Ambergate Restaurant Re-Launches In StylePublished On Thursday 6 Mar 2014 by Sticky Beak
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Last night saw the re-launch party for The Oriental Palace on Matlock Road in Ambergate. Those of you who have lived in the area a while may remember when Ailee and Peter Dang first opened a Chinese restaurant on the site of the Little Chef back in 2003. A lot has happened in this family’s life since then, they moved away to pursue other projects and the business changed hands and became the Memories of China establishment. 2014 is the year that Ailee, Peter and their daughter, Elaine, have chosen to come back to Ambergate and reopen The Oriental Palace.
The moment you walk through the front door you can see that a lot of thought, care and attention has been given to the new layout and decor of the restaurant. The toilet facilities have been moved to the front of the building, and where they used to be is now more spacious seating and also a fantastic karaoke machine and funky ceiling light feature. The bar is fully stocked and offers cocktails as well as beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
On arrival at the re-launch guests were offered a choice of Champagne, white or red wine or fresh orange juice. The first thing you notice is how inviting the restaurant is, there is a lovely traditional mural on the wall near the bar and understated yet modern wall lights. The tables themselves are beautiful, stylish black glitter hi gloss affairs which lend a very modern vibe to the area, and these are thoughtfully complemented by the monochrome wall art around the main dining space. As I said before, there has obviously been a lot of consideration given to the decor as the fusion of modern and traditional influences has been balanced perfectly to create just the right ambience.
The re-launch party provided the perfect opportunity for the family to showcase some of their signature dishes and also to introduce some of the new Japanese dishes that feature on the menu. There were a multitude of dishes on offer, so apologies to Ailee, Peter and Elaine if I have omitted any : first up was a cold starter of seaweed salad that was served in little spoons. It had a lovely crisp texture with a fresh taste that made the palate tingle. Sesame seeds added a lovely delicate nutty taste to the dish. Then came huge platters of Prawn toast, Prawn wanton and spring rolls that were all delicious. One of the things I dislike is food that is greasy, and I have to say that these were not greasy at all, not even in the slightest. The pastry was crisp, the fillings were ample and beautifully seasoned, so top marks from me on these starters. There were also Vegetable Satay Skewers to sample, and these were delicious, not too peanutty as some can be.
There was a short interlude and then came platters of Calamari, Crispy shredded Chilli Beef and Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls. Whilst these were being served another member of the waiting team placed bowls of dipping sauce on the tables. The batter on the Calamari and Chicken balls was again superb; light and crispy, not greasy at all. My husband is a huge fan of Crispy Shredded beef and tends to have it wherever we go, and he was very impressed with this particular dish. From my viewpoint it was lovely and crispy, you could actually taste beef in the dish and the sauce was slightly different to others that I have tasted in the past. Instead of being overtly chill tasting, you also got a richer flavour almost sticky barbeque in character, which then let the chilli subtly make its presence known to your taste buds. The Teriyaki Pork was sublime; the pork was very flavoursome and juicy and the sauce was wonderfully sticky with a rich, warm flavour to it.
To accompany these later dishes there was egg fried rice and a Japanese Udon noodle dish. Both of these , predictably, were of outstanding quality - although by now it was blindingly obvious that the Oriental Palace only do one standard of food. Exceptional.
Even the entertainment had been meticulously thought out, from subtle background music and live acoustic performances whilst the food was being presented ,to a Lion Dance by the Ma Bo Lion Dance Troupe. Wherever you looked in the restaurant there were happy faces, animated conversations and people having a really pleasurable evening. And that I think, is the forte of The Oriental Palace; namely that whether you go to eat as a couple, with a family group or for a celebration the setting and food will ensure you’ll always have a great time.
Ailee, Peter and Elaine, I would just like to say thank you for inviting us to share such a special night with you, and we wish you every success for the future.
The restaurant is open to public from tonight, Thursday 6th March and we have an offer code you can use at the restaurant during March
Just quote the code RELAUNCH A and mention Amber Valley Info and this gives you a celebratory offer of: Fixed Price Banquet for only £9.90 per person OR 10% off a la carte menu (offers available on midweek days only) - these offers are available during March 2014. Please be sure to mention the discount code WHEN YOU BOOK THE TABLE.
You can book by phone on 01773 853888 or via their website