Where? Little Fat Buddha, Asian kitchen and take-away, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast.
It's a modern, bright dining area with large floor-to-ceiling glass windows fronting the road. The kitchen is at the back and customers can watch the chefs at work. The decor is contemporary with wooden tables, a long bench along one side and a broad lime-green backlit panel. Little Fat Buddha is a new addition to the area, bringing another twist on a taste of Asia.
There was a steady flow of customers from groups of friends to families with young children and couples all enjoying the night out together.
The menu offers a range of modern Asian cuisine with around 18 tapas including prawn crackers; Thai Tom Yam chicken soup; edamame (lightly salted freshly blanched soya beans); spring rolls; squid; and ribs.
The main courses are divided into their country of origin with the Hong Kong dishes including roasted duckling with orange sauce; salt and chilli squid; stir-fried beef or chicken with house black pepper sauce.
Dishes from China include crispy chicken Peking style; stir-fried beef with Cantonese sauce and beef or chicken and bell pepper with black-bean sauce. There was also a Malaysian curry section and dishes from Thailand. The Korean category offered stir-fried chicken/shredded duck/king prawn or beef with kimchi and the choices from Japan included chicken, beef of king prawn with fresh ginger sauce. There were also noodle dishes, a children's zone and a gluten-free selection.
What did we have?
I had the stir-fried chicken with Korean-style kimchi with boiled rice and my friend had sweet and sour chicken also with boiled rice.
My sweet and sour was well-balanced with a light batter and flavoursome sauce. I chose the stir-fried chicken with Korean-style kimchi out of curiosity and wasn't disappointed.
Service was excellent and when I asked what one of the vegetables was in my dish, a waiter brought down a separate plate of the vegetables and he not only explained that the one in question was lotus but also went through all the other vegetables which made up the meal. There may not be as many dishes to choose from in each section than, say, a purely Chinese or Thai restaurant, but the menu offers a tempting range of meals from various countries all under one roof.
Straightforward with the doors at street level.
Stir-fried chicken with rice £7.50; Sweet and sour chicken with rice £7.50. Two soft drinks: £2.80. Total: £17.40.
Casual, contemporary dining bringing the world a little closer to home.