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5 of the best Chinese restaurants in Ipswich - including gluten-free and low MSG

PUBLISHED: 16:33 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 31 January 2019

What's your favourite Chinese dish? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What's your favourite Chinese dish? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Celebrations for Chinese New Year (the Year of the Pig) begin on Tuesday, February 5, here are some of Ipswich's best restaurants to try.

Trongs

Where: 23 St Nicholas Street

Average prices: Starters £5.50, main courses £7.50

Booking in advance is a must for this incredibly popular restaurant, which has many, many loyal regular customers. The interior is clean, if a little outdated, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of the food put out by the family team – who very obviously take pride in what they do.

Must-tries include the incredible, crispy salt and pepper squid, the capital pork slices in a sweet, sticky sauce, fresh scallops with spring onions and chilli in a light, umami sauce, and, of course, the crispy duck.

A really lovely dining experience.

East Ocean

Where: 25 Fore Street

Average prices: Starters £5.50, main courses £8

Ipswich’s oldest Chinese restaurant boasts a modern, clean interior with funky décor. It’s actually a pretty cool place for date night, and is enjoyed by local diners for being consistent on quality, with friendly service and reasonable prices.

The restaurant has committed to using less MSG than is traditionally added, meaning those who are a bit sensitive to it but love Chinese food, could fare better here (just call in advance).

East Ocean’s menu is largely typical fare but the set menu offering sets it apart in the fact you can essentially choose which dishes you’d like for your table – at £18.50 per person. So, for example, if there are four of you, you get a mix of starters, four main courses of your choice to share with rice and noodles, and tea or coffee to finish.

Favourites from the menu include the spicy spare ribs with salt, pepper and chilli, lamb in black pepper sauce and special curry with rice.

Mister Wing

Where: 7 St Helen’s Street

Average prices: Starters £6, main courses £7

Yes, it’s quite retro inside, but Mister Wing is a bit of an institution in Ipswich. Not only is it right next to the Ipswich Regent (handy for shows), but it offers a buffet to behold. For a set price of £19.50 Sunday to Thursday or £21 Friday and Saturday you can order whatever you like from the special buffet menu and eat until you burst. All your favourites are on there – including crispy duck – and it’s much nicer to receive your food hot than have to pick it yourself from a lukewarm dish under a hot plate.

The chicken satay is pretty nommy. In fact we could just keep ordering that over and over again.

There’s also an a la carte menu if you’re trying not to indulge too much.

92 Noodle Bar

Where: 92 Fore Street, Ipswich

Average prices: Starters £6.50, main courses £8

This restaurant flies a little under the radar in Ipswich but definitely comes under the category of ‘hidden gem’. The interior is quite basic, but the food totally speaks for itself and is all made to order – there may be a delay between dishes for your table so don’t be polite, tuck in.

At lunchtimes there’s an excellent menu of dishes for £6.90, each coming with two side dishes.

You’ve got all your regular things to choose from the evening a la carte – from sweet and sour to satay, but do try some of the truly authentic plates. The handmade noodles stir fried with pork, chicken, prawns and vegetables in curry sauce are superb, as is the beef brisket cooked in cumin, poached fish with chilli oil, and whole fried aubergine with sea spicy sauce.

Lanterns

Where: 16 Falcon Street

This has quickly become a favourite haunt in Ipswich – especially for parties, groups and family get-togethers who enjoy the buffet of more than 80 dishes cooked fresh to order (for tables of two or more).

The buffet certainly isn’t the cheapest in the town at £19.95 Monday to Thursday and £22.95 Friday to Saturday, but the choice is impressive – from shredded smoked chicken and grilled Peking dumplings, to crispy duck, and sweet and sour pork.

An a la carte menu is also available.

And a long list of dim sum is served at lunchtimes, including steamed cha siu bun, fried taro paste croquettes, beef tripe, prawn chive dumping and steamed sponge cake.

Aqua Eight

Where: 8 Lion Street

Average prices: Starters £7 main courses £12

A cool bar/restaurant serving beautiful plates of pan-Asian food you’ll definitely want to share snaps of on Instagram. The quality of the food is very evident as you taste it, and there’s a fine wine list and selection of cocktails to choose from too, as well as top shelf spirits.

If you visit you absolutely have to try the gyozas, the soft shell crab, the giant sticky sauced prawns, the organic sweet and sour pork, or one of the Rabata grills such as roasted aubergine with miso.

Are you an experimental diner? Leave dinner to the chef, who will prepare four surprise courses from the menu for £38.50 per person.

There are lots of vegetarian options and a separate gluten-free menu. Booking is highly recommended from Thursday to Saturday evenings.

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