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Trongs Restaurant (Ipswich, Suffolk)

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9 Reviews

23 St. Nicholas St / Ipswich / Suffolk / IP1 1TW / Telephone Number: 01473 256833.

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    9 Reviews
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      08.07.2010 20:59

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      The service is excellent, friendly and quick. The food was heavenly, and the manager was keen to ensure we chose the dishes best suited to our varied tastes. His suggestions were spot on. The toilets were clean and pleasant to use. Most of the customers seemed to know the staff and were obviously frequent diners at this wonderful eatery. You can't get a better seal of approval than that!

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      05.04.2009 19:48
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      Trongs is the best restaurant in Ipswich.

      Trongs was and is absolutely fantastic.

      My wife, three young children and myself have rarely enjoyed better service or better food. Mind you, we didnt have the arrogance to dictate to the chef or the manager how they should cook the food and were completely happy to accept their excellent guidance as to which dishes would suit my young family.

      We started with crispy fried duck, seaweed and spring rolls followed by chicken noodle soup . All delicious. Then had sweet and sour chicken, chicken in black bean sauce, stir fry vegetables, plain rice and plain noodles. Dessert was a fantastic if perhaps less than healthy toffee banana.

      The food was served in good time and was all delicious. The staff were extremely helpful. Great service and free chop stick lessons for the kids to boot!

      The restaurant was absolutely spotless as were the washrooms.

      Simply the best restaurant in ipswich! Couldnt recommend it more!

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      02.10.2008 16:37

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      2 very satisfied customers!

      Looking for a top chinese restaurant in Ipswich...look no further than Trongs. Despite the fact we went on a Wednesday at 6.30pm, the place was buzzing...we only just got a table, so be sure to book. The host was charming and the waiting staff were friendly and extremely good at their job. Fabulous food. Hubby and I are pretty fussy when eating out and our food was faultless. We had lemon chicken (the best I have ever had), a fairly decent rice, great chicken noodles, gorgeous szechuan fillet steak and an amazing dish (new to us) of minced pork with lettuce wraps (which you assemble yourself)...delicious. With two Chinese lagers for me and a diet coke for hubby, the bill came to just over £40, which we thought reasonable considering our level of satrisfaction. Next time we go, we are taking friends, not driving, and are going to have a party! Try it yourself, I bet you won't be disappointed.

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      23.09.2008 12:14
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      strongly recommended!!!

      Well I have to say that I was saddened when reading about the bad service received by R. My friends and I have been to Trongs on many an occasion, from a small party of 2 to a large group of 8 and have always found the food to be superb and the service we have always received to be excellent. Indeed on one occasion we got a little carried away and although originally booked for an 8pm table of 4 we were still there at 12.30 long after they normally close, upon realising how late it had gotten we apologised but Mr Trong was extremely lovely and at no time did we feel that we had outstayed our welcome or that we were being rushed out and he even organised 2 taxi's to come and collect us rather than let us girls walk up the road to the taxirank!

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      30.01.2008 00:13

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      I agree with Ray Tester I've also been to Trongs and found the food and the Service to be world class. Sharon O' Reilly

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      16.01.2008 14:45

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      Having used Trongs for 10 year, I find the person whom left the review by R - written on 16.07.07 extremely offensive to the family run Trongs restaurant. I believe it has the best hospitality and undoubtedly the best food in the uk and very close to world wide, having travelled the far east for many years. Being diabetic, Fo Trong will always go to the trouble of creating wonderful dishes, without sugar that taste fantastic. Ray Tester.

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      16.07.2007 01:19
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      The management have no business being in the hospitality management field!!!

      APPALLING SERVICE & FOOD!!

      Having heard great reviews about this restaurant, I eagerly took my spouse for a meal there on a quiet night. The food was quite good, as was the service.

      BUT… the next time we went with family was a big mistake - what a contrast to the previous meal!

      When ordering, we explained to the waiter, who turned out to be the manager, about our preferences for certain dishes, which has never been a problem at any other restaurant we’ve been to – he seemed to understand what we were saying too.

      We asked for the dishes not to be spicy, (for medical reasons), real crabmeat not crabsticks for “crabmeat & sweetcorn soup” (at £4.25 each!), and for the fish dish to have the sweet & sour sauce on the side, (again for medical reasons of certain members of the party, etc.). Simple things - but they got it all wrong.

      For example, we asked for more detail about a duck dish when ordering – we ordered the roast duck, but when it arrived, it had clearly been deep fried! The waiter, who brought the food, couldn’t seem to make up his mind as to whether it was fried or roasted – infact he was ARGUING WITH US!!

      After we asked a member of staff to bring the manager, the manager himself would not come to our table to discuss it!

      No idea about the “customer is always right” approach then! We got really upset when we asked AGAIN to speak to the manager and he refused to discuss it with us, saying the chef wouldn't be happy & would be insulted, and that there was nothing wrong with the food!!!

      That’s quite an arrogant attitude for someone who charges £6.00 upwards for the main dishes that were inedible. We asked again to speak to him, and he still refused, so, after about another 30 minutes of waiting for him, we had to get up and find him!!

      When we finally spoke to him, he had the nerve to say we should have told them first - BUT WE DID – HE WAS THE ONE WHO TOOK THE ORDER!! We also told the other waiter who brought the dishes out to us.

      He then stated, “I knew you were trouble when you were ordering”; this was merely because we asked for some dishes to be cooked the way we like – this shouldn’t be a problem, since we’re paying customers, and they’re meant to be a premium, a-la-carte restaurant where everything is supposedly cooked from fresh - although, now I have reason to doubt this.

      Infact, it’s worth noting that this is not really even Chinese, but Vietnamese – The Chinese have very few spicy dishes, for example, but there were quite a few dishes that were spicy, even though the menu’s descriptions didn’t stipulate this!

      In the end, after trying to reason with him, we said we would only pay for what we ate and were happy with – there were two dishes we weren’t happy with and didn’t eat. “That’s just p*** money to me!!” were the manager’s words! He clearly took the time to learn some language then!

      He then had the nerve to say “You’re not welcome in my restaurant”.

      This conversation and his words of arrogance were in earshot of other nearby guests, who, judging by their expressions, weren’t too impressed with the “manager’s” attitude either.

      All in all, it seems the arrogance of the management exceeds the importance of happy customers – let’s hope they learn one day, which side of their bread is buttered!

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        15.04.2006 01:58
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        Superb food, friendly service, reasonable prices.

        I have been to an awful lot of Chinese restaurants around the UK in my lifetime. I have to rate Trongs as one of the very best I have been to. In fact it’s so good I have been there 4 times in as many weeks.

        Some of the dishes are different to what you would normally see. There is an excellent selection of starters, and main dishes, in fact you are spoilt for choice.

        All the dishes taste superb and you don’t have to wait too long to get them. The prices are very reasonable for both the food and wine.

        The staff are very welcoming and pay very good attention to detail which makes the experience of going there all the more enjoyable.

        To sum up what I am trying to say about the standard of food at Trongs in one sentence. If you choose to go to Trongs your taste buds will think they’ve gone to heaven.

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          22.02.2006 09:06
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          The Best Chinese Restaurant in Suffolk

          One chilly evening last week, my husband and I were out in Ipswich. It was rather late as we made our way back towards our car, which we'd parked on St.Nicholas Street.
          Ipswich, for those of you unfamiliar with it, poses no particular threat to any of the bastions of International Haute Cuisine. References to 'Michelin stars' here are more likely to suggest laudable car mechanics than lauded chefs, and the only 'restaurants' to grace the town's immediate centre are depressing affairs scarcely worthy of the title. St. Nicholas Street, however, is the great exception that proves the rule, and actually boasts a couple of very appealing little eateries.


          Passing Trongs, we paused. Trongs is housed in an ancient little terrace, a few doors along from the birthplace of Cardinal Wolsey. Lamps flickered prettily through wooden Venetian blinds, and a rather cheerful collection of people seemed to be assembled inside. Glittering food sizzled on heated platters. Tidy waiters moved delicately amidst the diners. It seemed like a decent enough place for a late supper, so in we went.


          The maitre d' was very welcoming. We were led towards a vacant table just in front of an archway, in a small dining area to the left of the entrance. On the other side of our archway, immediately behind us, sat a noisy gaggle of boldly dressed middle-aged ladies. The sound emanating from their table suggested the re-convention of a suburban Book Club. A portly figure in acreages of scarlet satin appeared to be the ringleader, and she made one loud pronouncement after another, whilst the wine flowed and prawn crackers were crunched.


          We took our seats. Our table was neatly laid with fresh linen, one white cloth resting over a second in a shade the locals refer to as 'Suffolk pink'. To the right of the entrance, there was a small bar, with a cosy little lounge (smoking area) in front of it. Above the bar, there was a small studio-portrait of a very sweet looking little Chinese boy in his school uniform, and, rather perplexingly, a Hello Kitty cuckoo clock. The rest of the room was decorated with artificial orchids, large potted plants, and a rather quaint array of objets d'art, of the sort sold in the gift-shops at Hong Kong airport. A large, mirrored wall at the rear of the restaurant created the impression that it was much larger than it actually was, and most of the tables towards the back appeared to be still occupied, despite the relatively late hour.


          A waiter brought across a bowl of pale prawn crackers, still warm, and two large, leather-bound volumes masquerading as menus. I should probably point out here that I'm essentially a philistine when it comes to the intricacies of 'Chinese' cuisine. I do know enough to realise that 'Chinese' is in some respects a meaningless generic term, encompassing a vast spectrum of cooking styles, methods and ingredients, from Cantonese to Szechuen. However, in my experience, Chinese restaurants tend to fall into two distinct categories: the very good and the very ordinary. In the past, Chinese friends of mine have taken me to some very good ones, and they were often intimidating (and frequently expensive) places, featuring strange and disturbing delicacies. Then there are those more common-garden places, with 30 variations on every theme (Sweet & Sour Pork, Sweet & Sour Prawn, Sweet & Sour Squid etc) and the piquant aroma of Mono-sodium Glutomate hanging thickly in the air. Trongs, however, seemed to have nestled itself into a cosy and appealing niche, somewhere between these two extremes.


          We studied our leather volumes. Several Set Menus were listed in the introductory pages, priced at between £14 and £20 a head. Most of these sounded rather tempting, and included 'Crispy Seaweed', Wan Tun, Gan Shaw Prawns, Crabmeat with Straw Mushrooms, amongst other delicacies. We toyed with the idea of ordering one of these, however reason finally intervened and we moved on. After all, we were there for supper, not a five-course banquet. We settled upon Cantonese spring rolls, an Aromatic Crispy Duck to share, and a couple of main dishes with rice. The wine list was fairly extensive and reasonably priced, but we preferred to confine ourselves to Thai beers.


          The spring rolls arrived promptly, and these were daintily displayed on a little bird's nest of thinly shredded cucumber. They were served with a small bowl containing a very subtle and almost colourless fish sauce. Whilst we ate, the boisterous chatter behind us continued unabated. "Well if you're not used the theatre, Chekhov is very deep!" pronounced the lady in scarlet, to the obvious approbation of her companions, and my husband sniggered into his Singha. Meanwhile, the duck had already emerged from the kitchen, and our waiter stood at a station beside us, deftly shredding it into a very neat little pile.


          This was then brought across, and proved be both 'Aromatic' and 'crispy', as promised, as well as being refreshingly well cooked, without any fatty edges. The cucumbers and spring onions were tidily sliced and assembled in neat little bundles, like woodpiles, and the accompanying black-bean sauce was unusually strong, and of a very thick consistency, almost like marmite. We rustled up our little pancakes and ate, rather quickly and greedily, I suspect.


          My main was a dish of 'Five Willows' sole, lightly coated in flour and then quickly fried, before being served in a rather tangy chilli and ginger sauce. The fish was tender and succulent, and had clearly been fried only very lightly, perhaps just swiftly dunked in the oil and immediately retracted. The sauce, however, was a revelation. Both the chilli and the ginger were very much evident, but discreetly so, and neither flavour overwhelmed the other. It was quite simply divine. My husband had ordered the Shredded Beef with Chilli, and pronounced it very good, if not spectacularly so, and he remarked that all of the ingredients had clearly been very fresh and unadulterated.


          By now, our scarlet lady had accosted one of the long-suffering waiters, and appeared to be cross-examining him about his interests and habits, and whether his children spoke English at home. The waiter hovered, withstanding the impertinence very calmly and pleasantly indeed. We stood up and retired to the lounge for a little while before settling our bill and leaving. The meal came to a little over £40.


          We dine in Ipswich fairly often, and are frequently disappointed. Other than the harbour-side Salthouse, a couple of other rather self-consciously sophisticated places near the docks, and the handful of restaurants on St. Nicholas street, there isn't all that much to get excited about. In view of this, Trongs really was a bit of a find. The food is fresh, simply prepared, and tasty. The service is charming, and the décor, although a little unusual, is ambient and welcoming. The restaurant is immaculately clean throughout and the prices charged are very reasonable. And as Chinese restaurants in English provincial towns go, I rather suspect that this is as good as it gets. In any event, it was certainly good enough for me. I can heartily recommend it.

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          Trongs Restaurant in Ipswich is one of Ipswich's Chinese Restaurants.