"I've eaten at the Tai Wu many times, and returned last night, as its always a popular place when you're in a big group and have voted for a quick and easy pre-going-out buffet, which I suspect is the section of this restaurant that most people visit. The buffet is indeed pretty good, with a nice, well cooked mix of foods, but its enormous (seats well over 100), and hence is far too busy for my liking most of the time, and I much prefer the quieter Buffet City if a buffet meal is on the cards. Anyway, this particular write up is for the restaurant...
On a side note, if you dine here, especially at lunch, they do a pretty good, very comprehensive and quite authentic half price Dim Sum menu, for bargain prices. I'd choose this over the buffet any day, unless I was out on the booze!
Anyway, when dining upstairs in the Tai Wu, the first thing that you will notice is that the vast majority of diners are actually Chinese. Some say that this is usually the sign of a good quality restaurant, although I've never really agreed with this, as you won't see too many Chinese people ordering Sweet & Sour Chicken with fried rice, as what we class as Chinese food is actually 50% British. As well as the regular menus, there are seperate Chinese menus, with totally different dishes, which speaks volumes about this place.
The decor is plain, unimaginative, and lacks any real personality. It's just functional, kind of like a conference hall, as is the service, table settings, and everything else about the restaurant. It won't win any prizes for design, fine food, or trendiness, but that's not where its charm lies.
Despite its lack of personality, what I like about the Tai Wu, is actually that its very 'Chinese', and reminds me of the fast, efficient, impersonal, no nonsense, simple food, that I've experienced whilst in Hong Kong on a couple of occasions. The Chinese dont really do 'posh' dining like we do, and eating is a very casual, social occasion, meant to be enjoyed by all. The dining area is huge, probably the biggest in town, and must seat well over 200 covers. This is a place which caters for large groups, again, as its heavily populated by Chinese customers, who do tend to eat out en mass. The Tai Wu caters for this genuinely Chinese way, and whilst it won't feature in any fine dining guides, its the best real 'Chinese' restaurant in town, as opposed to many which are definately better if you want 'English/Chinese' food.
Anyway, go on, be brave... stay away from the English menu with its black bean sauces, kung po, fried rice, spare ribs and chips, I dare you! Have a chat with the staff to translate the Chinese Menu, tell them what you fancy, and try something off that instead, and you may surprise yourself! It's not all chicken's feet and birds nests, so you'll be sure to find something you like, even with a western palate. Also, the Chinese menu is slightly cheaper than an already stupidly cheap 'English' one (£6 per main), so what better excuse!" - Chris Handley, Salford 30/5/08 (visited on a thursday evening)."