Centenary Restaurant, on the University of Southampton’s Salisbury Road campus, has brought the essence of China to the city.
Located in the university’s Centenary building, the restaurant opened in June.
I decided to head down with a group of friends on Tuesday night to sample some of their dishes and review the experience of being served by robot waiters.
The two robots – one yellow and one pink – swung round the restaurant floor all night and I even caught a glimpse of one singing happy birthday to a customer.
Robots queued up at the table to serve us dish after dish of tasty and authentic Asian cuisine.
Diners have the choice to enjoy food from two menus – Chinese takeaway classics otherwise known as the “British Chinese menu” or the more unusual, cultural and authentic dishes, known as the “Authentic Chinese menu”.
The authentic menu is also accompanied by photos of the dishes and the attentive staff are on hand to answer any questions.
Some of the more unusual dishes on the authentic menu can get a little pricey, due to the fact many of the ingredients used are imported from overseas.
But do not fear, the British Chinese menu is very reasonably priced.
I thought the two-menu system was a great idea, allowing fussy eaters to feast on their Chinese favourites while catering for those who want to be a little more adventurous.
Some of the more interesting and unusual dishes available from the authentic menu included pork intestines, shredded jelly fish and spicy duck blood hot pot to name a few.
The food itself – from both menus – was flavoursome, oily and everything you would expect from an authentic Chinese restaurant.
I was particularly impressed by the crispy shredded chicken with chilli – being a lover of spicy food – and the stir fry lamb with spring onion for its unique flavour.
The interior and feeling of the venue is very bright and vibrant, with large windows and traditional, colourful oil-paper umbrellas lining the ceiling. It certainly has a lot of character.
Due to the fact the menus are vast and feature so many different dishes, I would recommend going in groups and sharing out each dish.
This means you can try a range of different flavours, with the option to take any left-overs home for later.
The food is also available for takeaway.