It was a Thursday evening and it was still light. Oh, those summer nights! Even though it's still pretty balmy out, I've got that 'summer-is-over' feeling. Not necessarily a bad thing, as you know how much I love winter, but going out for dinner to come home when it's still light is a pretty nice feeling, don't you think?
I get this strange feeling when I visit Cheltenham, like I'm going to bump into my old housemates or ex boyfriend when walking along the street. It's pretty small there, so you see the same faces. The woman selling fruit and veg, the super-friendly guy in Wilkos, the man in Moochoo who used to know my name and order – it was like home for a while, but now it's just a place I visit, quite regularly in fact, and I think I'm getting used to it.
Maybe I'm being particularly nostalgic because the only time I had been to Bar & Wok before was with my ex boyfriend. I had wanted to go ever since I moved to Cheltenham in 2010. I remember walking past it in the first week, but we didn't go until final year. It was worth the wait, though.
Bar & Wok is a lot like Wagamamas in its aesthetic, but the food is mostly Chinese. Both Bethan and I unashamedly asked for a knife and fork, to which the handsome waiter happily obliged. We ordered a couple of starters; duck spring rolls and veggie spring rolls – but we were so hungry when they arrived that I totally forgot to take a photo. But you don't need photos to believe they were good, because, who doesn't like spring rolls?
While waiting for our mains to arrive we talked about the weekend ahead of us – we would be spending it in Somerset for Momentum, a Christian festival which I will tell you all about very soon. Bethan had just had Shellac nails done so she was trying to get them in every photo I took of her ;)
Soon enough the handsome chaps serving us brought us our food and that was enough talking – it was time to eat.
Bethan ordered the king prawn noodles – a mountain of chow mein like noodles with a load of big fat prawns.
I went for some '288' special fried rice which had a mixture of everything – prawns, chicken and char sui and it was lush.
The portions were huge, like the amount you'd get in a takeaway box, which I imagine is exactly what it is. We could have shared just one dish, in fact, and ended up taking some of it home.
Although we decided that the food at Bar & Wok was very much like that of a typical Chinese takeaway, the setting, service and variety on the menu made it that little bit different, and a whole lot nicer than eating it in front of the telly. Plus, their spin on sweet and sour (Hong Kong style) is something you have to try if you're a fan of the classic.
Have you been to Bar & Wok? If you're ever in Cheltenham and fancy something oriental, I recommend going here. I wish I had gone more when I lived there. The only down side is that they are open for lunch and dinner but not in between, so you have to time your visit well. You can find out more about Bar & Wok here – I'm off to make a snack.