Lychee Oriental

As I had been meaning to try and eat out for the Glasgow Restaurant Festival, I finally managed to catch the tail end of it and lunched at the award winning oriental restaurant, Lychee, well sort of – I shall explain exactly what I mean further on in this post. Although a Chinese is normally a dinner for me, it also makes the perfect lunch.

First Impressions and Service

Today was the first time I had stepped foot in Lychee and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to do so. I love a good Chinese and although I have walked by it many a time to get to its neighbour, Tingle, it has always slipped my mind whenever I thought about Chinese restaurants in the city – and I genuinely don’t really know of any others.

Lychee is situated in Mitchell Street, somewhere that isn’t the most appealing in the city with the likes of ‘Diamond Dolls’ the strippers right beside it, especially when you have more upbeat streets in Glasgow where it could’ve been placed, like Bath Street. However, absolutely, do not base your opinions on the fact that is in a 5/10 street like I done at first. It is in fact another hidden gem (like I said with Bar Soba, which surprisingly is just around the corner from Lychee).

Inside the restaurant just looks so clean, it was one of the first things I noticed. While I was eating my lunch I even saw a worker outside cleaning the windows all by herself. It really does look like a high-end classy Chinese restaurant, with nice modern décor also.

I was seated immediately as it was very quiet; there was just myself, my date and two other customers. This was a Tuesday afternoon though, so I highly doubt it would be that quiet on weekends, especially for an award winning restaurant.

There was just two woman waitresses working at the time who were friendly and attentive yet not pestering.

Referring back to the cleanliness, I noticed that the toilet was also very clean – there’s nothing worse going into a restaurant with a good appearance but then they have a battered up toilet.

lychee

Menu and Prices

What I meant by saying I ‘sort of’ caught the tail end of the Glasgow Restaurant Festival, I didn’t really eat from the set menu for it. Initially, I had looked on the festival website and saw Lychee was a featured option, so that’s when I decided I would be eating there.

However, the festival’s deal was 2 courses for £14.50 which was only available from 4pm-8.30pm and I was preferring to go a bit earlier than that for lunch. So, I then saw that Lychee’s lunch menu was also 2 courses but for £9.90, and it was practically the same menu as the one for the festival with the same veggie meal I would’ve chosen, so I think I got the best deal – a great one at that.

There really wasn’t a great deal of veggie options on the lunch menu (there was just one starter and one main, although I’m not sure if the crispy pancake rolls were vegetarian), I can understand why there was only one main and that was the one that had been chosen, because it was bloody delicious.

I didn’t really get to have a good look at the a la carte menu, although I did have a quick glance at the menu outside once leaving and saw some other vegetable . The total bill came to £19.80, which was for 2 starters and 2 mains. The full menu can be viewed here.

Food

What a lovely, satisfyingly filling lunch indeed. I ordered mushrooms in garlic wine sauce to start and mixed vegetable stir-fry in black bean sauce with fried rice. Usually I can only just manage one course, but I can safely say I managed to get the majority of both courses down and didn’t even get uncomfortably full.

Before ordering the mushrooms, I of course asked my usual questions, ‘is the garlic wine sauce really winy’, obviously not really knowing what it was, but it wasn’t winy at all. I think I was expecting my mushrooms to come out tasting like red wine but it was just perfect – not to garlicy, it did not taste of wine at all, and tasted really good.

The only downfall to my starter was the dressing that was drizzled on the salad served with it, which I think was balsamic vinegar, I’m not entirely sure but it tasted like that and smelled like seafood. That really didn’t tickle MY taste buds, but other people may enjoy it, I’m just not used to it on my cucumber and don’t usually use vinegar anyway.

As for my main – loved it. It was just the right portion for me I think, with lots of veg such as red and green peppers, peas in a pod, carrots, and tofu which I had only tried until now and really liked it! I had always been too scared to order anything with tofu in it in case I didn’t like the texture, but all was well. It was all cooked perfectly, nothing was burnt and it all tasted amazing with the rice and the black bean sauce (loved the sauce) all mixed in.

I almost forgot to mention the complimentary prawn crackers that was served to us, sometimes crackers make me feel sick after a while but I thoroughly enjoyed these. This meal reminded me how much I loved all the veg included. Compliments to the chef.

Conclusion

I feel like recently I have really branched out a lot more and stepped away from my usual pasta. Today I could’ve ordered another usual; chips, fried rice and curry sauce, but I enjoy trying something different now. I can totally understand why this is an award winning restaurant, my lunch was really tasty and I definitely will be back for more.

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5 stars all round!!

59 Mitchell St, Glasgow G1 3LN

0141 248 2240

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