U Canteen – Chinese – Nottingham
The best Chinese restaurants often aren’t much to look at and U Canteen is no exception. Down just past the properly fashionable part of Hockley it’s opposite Oriental Mart which I believed which a sister business but now think I am wrong, do let me know on this one! Back to not being much to look at and its a grubby unit outsite and in. With only a few tables and limited space its a bit cluttered, my least favourite addition was a very old fishtank which had some seriously grim water in it. If you can look past that the menu is a pretty vast a difficult read for the uninitiated with various ingredients not familiar to most western tastes. As well as the selection of innards there were a few section and translation issues with “Jelly fish& smoked hooks” appearing under fish alongside “Chicken in red oil”. You can get some Cantonese fare too but I wasn’t here to have sweet and sour pork. Without much consultation I decided on Hunan chicken alongside some noodles and beansprouts.
Almost no time had passed before dishes starting arriving. The noodles up first with a friend having it as a main dish with some roast pork. Whilst this was a little unexciting it was a pretty reasonable price for a well cooked pile of food. My Hunan dish (£7) was exactly what I was after, the dried chilli and chilli oil meant I knew it was going to be a fiery affair. The underlying flavour was really good, all elements coated in the tasty warming oil. The chicken itself decent, flash fried amongst the other elements so could have had a bit more colour but hardly anything to complain about.
For around £15 including a can of 7 up I really enjoyed U Canteen. We are actually fairly well blessed with the likes of Shanghai Shanghai for authentic Chinese food in Nottingham. There they are a little more polished in their options and the execution of the food but also at a higher price point, happily there’s a place for both.
Restaurant website: https://www.facebook.com/ucanteen/