Sunday, 4 December 2011

Oriental Diner, Barry

The Oriental Diner in Barry laid on an impressive spread for the Dinas Powys Wolves Football Club last night. Actually, the footballers were with “babysitters” and hopefully heading for early nights, because this was the coaches and parents’ Christmas gathering.

After a few drinks in The Sir Samuel Romilly (Wetherspoons), we took the hundred yard walk along Broad Street to the Oriental Diner. Here, we were shown to the party room (upstairs at the back) and settled down around three large tables. The food bought out, onto the large Lazy Susans on each table, featured Peking, Cantonese and Thai dishes.

Following the obligatory prawn crackers (thick ones), the Hor’s d’Oeuvre included Satay Chicken, Sesame Prawn Toast and Spring Rolls. The Crispy Fried Seaweed was popular (I didn’t have the heart to tell anyone it was actually deep-fried cabbage).

There followed a duck course: Crispy Aromatic Duck Served with Spring Onion, Cucumber, Hoi Sin Sauce and Pancakes. There was also some chicken, as an alternative to duck. Assembling the crispy duck pancakes is always fun. The cooking at the Oriental Diner has an authenticity lacking in too many Chinese restaurants, and the duck in particular reminded me of a restaurant in China (that served nothing else but crispy duck pancakes).

There were vegetarian options throughout the meal, as we had a vegetarian on the table. Actually, I would suggest, if you’re in a big group, someone is designated as vegetarian (even if they are not), because these dishes were very good (e.g., tofu with cashew nuts in yellow bean sauce) and added to the variety of food doing the rounds.

The main courses, served with rice, included Chow Mein, Thai-style Chicken Curry, Sweet and Sour Pork, Spare Ribs, Beef in Black Bean Sauce, Spicy King Prawns, and more besides. The beef and prawn, along with a rice and cashew vegetarian dish were my pick of the excellent food.

I drank draft Sun Lik Beer. It is brewed in the San Miguel brewery in Hong Kong, and is imported into the UK by Shepherd Neame. My problem with lager is usually that it is too fizzy, tastes too ‘tinny’, and is served over-cold. Draft Sun Lik is none of these, and has some subtle fruity and floral notes. I recommend it to accompany Chinese food.

The service was spot on, and the staff at Oriental Diner are clearly used to dealing with parties. The karaoke started as soon as the last of the food was cleared. As this is a food blog, I will refrain from describing the scenes that followed.

Oriental Diner
10 Broad Street Barry CF62 7AA

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