Lucky is located on the High Street just across the road from the Magic Taste House Chinese Restaurant. It took a couple of trips on the tram over to Beeston before I was actually ‘Lucky’ enough to find it open.
Online it is described as a “Lively, convivial restaurant specialising in Cantonese and Hong Kong dishes, with takeaway.” The night I went in it was pretty quiet in terms of people dining inside, but the phone was almost off the hook with people calling up to order delivery.
It was a funny and lively atmosphere which lots of shouting back and forwards to the kitchen, it was amusing when the shouting switched from Chinese to English or maybe my babel fish was kicking in occasionally when it was bits of conversation relevant to my meal.
I liked the menu, mine seemed to have been well used, and lots of sections had bits of sticker on them and new menu items and prices written on. The menu has a lot of more traditional chinese dishes and meals on it as well as a lot of the standard westernised chinese food that people seem to love as it is more familiar. A table across from me was having the set meal and I was not all all jealous as their bowls of egg fried rice and sweet and sour pork came out. I was far more interested in getting some noodle soup and fried dumplings.
It seems that I have become a creature of habit recently when I am at a Chinese Restaurant. I almost went for the ‘Meat Dumpling in Spicy Sauce’ which I understand is more like a wonton soup in spicy sauce.
I wondered if that was similar to the spicy sichuan dish Suanlo Chaoshou where they say that the dumplings are made from wontons that are filled with meat and then folded over like ‘folding your hands’ the literal translation of ‘shou chao’?
I read a story that in some places in China you could just fold your arms and they would know what you wanted to order. I so want that story to be true.
Anyway I didn’t order that, but I like the story 🙂 I ordered the Braised Beef Sirloin Noodle Soup for £6.80 and a portion of Pan Fried Pork Dumplings.
Braised Beef Sirloin Noodle Soup
This was probably the most ‘rustic’ bowl of noodles that I have found so far in my hunt around the city. It all seemed to have been dumped into the bowl in a pretty haphazard fashion which in some ways I did like. It was like being at someones house where they are basically saying look we are all friends here, lets forget fancy and just get a big of warming and hearty down us.
Once again a bit like Magic House over the road they had just mixed all the spice and chilli into the master stock broth. The soup had ‘sploshed’ up along the rim of the bowl as it was carried over to my table. Yeh that’ll be fine, and to be honest I was likely to be slopping it about all over the place myself pretty quickly.
I liked the big soft leaves of cabbage that were floating about the bowl like mini liferafts for the chunks of meat. They were much easier to pick up with the chopsticks, but they did have the tendency to hold on to puddles of soup so it was a bit hazardous on the spillage front as I was fishing them out. That soup was dripping everywhere!
The chunks of meat in this bowl were really good, they were very tender and even the fatty bits were soft. Perhaps it is somewhat churlish of me to comment that if anything the pieces of meat were too big. I felt a bit of a greedy pig trying to shove some of the larger bits in my mouth. I would have loved a knife and fork at that point just to chop them up a little bit smaller to make it easier. Anyway I managed, I have a pretty big gob (before anyone comments) so it wasn’t too onerous a task 🙂
I had to slurp up quite a bit of soup just so that I could find the noodles. The broth had a nice taste but it was all a bit the same to be honest. That was ok as I liked it, but with a big bowl like this you could maybe get bored quite quickly and quite full of liquid as well. On that note I could feel it all sloshing about in my belly as I walked home later, just as if I had had 2-3 pints of beer really quickly. Note on that note I didn’t have any room left for any beer after 🙁
I liked the noodles in this soup, they were nice and thick, and soft enough to grab up easily with the chopsticks. I am not saying that they are perfect by any means, but they were good enough for me to enjoy and made for a quite enjoyable eating experience. There was a lot of meat and a lot of cabbage in the bowl too, it was quite a decent filling meal. I am not sure that I would pick this particular soup to eat again if I came back to Lucky but it was enough to feel happy enough to want to try another one of their noodle soups. Next time it may well be that ‘Meat dumpling in spicy sauce!
The pork dumpling were pretty good for a change. The casing was a bit thick and had a nice chewiness which is just how I like it. It was nice that they weren’t burnt or over-crisped.
They had a pretty decent amount of pork filling and the flavour was spot on. As always I did a lot of dipping into that pot of chinese rice wine vinegar that I mixed a bit of soy into. I would probably get these again as they did them just how I like them.
I quite liked the casual and friendliness of Lucky, it was a bit chaotic and lively if you listened to the banter between the kitchen and the dining room, but that did make it more of an experience. I probably will come back one day to try a few more dishes and also because it was all very reasonable and you can get a table without being bothered by too many other people. That makes me sound a bit miserable 🙂 Don’t care it’s probably true
Lucky is located at 119 High Road, in Beeston, NG9 2LH
You can check out their menu online at their website