When I saw that The Chicken Shop in London Street had undergone a sizeable revamp, I was instantly keen to sample the new menu. Both my partner and I love trying food we wouldn't usually cook at home and the promise of authentic Chinese cuisine was a tempting one.

Norwich Evening News: The newly refurbished Duck Sifu in London Street.The newly refurbished Duck Sifu in London Street. (Image: Rosanna Elliott)

We headed to the restaurant one Monday night after work expecting it to be fairly quiet, as most times we've eaten out at the beginning of the week this has been the case. But I was pleased for the owners to see that their hefty investment of around £30k already seemed to be paying off as we were one of many tables enjoying the new space. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and we kicked off with a couple of cans of a herbal tea drink made from water, sugar and Chinese liquorice (£3.50). It was an unusual flavour and a refreshing change from the more familiar canned drinks on offer, and when the food came its mellow, almost palate-cleansing flavour really complemented the bold tastes of the dishes.

Norwich Evening News: Braised beef brisket at Duck Sifu in Norwich.Braised beef brisket at Duck Sifu in Norwich. (Image: Rosanna Elliott)

To start, I ordered a cucumber and garlic salad (£6.50), and my partner went for the spicy shredded potato salad (£6.50). For mains I chose the Taiwanese popcorn chicken (£12) and steamed Jasmine rice (£4.50) and my partner went for braised beef brisket casserole with mooli ( £12).

All the food arrived at the same time and we found ourselves looking at a banquet. I was surprised by how much food there was for the modest prices as the beef brisket dish and the jasmine rice alone would have easily served as a meal for two people. It is quite unusual in the current economic landscape to find somewhere with such generous portions for just over the £10 mark - and most importantly it was all absolutely delicious. The beef brisket was so rich, tender and savoury, with a dark, sticky sauce that flavoured the plain jasmine rice wonderfully when eaten together.

Norwich Evening News: Spicy shredded potato salad at Duck Sifu.Spicy shredded potato salad at Duck Sifu. (Image: Rosanna Elliott)

The two starter dishes were both fresh, crunchy, and full of punchy garlic flavour that cut through the sweetness of the beef. A particular delight was the raw potato salad dish which was light, fragrant and refreshing, we both enjoyed how different it was to the familiar Chinese takeaway fare; Duck Sifu's owner Paul Liu prides himself on offering more authentic Chinese street food rather than familiar spring rolls and other dishes that have become popularly associated with the country's cuisine but don't necessarily reflect what people eat in China.

Norwich Evening News: Cucumber and garlic salad at Duck Sifu.Cucumber and garlic salad at Duck Sifu. (Image: Rosanna Elliott)

My personal favourite was the salty, almost sweet, popcorn chicken, which was just as moreish as the name suggests. While we struggled to finish everything, we had no problem putting away the deep-fried morsels and fans of the former Chicken Shop will no doubt enjoy a taste of a former speciality in that option.

There's such a wide range of options on the menu, I think you'd be hard pressed not to find something to enjoy, from delicious beef and duck dishes to the more adventurous frog's legs - I would thoroughly recommend spending an evening in the refurbed restaurant sampling the flavours of China.

Norwich Evening News: Herbal tea drink at Duck Sifu.Herbal tea drink at Duck Sifu. (Image: Rosanna Elliott)


Clean and practical.


The restaurant is all on one floor but the toilets were down a small flight of stairs.


The staff were all friendly and attentive.


I was really impressed with the value for money given the quality and generosity of the portions. Our bill came to £48 which is much lower than many restaurants I've had far less pleasant dining experiences in and there's no way you could walk away hungry, we could have comfortably had a third diner eat with us with what we ordered.


If you like Chinese food, you are bound to enjoy a meal at Duck Sifu. I would encourage anyone to make the time to see what the owner has done with the refurbishment and the delicious new menu options more kitchen appliances have afforded.


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