So how do we decide which takeaways to review for this esteemed column each week?
There’s not an exact science to it, but often I’ll spot something on Twitter and decide to give it a go.
Red Bean adopted the more old school approach – putting a menu leaflet through my door. I came across it while rummaging in the bottomless kitchen drawer in which I file such menus for future reference.
You won’t find Red Bean on the likes of Just Eat either so it was a case of phoning through the order and letting them know when I wanted to collect it (though they do offer free delivery in the local area if you spend £10 – along with 10 per cent student discount.)
The menu was extensive, with all the usual favourites among the near-300 choices, and set menus for two starting at £22.
Swinging by to collect it, I found Red Bean surrounded by double yellow lines meaning picking it up wasn’t the most straightforward.
The chap on the counter got a little confused over which order was mine but soon sorted it out and I was on my way with a bag of nicely hot food.
Prices were reasonable so the other half and I pushed the boat out and had a starter each.
The chicken satay skewers were an enjoyable dish, with four kebabs covered in a sticky, nutty sauce, gently spiced.
However, I wasn’t a fan of the spring rolls: they came in two huge barrels of pastry and left a lot of greasy marks behind on the carton, putting me off finishing mine – I prefer them crispy and these were a bit soggy.
My main course was happily more to my liking, beef in black bean sauce with green peppers.
The thinly beef slivers were plentiful, the sauce just right and my side order of egg fried rice was more than enough to mop it all up with.
My dining partner got stuck into the special chow mein, and was happy to report that there was plenty of decent chicken and meaty ingredients among the generous plate of noodles.
As often is the case with Chinese food, it was generally pretty salty but it seems to be par for the course when soy sauce is involved!
Coming in at £19.80, the meal was decent value but I’m not sure the food stood out enough to make the menu a staple in the kitchen drawer.
- Red Bean, Bray Street, Ashton, Preston.