What a welcome we got at the comfortable Ying Palace Restaurant in Mayfield the other night and, more to the point, what a meal! And what value!

We took Selection C on a huge menu. By the way, in addition to the main a la carte menu, there was an even better value introductory menu where you could get four courses for about €15.00. Our selection cost €19.00 per person.

Starter was Shredded Aromatic Duck, served with a fresh green salad and a hoi-shin sauce and thin pancakes to wrap it in. It was beautiful, a very promising start to the evening.

Next course was the soup; this had a most delicate taste but was so beautiful. It was a crab and sweet corn soup, a little gem.

The main course was a combination of turf and surf. On one hot plate, we helped ourselves to very tender, beautifully cooked fillet beef with a black bean sauce; from the other plate, we picked our tasty king prawns, served with a Szechuan sauce. Fried rice and chips were also served.

And we finished off with a cup of coffee each.

Finished off? No way. Our hostess for the evening had been pleasant, talkative and attentive and as we finished our wine (a Chenin Blanc at €18.30), we were offered a little vase of Saki. So we filled our little bowls (twice) with the warmed liquid which she said was about the same strength as the wine.

But she mentioned she had something stronger and soon she produced that. It was a Chinese Rice Wine. It was about four times stronger than the wine and packed quite a punch! Again, there were two little bowlfuls for each of us in the warmed container and it certainly was strong. What a finish to a delightful evening!

Total cost? About €56.00, plus tip of course.