Preston restaurants: Publi Oriental BBQ opens its doors on Friargate and this is what customers can expect

The newest restaurant to open its doors in Preston hopes to bring something different to the city centre.
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Publi Oriental BBQ opened on Friargate at the very end of 2023 and with it still being in its infancy, we paid a visit to the restaurant to get the low-down on what it's all about.

The restaurant is managed by 53-year-old Stephen Chan who has worked in the industry for over twenty years, including at the award winning 'Wing's Restaurant' in Manchester, which could boast footballers such as Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand amongst its customers.

Now Stephen is bringing his expertise to Preston, we met up with him at Publi Oriental BBQ to find out why and to discover more about what's on offer...

What sort of food does Publi serve?

Manager Stephen Chan said: "The selling point is the Korean barbecue but also we’re doing some Chinese food as well."

A glance at the menu shows there is an extensive choice on offer, there are all the usual chinese favourites- soups, hot starters like dumplings and ribs, steamed rice or fried noodles dishes - but there also Korean staples like kimchi and self proclaimed 'authentic Korean BBQ dishes'.

Interestingly, whilst most of the food is cooked and served by the kitchen as you would usually expect, the Korean BBQ part of the menu is actually labelled self cook- allowing customers the chance to barbecue their own meat, pre-seasoned by the kitchen, at their table.

Stephen commented: "They can choose either way. One option: you can order the self grill [where] you cook it yourself and the other one, you order the barbecue and we cook it in the kitchen for you."

When asked to describe the food, Stephen said the flavours are “a little bit spicy and a bit of variety as well", before adding "in the kitchen, the chefs try very hard make a good presentation, to make it nice when we bring it out for the customer to see."

A selection of dishes served at the restaurant.A selection of dishes served at the restaurant.
A selection of dishes served at the restaurant.

Why has Publi Oriental BBQ opened in Preston?

Stephen, who was born in Bristol but grew up in Hong Kong before returning to the UK aged 18, replied: "Because we want to give the customer more choice and a different cuisine for them to pick instead of just a traditional Chinese or a buffet."  

What is the decoration like?

The two floored restaurant is large and spacious, with modern furniture and furnishings, as well as plenty of decorative nods to the chinese and korean theme. The bottom floor is decorated with red oriental lanterns and banners whilst upstairs stone walls are engraved with intricate oriental style windows.

Both floors have standard dining tables, as well as tables with inbuilt cooking plates and mobile heat lamps hanging above them, used for self grilled dishes. Stephen says the lanterns and the BBQ tables have been imported in from China, giving the restauant an authentic feel.

Stephen Chan, the manager at Publi Oriental BBQStephen Chan, the manager at Publi Oriental BBQ
Stephen Chan, the manager at Publi Oriental BBQ

What has the reception been like so far?

Stephen said: "We’ve had good feedback from the customers and the customers seem to be enjoying the way we serve them, the restaurant presentation and the food as well."

Have you got a most popular dish?

Stephen answered: “Number 71 called the stone bowl of rice: a lot of people order this one and then when they come back, they order it again! Then on the self grill sets of BBQ, the number 111*, set menu for two, a lot of people are ordering it and then some of the specific individual dishes, for example, the number 45, the belly pork, and then also some of the seafood is also very popular."

The number 111 includes side dishes kimchi and seasoned spinach, a starter of pan fried dumpling and for main you get marinated beef, marinated chicken and two bowls of rice.

What is your favourite dish?

Stephen replied: "For me I would like the seafood platter, self grill!"

Why should the people of Preston pay a visit?

Stephen said: “The decor, service and the food, for me is quite amazing, people enjoy it and also we’ve got a lot of good feedback”

“Hopefully the customers in the Preston area or Lancashire try to come to the Publi Oriental restaurant to try it, and if you’re not into the self grill barbecue, you can order the different dishes- order it and we will bring it to the table to you. We’re making a more different experience  instead of just going to a restaurant and ordering, you can self grill or ask us to cook some special, specific dishes for you."

Publi Oriental BBQ opened on Friargate at the end of 2023.Publi Oriental BBQ opened on Friargate at the end of 2023.
Publi Oriental BBQ opened on Friargate at the end of 2023.

Can you get delivery?

Stephen aswered: “ Yes, we also do takeaway for some of the dishes. Some of the self grill dishes you can’t do the takeaway but some of the dishes we can cook for you, you order takeaway and we put it in a box for you.”

To order delivery you must order from the restaurant itself as it is not yet on any delivery apps.

What are the opening hours?

Publi Oriental BBQ is open between 12-10pm every day of the week.

You can book a table online here.

You can see a full gallery of pictures from inside the restauarant here.