Food review, Lanterns Ipswich: 'A delicious Chinese banquet'

Battered king prawns in sauce with vegetables

Sweet and sour prawns Cantonese style - Credit: Nicola Warren

I think out of all of the sorts of takeaways, Chinese has to be my favourite. 

So, on Saturday night, ahead of restaurants reopening for indoor dining, we ordered a feast of dishes to takeaway from Lanterns in Ipswich. 

Despite my love of Chinese food, and the fact that Lanterns is the fourth best Chinese restaurant in Ipswich according to TripAdvisor, I’d never tried the food from the Falcon Street eatery before. 

Ordering was simple - we did it on their website. The takeaway prices were cheaper than the prices for eating in, plus we got 10% off for requesting to collect the food rather than get it delivered. 

Phil got an email confirmation straight away at 5.30pm to say we could pick it up at just after 6pm. He drove to get it and he was back within 20 minutes. He just had to give his name at the door of the restaurant and they’d brought the bag of food out to him. 

The food was still piping hot when he got home and came complete with some free prawn crackers, which were fresh and crispy. 

We laid the food out on a table – we'd ordered some appetisers, mains, sides and one dessert – and it was like our very own Chinese banquet. 

Most Read

Starting with the appetisers, the satay chicken on skewers came with a thick sauce with small pieces of peanut in. Phil said these were delicious.  

The sesame prawn toast, which was cut into fingers, was tasty and not greasy like it can sometimes be; the vegetarian spring rolls were a nice size for our daughter Jessica to try, with al dente vegetables inside and a crisp filo pastry exterior. 

On to the mains, I accidentally ordered two portions of the sweet and sour prawns Cantonese style, but this turned out to be a good thing as I’d ordered them for me but Phil wanted to try them too. The sweet, sticky sauce contained chunks of pepper, onion and pineapple, and king prawns delicately coated in a light batter. It was so good I had to go back for more. 

Large chunks of tofu in a sauce with spring onion and ginger

Tofu with ginger and spring onion - Credit: Nicola Warren

I also tried the tofu with ginger and spring onion, which came in a light sauce, and was deliciously aromatic. 

Beef in a sauce with vegetables

Beef in oyster sauce - Credit: Nicola Warren

Phil said the beef in oyster sauce was a well-balanced dish, which also included vegetables and bamboo shoots. 

Rice with peas, spring onion and egg

Spring onion fried rice - Credit: Nicola Warren

I must admit I usually just order egg fried rice as a side dish, but I chose spring onion fried rice from Lanterns and I’m glad I did, it was a much tastier accompaniment, with egg and peas in too. 

Phil and Jessica prefer noodles, and they enjoyed the chicken chow mein, which also included bean sprouts and spring onion. 

To finish, we’d ordered one portion of banana fritters in syrup. There were three in the tub, so we had one each with a drizzle of the sweet syrup. The banana was perfectly cooked, hot and sweet but not too mushy, and was enveloped in a thin batter. 

There were lots of ‘mmm’s from us throughout the meal - we thoroughly enjoyed this special treat. 

And, though we’re keen to now visit the restaurant now that indoor dining is allowed, with the quality of food and competitive prices, we’ll certainly order a takeaway from Lanterns again. What a feast! 

We pay for all meals and restaurants do not know they are being reviewed.