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Review: Mings Oriental, Bury St Edmunds - 'Excellent Chinese fusion food in the heart of one of Suffolk's finest towns'

PUBLISHED: 16:27 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 15 March 2019

Mark Heath and his wife Liz visited Mings Oriental in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MINGS

Mark Heath and his wife Liz visited Mings Oriental in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MINGS

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Mark Heath and wife Liz visited Mings Oriental in Bury St Edmunds on a Monday lunchtime. Here's what they made of it.

The shared starters at Mings Oriental - satay chicken (right) and crispy duck rolls. Picture: MARK HEATHThe shared starters at Mings Oriental - satay chicken (right) and crispy duck rolls. Picture: MARK HEATH

Food

Full disclosure – this was not our first dance at the Mings Oriental disco.

We’ve eaten here before a few times, and I was shocked to find that none of my esteemed foodie colleagues had reviewed it as yet.

So I boldly volunteered, and my better half and I ventured out on a Monday lunchtime to give it the official Heath overview.

The restaurant has been a fixture in Bury since 2014, offering an authentic Chinese fusion food experience which has proved incredibly popular with the discerning folk of Suffolk’s finest town.

When we visited this time, we walked in to be greeted with two large tables of dinners already in place – this would indeed by a proper test of Mings’ mettle!

We both ordered a Singha beer and settled in to muse over the menu.

Mings offers both a starters menu and a range of dim sum – and it ALL sounds delicious. Indeed, for a short time we contemplated just making our meal from a selection of small plates and dim sum.

In the end, the lure of the mains proved too great though, so we plumped for the satay chicken skewers and the crispy duck rolls as our introduction.

Mark's main at Mings Oriental - Mings Capital Chicken. Perfectly cooked chicken, with a good shot of heat! Picture: MARK HEATHMark's main at Mings Oriental - Mings Capital Chicken. Perfectly cooked chicken, with a good shot of heat! Picture: MARK HEATH

Done right, satay chicken is one of my favourite things on the planet to eat – but in so many places, it’s done so very wrong. Overcooked, stringy chicken, watery, tame satay sauce, it’s easier to find a bad satay than a good one.

Not the case at Mings - easily one of the best chicken satays I’ve ever had. Moist, tender chicken and a satay sauce which is at once creamy, stacked with peanut flavour and packing a spicy punch. Delicious.

The duck rolls, meanwhile, were also good – a generous ratio of meat to cucumber/spring onion all wrapped in a crunchy filo pastry with a hoisin dipping sauce. Exactly what it says on the tin.

On to mains then, and, for the sake of variety and the integrity of this review, I eschewed my usual picks of either the Thai green curry (though you really must try this) or the Singapore spicy noodles (ditto).

Instead, I went for the Mings capital chicken – the meat cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce with black pepper, cashew nuts and egg fried rice.

It was very good. Well-cooked chicken, a sauce that was both sweet and spicy without being overpowering, and a nice smokiness from the roasted cashews. Not perhaps as delicious as the two aforementioned dishes, but still good eating.

Across the table, my dining companion spent several minutes agonizing over her choice of main – as usual – declaring she could quite happily plump for anything on the menu.

In the end, she opted for Cantonese roast duck in a sweet soy sauce, which was served with steamed rice and Chinese greens, topped with finely sliced spring onion.

When the dish arrived, it was well-presented and the portion plentiful. The ready-sliced duck breast was tender and flavoursome, with the dark meat nicely complemented by the sweetness of the soy and the crunch of the greens.

Liz's main at Mings Oriental -  Cantonese roast duck. Delicious, but the skin needed crisping. Picture: LIZ HEATHLiz's main at Mings Oriental - Cantonese roast duck. Delicious, but the skin needed crisping. Picture: LIZ HEATH

Her personal preference – and I would argue most diners’ – would have been for the fat to be rendered a little more and the skin to be crispier, but otherwise her main received the Heath seal of approval.

By now well-fed, there was optimistic talk of sharing a dessert, but when push came to shove, we admitted defeat.

The desserts do look good though – next time!

Service

Given that we happened to stroll in on what looked to be a very busy lunch service, we weren’t neglected in any way.

Our waiter was friendly and welcoming – and the food came out quickly!

Setting

Mings Oriental in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MINGSMings Oriental in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MINGS

Mings is simply and stylishly decorated, with a bright and breezy upstairs seating area and a cosy underground vaults dining room.

Both are pleasant places to eat.

Parking

Because of Mings’ location in the centre of Bury St Edmunds, it doesn’t have dedicated parking.

But if you’re lucky you can find a spot on Angel Hill or, more likely, park at the vast Ram Meadow car park about five minutes’ walk away.

Price

Reasonable. Both our main courses came in at under £12, with the starters £6.50 each. About right.

Highlight

That chicken satay is delicious - easily one of the best we’ve ever eaten.

Summary

Excellent Chinese fusion food in the heart of one of Suffolk’s finest towns.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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