Not really for the quiet family out...more if you wish to make a night of it.
Being greeted by a crowd of half-cut teenage smokers is not the best of welcomes when entering a restaurant, but I suppose this should be expected on a Saturday night in the pub littered heart of Poulton-le-Fylde.
Once inside we were seated quickly somewhere in the middle of China Red’s bright, large and surprisingly contemporary space.
Chatter and noise filled the high ceilings making the atmosphere feel more like that of a large pub. The menu was as familiar as any of the takeaway menus currently stuffed in my kitchen junk drawer with only a few interesting choice exceptions. My wife and daughter unsurprisingly opted for their usual favourites, ordering spring rolls (£4.00) and prawn crackers (£2.40) to start and duck with cashew nuts (£7.90) and spare ribs (£5.50) for main.
Aiming to be a little more adventurous I picked the crab claws starter (£5.00) and the pricey steamed sea bass (£19.50) for my main, obviously with the usual side dishes of fried rice (£2.50), young chow fried rice (£6.00) and a portion of chips just in case we hadn’t ordered enough, which never happens. My crab claws were not quite what I had in mind looking more like mutated scampi, but were nice nonetheless and the spring rolls proved a success with both my wife and fussy daughter.
Starters finished, the main courses arrived with the sea bass causing a particularly strong reaction from my daughter as it arrived complete with head and tail.
Once we had controlled my daughter’s tears and assessed that I had no idea how to deal with this fish, our attentive waitress kindly removed all offending parts of my meal (while my daughter covered her face) so that I could enjoy it without continually freaking my daughter out.
Other than the initial sea bass upset we all enjoyed our meals and the service was excellent, I’m just not sure the food was that much better than anything we could have ordered from our local takeaway, and at nearly £70 for the three of us I had hoped for more. If I was to visit China Red again, it would be to prepare myself for a night on the ale, rather than for the quiet family meal that this was intended to be.