Restaurant reviews

Welcoming in 2015 at the Good Earth

To celebrate the end of 2014, we wanted to revisit some of the cuisine that became such a highlight of our year during our amazing trip to Hong Kong in November.

Since we were back home staying with family rather than in Leeds, we decided to book dinner for New Year’s Eve at an old favourite of ours in Esher, The Good Earth.

The Good Earth, a fantastic, up-market Chinese restaurant chain in the south-east, offers great food in a calm, peaceful dining environment, accompanied by really attentive but not overbearing service.

Due to the popularity of the restaurant, we were only able to get in at 6.30pm on NYE, but we really weren’t that bothered as we sat down and ordered a nice glass of something fizzy to start our evening.

After perusing the menu for a while, we decided to share some dumplings, a firm favourite of ours from our days in Hong Kong. The portion size was generous, and the dumplings juicy and piping hot. They were paired excellently with a subtle dipping sauce.

We had spent quite some time picking our main dishes but ultimately decided to go for a Shanghai Chili Chicken and Ribeye of Beef with Black Bean.

The chicken dish was excellent, spicy without blowing the roof of your mouth off, and in a really moreish sauce.

The beef was the real star of the evening though. Sometimes in average Chinese restaurants the beef dishes are let down by the quality of the beef, and the sauce is gloopy and unappealing. This is not the case at The Good Earth. The beef comes beautifully cooked and the black bean sauce was delicate, letting the quality of the meat shine through and become the star of the dish.

It’s not normally worth writing about the rice or noodle accompaniment to a Chinese meal, but the egg fried rice at The Good Earth is worth a mention. It was light, fluffy, and came in a bamboo box with a wooden spoon and lid. This sounds like a small thing, but it meant that the rice stayed hot in between portions. There is also something nice about ladling out rice with an authentic wooden spoon rather than a huge metal monstrosity of an English tablespoon!

To finish off our meal in style, we couldn’t resist a portion of toffee banana with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The toffee banana was melt in the mouth, albeit with a nice chewy texture to the toffee.

Surrey is full of restaurants that fit into the higher than average price band that this Chinese chain sits in, but few will leave you feeling as satisfied as The Good Earth.

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