IN THE 16 months or so that I’ve been on the sports desk at the Adver, I’d not yet plucked up the courage to put my name down on the rota for the food review.

And typically, the first time I do, every sit-in dining establishment in the country is ordered to close immediately.

Thankfully, the vast majority of takeaway options were still available, so I outsourced the decision on where we should eat to my mum (because she’s always right) and Emperor’s Kitchen was selected.

Thanks to a fairly well known British online food order and delivery service with an annoying jingle, ordering and paying for our food was as simple as could be and the food was with us inside 40 minutes. Even if deciding on what we all wanted was not quite as swift.

Eventually, I opted for the House Special Curry (£6.70) which would have come with plain rice. However, I chose egg fried rice, an extra 80p.

The rice was sticky, fluffy and full of soft egg while the special curry was a perfect balance between spicy and mild enough for me to still be able to taste what I was eating.

A lot of the time, I find takeaways to be needlessly salty, but my dish was perfectly flavoursome without needing to down a pint of squash afterwards.

There was a healthy mix of meats, fish and crunchy vegetables, all cooked perfectly, making this sizeable meal for one thoroughly enjoyable.

The only drawback from my point of view was some of the beef – it was mostly quite soft and did not require excessive chewing, however some of it was a little stringy and not as tasty as the chicken, for example. My dad selected crispy lamb with Thai sauce (£7.60) – this did not come with rice included, his egg fried rice was priced at £2.60.

He felt the lamb could have been crispier, but the sauce had enough heat to make him sit up and take notice, so all in all it was a sound choice.

My mum and sister shared the Szechuan banquet for two (£25), which included barbecued spareribs, grilled chicken with lemon sauce, happy family, hot and spicy Szechuan beef, special fried rice and of course, prawn crackers.

Not being a fan of spicy food, mum and sister handed the spicy beef over to my dad and I, who eagerly accepted an added side to our choices.

Emperor’s Kitchen did not mess about with the chilli in this dish. Our dining room really warmed up after the first few mouthfuls, though my dad (who apparently has no tastebuds) seemed to think it was perfectly mild.

The ribs were far too salty for my mum and sister’s liking, however, they were big fans of the lemon chicken with the special fried rice.

After the happy family dish (which I now understand to be the Chinese version of ‘a bit of everything’) was split four ways and enjoyed by all, we finished off our meal with a sweet and chewy pineapple or banana fritter each.

Covered in copious amounts of maple syrup, the only desserts on the menu were enjoyed a little later on in the evening in front of a film.

Having had a quick flick through the poor TripAdvisor rating afterwards, I was really quite confused as to why people were so harsh on the place.

I would thoroughly recommend this Chinese takeaway to anyone looking for an Oriental escape over the coming weeks and months.