They say never judge a book by its cover, and clearly sometimes that applies to restaurants, too.
Take Seikyo, on Cowgate in the city centre. While in keeping with the street, the frontage isn’t overly inviting - there’s nothing to lure you in, unless it is the idea off filling yourself up from a buffet for a fixed price!
However, on Saturday with the Chinese New Year fresh in our minds we popped in for a bite to eat in the evening, and found the food, at least, is not too bad at all.
Apart from not being very appealing on the eye, it is quite soulless. You are shown to a table, offered drinks and pretty much left to get on with it.
No menu. No introduction to how things work, which was a tad disappointing - especially as on Friday and Saturday they have a Japanese Teppanyaki grill going (if you know what to look for, and luckily we did).
Anyhow, with drinks ordered we filled our plates with “starters” although you can help yourself to whatever you like. For me, tasteless prawn crackers, half decent spring rolls but very tasty ribs, prawns and shredded duck.
Donna had some very nice stir fried vegetables and a beef in black bean sauce, which is one of her staple Chinese dishes, and compared very well to other a la carte offerings.
I tried it, too, with some rice, which was a bit dry but soaked up the sauce, and some noodles and nice big, soft mushrooms in oyster sauce. All pretty tasty it has to be said.
I also had some Thai chicken and Singapore noodles, which I did like, to complete my tour of the far east!
But, on both our parts, the highlight came from the grill - something almost hidden away when it could - make that should - be more of a focal point in the restaurant.
I chose some fresh squid and steak, put it on a plate, and chef cooked it there at the grill and brought it to the table. Beautifully done in a Japanese sauce - that is the best description I can manage except to say it was delicious. Donna followed suit with chicken and salmon and was equally taken aback, although the sauce worked better with the meat that the fish.
For £11.90 per head you can’t complain, particularly with plenty of nice desserts going begging - again if you know where to look!
Venue: Seikyo, Cowgate, Peterborough city centre, tel 01733 892873 www.seikyo.co.uk
Brad’s Rating: 7/10