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For a few weeks now the people that I work with seem to be having the most amazing lunches. I’ve been getting some serious food envy as I’ve been peering over their shoulders and not so discreetly drooling over their pots of Chinese delights.
After some serious investigative work (“Dude, where’s your lunch from?”) I found out that everyone had been going to Hotcha. Hotcha is a not so new anymore, I came to the party late, Chinese restaurant on Baldwin street. But, it’s not your typical MSG filled, greasy, Chinese from your local Lucky Dragon take away (Sorry to all the great Lucky Dragons out there).
So, I take myself down to Hotcha one lunchtime (I am feeling the Monday burn hard and I need something to pick me up) I walk in and it’s full of people and the chefs are cooking things fresh in front of me- we are on to a good start! I look at the lunchtime menu, which is £4.95 for a starter, main and drink, and I go for- Veggie spring rolls, beef chow mein and a can of coke. I’m waiting for maybe 10 minutes, max, and then I take my bag of goodies back to the office to parade my food win for the rest of the office to envy.
So I tuck into my veggie spring rolls- yep they’re nice. Just standard spring rolls really, although I am impressed that they are super crispy and not covered in fat. Next I open my box of beef chow mein and I can not believe the size of the portion that they have given me. Even on my worst hangover, you know the sort when you would eat your own gran if you couldn’t get to a greasy spoon, I could not eat all of this! It is lovely though and if my belly wasn’t so pathetic I would have eaten it all (saved it for lunch next day though didn’t I). Again, it’s just a simple chow mein but it’s not greasy, it doesn’t leave me wanting to drink a gallon of water and it doesn’t give me that sickly feeling after I finish it. It’s actually just like the chow mein I make for myself at home and I guess that’s because Hotcha just use good simple ingredients. Can of coke- we all know what that tastes like.
I think the success of Hotcha is the fact that they are producing simple dishes that are easy for them to cook fresh- so you get really tasty, good food. They also do a proper take- away menu which is way more extensive than the lunch menu. I have not tried it but friends have and they were all very impressed. I think one comment was “actually the best crispy beef I have ever eaten”. So thumbs up all round for Hotcha. Oh and there are two more if you don’t work in town- One on Whiteladies and another on Temple street. Plus you can order online.