I’ve recently started a regular slot on my local radio station, talking about all things delicious in my home town Milton Keynes. My very first session (which I was so nervous for but it turned out to be a blast!) fell conveniently in the same week as the celebrations of the city’s 50th birthday. It felt fitting therefore to do an overview of the food on offer and speak about my favourite restaurants in Milton Keynes.
Planning my selection was actually a really hard decision because, well, I visit so many! And your favourite really does depends on your mood: is it an Indian or Chinese day? A no frills fix or something more fancy? Do you want to stay in or go out? I mean sometimes the best thing is getting your food fix at home in your PJ’s, am I right?
Ultimately, my favourites consisted of places that for one reason or another, I find myself going back to regularly. Asian food definitely had a heavy feature as one of mine and Q’s favourite types. A lot of our relationship over the years has been spent in Chinese restaurants all over the world!
I’m so lucky that right here in Milton Keynes holds some fantastic spots for a Chinese fix – good enough to contend with some of the best. Here are my two absolute favourites!
I don’t think this restaurant is known nearly as much as it should be. A lot of times I mention it to people and I’m met with a reply of, “Where’s that then?”
Taipan is nestled away in the Theatre District and one of the few units which has stood the test of time in this area. With good reason too; the food at Taipan is some of the most authentic Chinese cuisine you will find. It’s fresh, fantastic value and absolutely delicious… Q and I visit so often that we’re well known to the staff. They even know our order off by heart! (Is that something to shout about?)
We tend to go for lunch on the weekends and treat ourselves to the incredible dim sum they serve. Dim Sum are small sharing dishes (much like Spanish Tapas) and consist of dumplings, pastries and fried items. You can go safe with lovely steamed prawns, or ultra authentic with chicken feet. There are Spring rolls and custard tarts, beef meatballs and crispy squid rings. There’s really something for everyone on the menu. As well as Dim Sum are the usual rice and noodle dishes. Our favourite is the char siu pork on rice with pak choi. Q and I always have an absolute feast here for around the £35 mark. Like I say it’s fantastic value. Quite often we deliberately order too much and take away some of our choices to snack on later.
If you visit Taipan for lunch, I recommend arriving early to beat the crowds; from 1pm onwards the regulars (there are many Taipan devotees) will have flocked and filled the restaurant.
Mii & U
I’ve been eating at Mii & U for years and I’ve still not worked out the name! Bolted onto a Chinese supermarket, this is another restaurant off the mainstream radar and it’s more of a no frills cafe where you can get a whole host of East-Asian dishes. You’ll sit at big communal tables on plastic chairs and you’ll order off a dog-eared laminated menu… but you’ll also be served incredibly tasty food at rock bottom prices. I’m talking a huge portion of Char Siu pork and duck with jasmine rice for £6.95. Or how about a giant, steaming bowl of wonton noodle soup for even cheaper?
You come to Mii & U for the food, not the ambiance. And if communal tables aren’t your thing (or you’re just on the ‘stay in’ vibe) Mii & U also do takeaway. I highly recommend taking advantage of the mixed menu and ordering their gyoza to kick off your meal, I’ve struggled to find gyoza anywhere else in the country (yep, they’re that good) better than the one’s right here on my doorstep. When you pay up, make sure to help yourself to the giant box of fortune cookies by the till! They’ve told me numerous times that incredible wealth is coming my way… Um, I’m still waiting cookie.
I stick by the rule that the best Chinese eateries are the ones off the beaten track. The ones without any frills: that’s where you know you’ll find tasty stuff. I think one of the things I love best about Chinese food is how flexible it is and more restaurants seem to be cottoning on to the idea of not sticking rigidly to a choice of and eat in or takeaway. It’s 2017 so why not do both eh?
So what’s your favourite Chinese fix? You know I’m always interested in new places to check out!
This has been a collaborative post, but as always all views and words are my own.