It’s lunchtime and you’re in Sheffield city centre. You want something tasty, something warm, maybe something spicy, but instead you end up wandering aimlessly around Boots and settling on the same soggy sarnie meal deal you’ve had for three days in a row.
Well tomorrow, you have no excuse. Lunchtimes are about to get good.
Soya Express has been serving Chinese dishes to hungry Sheffielders for only a few short years, but has quickly developed a loyal following of flavour-hunters looking for a satisfying lunchtime experience. Tofu is their speciality – made fresh on the premises daily. Their fried bean curd is perfectly custardy on the inside and crisp on the outside, coated in big, spicy flavours that set you up for the rest of your afternoon. There’s also a wide range of chicken, pork and beef dishes for meat fans.
Situated in the lower end of the city centre, just around the corner from the "Cheesegrater" car park and up the road from the galleries and cafes of the Cultural Industries Quarter, Soya Express feels like a brilliantly kept secret – though the growing Friday queues suggest it may not be a secret for much longer. You won’t be disappointed by the perfectly portioned servings of your favourite black bean, sweet and sour, and satay dishes, but there’s also plenty of choice for more adventurous tastebuds, including steamed pork buns, congee and ma-po.
Only open in the daytime and with an average price of just £3.80 per dish (including a generous serving of rice or hand-made noodles), you’ll struggle not to go there every day. There’s plenty of room to sit and relax in the bright and airy dining area, so pull up a chair and enjoy your salt and pepper bean curd whilst it’s still piping hot. Alternatively, if you’re in a rush, you can grab your meal to take away to enjoy in the Sheffield sunshine or take back to your desk to make your co-workers green with envy.
They won’t be getting their soggy sarnie meal deal tomorrow either.
- Words by
- Jacqueline Chell