James Reader is on a mission for the authentic taste of China.
They say you learn something new every day. I, for example, never knew until this week what big tongues ducks have.
I found out when 10 of them, marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce, were proudly and enthusiastically brought to my table.
Tang occupies the former Doctor Syntax pub building on Fylde Road. The brightly-painted yellow Chinese restaurant is very highly rated online for its quality and service. It is also, I’m told, popular with Preston’s Chinese community who crave that authentic taste and range of dishes they enjoy back home but can’t find at westernised Chinese restaurants and takeaways.
It was this authenticity I was after when I paid a visit with my wife and daughters.
There are two separate menus at Tang – one aimed at the Brits, which contains all the classics found everywhere else – and the other menu aimed at the Chinese palate.
Along with the duck tongues I ordered something else you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in Preston – Pork Intestine Casserole
As I walked into the stylishly modern though functional interior I was asked which one I wanted. It took me no time to decide. In fact I already knew exactly what I wanted from looking over their excellent website – I was after a hardcore dining experience.
The food arrived promptly, brought to the table by the friendly and attentive staff.
Along with the duck tongues (£6.50) I ordered something else you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in Preston – Pork Intestine Casserole (£15).
This stew didn’t disappoint. It had a rich, meaty, almost creamy taste. Despite being intestines, it was fresh tasting and served with fragrant herbs. The portion was big and in retrospect would have fed all four of us.
The ducks’ tongues made great sharing food and were lapped up by the two younger diners.
The cartilage in the middle of the tongue made a perfect natural skewer. A bit gross but useful nonetheless.
Tang is not a just a destination for a more ‘exotic’ line of food.
My wife went for the Fried Squid in Lao Gan Ma Chilli Oil (£13.50), which she said was tasty and satisfyingly spicy.
My elder daughter chose Prawn Croquets with Salad Cream (£4.50) from the extensive Dim Sum menu. The other one tucked into some Fried Noodles with Beansprouts (£3.50) and Singapore Vermicelli (£9). With drinks, the bill came to £64.
Tang is a cut above other Chinese restaurants. I’m definitely going back – and next time I’m going for the frogs’ legs!