Let me make this straight, very straight – I LOVE the Dancing Dragon.

Some people I know have a curious aversion to the restaurant.

When I announced I was going to eat there recently, I was openly laughed at, mocked and told ‘be it on your own head’ as if I was about to commit some social gaffe so unforgivable I would never be allowed entrance to Marks and Spencer again.

Well, just for the record – 1. I don’t have an educated palate.

2. I don’t care.

3. I just want to eat tasty food in a warm, buzzing environment and not have to sell the farm in order to do so (and obviously I don’t own an actual farm since I’m allergic to everything from Countryfile to Emmerdale).

4. But I liked the food and hospitality so much, I’m eating there again tomorrow.

From outside, The Dancing Dragon may not look refined but don’t be fooled.

I once ate in a restaurant in a municipal car park in Elba, the tiny island off the coast of Italy where Napoleon was once banged up. And yet it served some of the most sublime Italian fayre I have ever tasted.

Equally, while travelling across the Yukon in Canada, a state of just 250,000 people but at least twice the size of Great Britain, I stopped off at what looked like a tyre repair shop attached to the only petrol station for 100 miles in any direction.

It was a shack from the outside but inside, blow me if it didn’t have a crystal chandelier and a menu offering up lobster and truffles.

Does the Dancing Dragon serve up that kind of food?

No, but it puts on your plate a buffet of extraordinary breadth, taste, and value for money.

There’s everything there – like a traditional Chinese takeaway but 10 times the size.

All you have to do is find a table (and on a Friday and Saturday that is nothing short of a miracle), order your beer, and help yourself to 20 different dishes, as often as you like.

I filled my plate four times, with everything from prawns in batter to sweet and sour chicken – all for £10.95 per person.

It was delicious; nothing you would refer to as ‘gastronomic’ I grant you, but I didn’t want that. I just wanted heaps of great, tasty Chinese food and an atmosphere.

It was ‘pumped’ with everyone from Summertown’s ‘I-shop-at-Laura-Ashley’s’ to diners hell-bent on gorging for Oxford (the county).

I was flexing my forearms better than a night in the gym, returning again and again for chicken, beef, pork, prawns and vegetables, all cooked Chinese style and superbly so.

I even had a plate of chips.

So would I recommend it?

Sure. It was busy, loud, and packed full of the city’s A – Z yet the atmosphere was friendly, fun and comforting.

Was the food worthy of a Michelin star? Far from it, but I didn’t want that. I wanted to eat immediately till I felt stuffed. And that’s what we did.

PS: It’s about to have a make-over.

PPS. Visit after 7.00pm as food can be a tad ‘cool’ before then. There, I’ve said it.

Dancing Dragon 283 Banbury Road, Summertown, To book 01865 554475 www.maysrestaurant.co.uk