As the day turned to dusk, I was still in the office. The week had just begun, and already the cases were starting to pile up on my desk. I was working late, which was starting to become the new normal, again, and The Moll was less than pleased.

As I closed one case file, I reached over to open another, before realising I should ring home and let Toots know I was behind again.

As I picked up the handset and rung up the numbers, I was filled with dread - how would I explain this one? It was not fair that work had taken over. Then it came to me - I should take her out.

When Cinders picked up the phone, I told her to get on her gladrags, they were going out for a slap up meal on me, and to meet me there with the Buick.

A short jaunt from the office, Toots was already waiting for a table when Tec arrived. Same Same, the busy and popular eatery was just yards from the motorway, with others who had been late at the office rushing home.

The joint was filled to the brim, families, young couples and those waiting for their takeaway all chatting and eating, building to a boisterous atmosphere more akin to a busy family diner.

As we were taken to our table by the window, we were walked past a line of hanging roasted meats looking into a mobbed kitchen as dozens of staff buzzed around.

If this was a Monday, how mental do the weekends get?

Toots and I took our seats and ordered a couple of soft drinks - a scotch would have tipped Tec over the edge, after all, they did have the Buick with them.

Looking at the menu, which was about the same size as a children’s book, we asked for a recommendation from one of the waiters.

He suggested we try the roasted meats suspended at eye level as we walked past.

Along with this, we asked for a selection of starters, and a hot, sizzling black bean dish filled with prawns, beef and chicken.

Moments after our menus were gone prawn crackers had arrived - free of charge - and we were devouring those. Not long afterwards, the starter plate arrived, also full of chicken, prawn toast and a few ribs, which set The Moll and Tec up for the main events.

The plates arrived separately, with Toots having to be very careful with the hotplate put in front of her, as the very small table quickly filled up.

As fast as the food had arrived, it was gone. Salty and rich Char Sui mixed with roast duck was sublime, as the heat from the mixed black bean dish did not put off Cinders.

Walking off into the now dark of evening, Tec was delighted with his choice of restaurant.

Albeit a little pricey, the food was delicious and undoubtedly one of the heartiest Chinese meals he had tasted.



Starter platter for two£12


Two roast £15.99

Special black bean£10.95


Fried rice£2.50


Soft drinks £3.80

Total £45.24

Food ***

Atmosphere ***

Service ****