BRIAN CLARIDGE eats at Leigh House, 53 Wycombe End, Beaconsfield Old Town Telephone: 01494 676 348 www.leigh-house.co.uk
SET in a charming period building, this popular 125-seat restaurant provides a range of classic Pekinese, Cantonese and Szechuan-style dishes, all hand-prepared on the premises.
The attention to detail means that the simplest of dishes, such as sesame king prawn on toast, taste even better than you'd expect, as each prawn is hand-peeled and seasoned to perfection. The set menu, Lobster Feast (freshly prepared from live lobsters delivered daily), includes a delectable selection of traditional dishes, including lobster Leigh House-style.
Other classics include crispy chicken in sweet chilli sauce, sizzling lamb with spring onions, and spicy Kung Po prawn in fresh pineapple. Choose from appetisers and soups, chef's specialities, traditional dishes, set menus, seafood, sizzling dishes, curries and a delicious selection of desserts.
I went to Leigh House with my wife for dinner. It was difficult to know what to order from such an extensive selection of dishes but we eventually decided to go for the House Special, which includes a tasty selection of Peking dishes for of £21.90 per person. For hors d'oeuvres we had Manchurian-style crispy lamb, sesame king prawn on toast, crispy seaweed and chicken satay, followed by crispy aromatic duck with pancakes. The main course included chicken in black bean sauce, fillet beef Cantonese-style, king prawn in Szechuan sauce, mixed vegetables and egg fried rice.
It was hard to single out any particular favourites, although the crispy lamb was delightful and the king prawn was the best we've ever tasted. Each course was cooked to perfection, well presented and the portions were more than adequate.
Desserts are extra and looked tempting (especially the tempura banana served with ice-cream) although we didn't have any space after such a satisfying meal and settled for just coffee instead.
Having recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, Leigh House intends to introduce more unique dishes to the menu, giving customers an even wider selection of Hong Kong delicacies.
Every Sunday, the restaurant serves an all-you-can-eat buffet for £13 per person - half price for children under the age of 12 - with vegetarian dishes available on request.
Leigh House has made a good impression on us, as it has with the local community of Beaconsfield during the past quarter of a century.
What the bill came to: House Special for two £43.80 2 glasses of house wine £7.00 2 coffees £3.60 Total £54.40