at the edges. However, on the other side of the table the soft shell crab was going down a treat. A bit hotter than she was expecting but could not take the shine off her very pleasing starter.

We were offered a choice of a short break before our mains or to have the food straight away. We opted for the latter. Served on a hot plate, our mains were delivered to the table. My satay looked cute in its bowl but the duck really did look amazing. My satay wasn’t too strong on the peanut flavour but it had a nice subtle heat to it which you don’t often get with a satay, so that was pleasing. The chicken was incredibly tender, almost melting in my mouth. The peppers still had a little crunch to them and the onions were soft. The accompanying rice was cooked to perfection. My friend was having a field day with the duck. She kindly let me try some and it really was delicious. There was so much of the duck too. Sadly I think that was my friend’s downfall as she ate past the point at which she should have stopped. A valiant attempt to finish it all, which she almost achieved. The noodles were also great, with onions scattered throughout.

All in all, a bit of a mixed bag with some notable highlights.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 7/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Possibly

Cost £70 for two starters, two mains and two glasses of wine

Prawn and Chive Dumplings - Saigon Saigon

Saigon Saigon

20th September 2016 5.45pm

We fancied a bit of dim sum and whilst Saigon Saigon is in a prime position in the centre of the city, we’d never been in before. Inside sports typical Chinese restaurant décor and was filled with lots of tourists piling in with suitcases. Handy for Waverley I guess.

Roast Pork Buns - Saigon Saigon

Roast Pork Buns – Saigon Saigon

We were sat at a table and told if we were ordering dim sum there were a list of about 6 items that were sold out. This was a bit surprising considering the time of day we entered. Anyway, we perused the multiple menus but knew we wanted dim sum. We ordered two lots of roast pork buns (as they are my fave), prawn and chive dumplings, Vietnamese spring rolls and grilled pork dumplings. However the waitress came back to say the grilled pork was now also off the menu. She didn’t bring us a menu so we can re select, so we added a second lot of prawn dumplings to save further faffing. We also ordered two diet cokes which we had to chase twice and finally got them half way through our meal.

Prawn and Chive Dumplings - Saigon Saigon

Prawn and Chive Dumplings – Saigon Saigon

The food itself did come out in a timely manner. We started off with the prawn and chive dumplings. They were incredibly sticky and glutinous but very moreish. The flavours were good and the filling identifiable rather than just being a mush. The pork buns were amazing. Soft and fluffy with as tasty pork centre. These are quite filling but I am still glad I had three to myself as every mouthful was worth it. The Vietnamese spring rolls were a really nice surprise. I am not used to having deep fried ones but to my delight they were crispy on the outside but the filling was still pristine and bursting with flavour. It was accompanied by a great dip which was also brilliantly flavoured.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls - Saigon Saigon

Vietnamese Spring Rolls – Saigon Saigon

Lots of the food being brought out to other tables from the a la carte menu looked and smelt great. Shame the service means we’re not so likely to head back when there are other excellent places for dim sum.

Food – 8/10
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – 5/10
Value – 9/10

Overall 27/40

Would I eat here again? Unlikely

Cost £26 for 5 dim sum dishes and two diet cokes

Chop Chop

20th July 2016 6pm

Chop Chop has a reputation that precedes it, particularly with exposure via Gordon Ramsay (no it wasn’t a restaurant that he shouts at for being useless).  So, we had an amount of expectation. The restaurant itself is unassuming, situated on Morrison St. They offer a good deal on an unlimited banquet but we had eyed some dishes not in this offer so decided not to go down that route this time. We opted for small portions of pork and prawn boiled dumplings, beef and chilli fried dumplings, sweet and sour pork ribs, crispy fried squid and a glass noodle salad.

Crispy fried squid - Chop Chop

Crispy fried squid – Chop Chop

We waited almost 30 minutes before any food arrived (other than the complimentary prawn crackers – but no chilli sauce). At this point I would like to apologise for the photos. We were so hungry I forgot to take photos of some of the dishes, so there is no photo of the boiled dumplings and photos of half eaten dishes too. The food came out as and when they were ready. Firstly we had the pork and prawn dumplings. These were minced up almost into a paste but so much so that the flavours weren’t overly distinguishable. They were cooked well though and tasted ok. We then got the beef and chilli dumplings and the squid. The squid, whilst cooked suitably, had very little flavour. The flavour could only be achieved by eating the accompanying chilli and spring onion. The dumplings again were filled with what appeared to be almost sausage like filling which tasted fine but nothing special. They were also only fried on one side. Then the ribs arrived. My dining companion was particularly looking forward to these, being a favourite of hers. They were cooked well and the meat slid off the bone. However, they lacked any real flavour and were a little sweet but had no sour notes which was a bit disappointing. The glass noodle salad was the last to arrive and was actually the tastiest of all the dishes. It contained garlic, chilli, mustard, coriander and spring onions mixed through the glass noodles. My friend did comment that although she likes salads, it comes to something when the tastiest thing we ate was the salad.

This place is harmless enough but certainly not inspiring.

Food – 6/10
Service – 6/10
Atmosphere – 6/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 26/40

Would I eat here again? Unlikely

Cost £32 for 5 dishes plus 4 diet cokes.

Chop Chop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Imperial Palace

21st February 2016 1pm

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

This place has been on the wish list for quite a while but as it’s not in the city centre it always got bumped down the list. However, we made a concerted effort to go and I am glad we did (and we were foolish to have waited so long). We arrived and were seated at a table for two but many of the tables here are set up for larger groups. The place was very busy for a Sunday lunchtime and many families had chosen to dine here. We had specifically come here to try the dim sum, although other Chinese cuisine is available. We had a handy order sheet so we just crossed off the boxes against the things we wanted. We opted for the dim sum combo platter for two, char siu buns and spare ribs in black bean sauce.

We happily chatted away but the food came relatively quickly and was unveiled with the lifting of the bamboo steamer lids. We started on the platter first. This consisted of king prawn dumplings, pork and prawn dumplings, gelatin meat and prawn dumplings, prawn and chive dumplings and gelatin meat and pork dumplings. Each of these had great, yet delicate flavour and even though had similar combinations of fillings, all had distinctive tastes. Then we made a start on the ribs. These were a little disappointing as although we know ribs don’t always have that much meat on, this was virtually non-existent. On the plus side, the black bean sauce was delicious. I saved my favourite until last. I adore char siu buns and these were an exceptional example of them . A sweet yet savoury fluffy outer layer protected a yummy pork filling. I could have eaten a good half a dozen of these rather than the more modest one. Overall, the amount of dim sum we ordered was just about right for lunch but you may want to think about ordering more for a dinner sitting.

Whilst the staff were very friendly, we did have to wait a little while for our bill. This can be forgiven as it was busy but 20 minutes is quite a long time to wait after asking, particularly when you are sat at the front of the restaurant. A minor blip in what was a pretty good meal.

Food – 8/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32/40

Would I come here again? Yes, most definitely

Cost £22 for the platter, two further dim sum plates and two diet cokes.

Imperial Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato