Like many people, my takeaway consumption has skyrocketed over the past 18 months.
Most of us are extremely loyal to a couple of places, as it can be risky to try a new Indian or somewhere other than your regular pizza place.
But in the name of journalism, I tried somewhere new, Bedford’s worst rated takeaway on Tripadvisor.
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The holder of this unwanted title is Chef Beijing, on Castle Lane, which ranked 61 of 63, but 62 and 63 didn’t have a single review.
Chef Beijing has accumulated 157 reviews, with 85 of them rating it as terrible. This resulted in a meagre two and a half star rating.
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Unfortunately it’s not just the ratings that make this place stand out, the reviews are littered with words that don’t fill you with confidence. Cold. Dry. Greasy.
With these reviews, I had to find out for myself why it was just so awful. So that’s exactly what I did.
I ordered on the website, a Szechuan tofu and vegetable chow mein, coming to £9.40.
To my surprise, the website asked me how I wanted my chow mein, crispy or soft. I’ve never been asked this before and wasn’t really sure how they’d make a chow mein crispy, so had to give that a go.
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting to be honest but based on the reviews I knew it was a bold choice.
One review said: “We had food delivered which quite frankly was inedible – the pad thai was a congealed lump of noodles, the beef lettuce wraps were dry and hard, the spring rolls were all pastry and greasy.
“I have just cooked myself egg on toast which was a delight in comparison to what was delivered – say not more!!”
I’m not one to go off reviews alone as sometimes people can be very judgemental when they’re hungry, I know I can be especially after a long day when you just want to relax.
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I collected my food from the restaurant, which is tucked away around the corner from The Higgins Museum, and headed home to eat.
As I got home and opened up the food I was delighted to see it was steaming hot, great news as many reviews mentioned it was cold.
Not only was the food hot, but they’d also given me a bag of prawn crackers – there aren’t many takeaways who would chuck those in on such a small order.
As I began to tuck in I was pleasantly surprised, it was really good. I’m not saying it was Michelin star worthy, but it was just a solid Chinese.
My only disappointment was that the chow mein was distinctly not crispy.
Now I don’t know if the reason I liked it so much is because I was expecting a greasy mess, but it was genuinely delicious.
All I can say is don’t always judge a book by its cover, or by its 85 terrible reviews.
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