ONLINE rankings and customer reviews can have a major impact on consumer choice - when we're flicking through a list of options, it's natural to be drawn to the highest rated.

This is true of takeaways, too. In West Cumbria, there is an abundance of takeaways serving everything from pizzas, kebabs, burgers, fried chicken, and international cuisine. 

Whitehaven is a town brimming with independent fast-food shops; they are ingrained as part of the local food scene. 

It's always hard to decide which to choose but a classic Chinese is always a top contender. I wanted to try the best rated in town and with a quick search of online reviews I concluded that Oriental Garden on Strand Street was the best on offer. 

I went into the shop to order and decided to try three separate items from the menu, a starter and two mains. My order came to £21.20 and after a - very reasonable - 20-minute wait I was headed home with the bag.

For the starter, I opted for Siu-Mai (steamed pork dumplings) the restaurant's take on a variety of dim sum, a brunch dish that is popular in China and other parts of Asia. 

Whitehaven News: Siu Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings) with soy sauce Siu Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings) with soy sauce (Image: Newsquest)

The meat was wrapped inside a steam bun and was accompanied by a side of soy sauce. 

The texture and look of the pork were reminiscent of that found in a sausage roll but when accompanied by the outer bun it was similar in taste to a bao or gyoza, which are common in Japanese cuisine. 

For the first main dish, I decided to try the Mongolian Beef which was highlighted as a 'Chef's Special.'

It was clear to see why, the beef was rich and tender, and the taste contrasted well with the sharpness of the stir-fried onions. 

Whitehaven News: Mongolian beef Mongolian beef (Image: Newsquest)

The meal was dressed in soya sauce which I found to be a welcome change from the often heavy and overpowering sauces some Chinese takeaways serve. 

A small number of cellophane noodles had been added to the dish giving it a crispy edge. 

I think I'm right in saying that I saved the best until the last. For the second and final main I chose my current favourite takeaway order, Combination Foo Yung. 

A dish that is like an omelette but with so much more character. By choosing the combination option I got to enjoy an array of all the meaty flavours at once. The prawns were a personal highlight. 

In my opinion, a foo yung is best served with satay sauce. 

Whitehaven News: Combination Foo Yung with satay sauce Combination Foo Yung with satay sauce (Image: Newsquest)

The spicy, nutty, aromas combine fantastically with the milder flavours of the foo yung, creating a perfect takeaway experience. 

It is clear to see why so many people rate this takeaway so highly, the food surpassed my expectations. If you haven't already tried it, you're missing out.