Harden's survey result
“Still smashing it after all these years: there’s no better dim sum to be had in MCR” – that’s the view, particularly of some of our most consistent reporters, on Harry & Bonnie Yeung’s famous Chinatown destination: they say it’s still “on balance probably the best up-market Chinese restaurant in the north of England and deservedly popular for its dim sum and banquets”. And “closer to its roots than Manchester’s other ‘high end’ oriental places – cheaper Chinatown eating houses come close to equalling it, but lack its long-term consistency”. So to such supporters “it’s a mystery why it seems more quiet nowadays when in the past, you had to queue down the stairs”. But undoubtedly it takes more flak these days, from some who comment on its “faded glory” and “rather flat and dull” dishes – negative feedback that pulls it down from the 5/5 food rating that it enjoyed for so long. But we will leave the last word to a lifelong regular: “I have been eating the Yeung family’s cooking since they worked for Charlie Chan at the ‘San Ho’ and while there have been highs, even higher highs, and one or two meals that were merely above-average, I cannot remember anything that was disappointing over the years, except as judged by the very highest standards”. Top Menu Tip – “shredded mooli pastries have the lightest flakiest pastry I’ve ever come across, and how they get such flavour out of mooli is verging on the alchemical”.
Many of Manchester’s most discerning foodies “still reckon this is the best Chinese in town”, but Harry & Bonnie Yeung’s famous Chinatown destination suffers from bouts of “inconsistency” nowadays. Some reporters have experienced this up-and-down quality first hand (“can be very good, but can also be like a bog-standard takeaway”). Some just sense it (“I personally have had very few even slightly disappointing meals here, but you do hear a few too many reports of unsatisfactory visits to recommend it with absolute confidence”). But actually most feedback is still just unconditionally in favour of its cuisine (“still the best…”, “back on top form…”, “an old favourite that never fails…”) even if there’s an acknowledgement that when it comes to the setting, “it seems nowhere near as busy as it used to be, so, certainly at dim sum times it lacks the buzzy atmosphere it used to have”. A fair final summary from one aficionado runs as follows: “I do know that Yang Sing is much better than its critics make out. It strikes a better balance between serving authentic Chinese food and catering to English tastes than its local competitors; and while it is more expensive than some the food is in my experience still worth it”.
“Take your taste buds out of this world!”, say fans of Harry & Bonnie Yeung’s famous Chinatown landmark, which celebrated 40 years in business this year with a refurb to bring it “bang up to date” (well nearly...). In recent years, its longstanding claim as “the best Chinese outside London” has sometimes been disputed – most notoriously in the last year by Giles Coren at the end of 2016 – but none of our reporters agree with The Times critic’s assessment that results here are “absolutely minging”, and such doubts as were expressed this year (“rather flat and average”) were swamped by a wave of positivity for its “utterly delicious dim sum and Beijing duck”. The overall verdict remains: “if you want the most innovative and creative Chinese food in the north, go to ‘Yang Sing’!”
“An institution the city can be proud of” – the Yeung family’s epic Chinatown landmark is more often rated “very good” than “exceptional” nowadays, but still earns impressively consistent praise from reporters, and deserves its reputation as one of the UK’s foremost Chinese restaurants, whatever Giles Coren may say. Often recommended for its banquet “blow-outs”, there’s no doubting that it’s “the dim sum that’s the star turn”.
|Wine per bottle||£23.00|
34 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 4JY
|Monday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑11:30 pm|