had been recommended - what my friend called - "A hidden gem of Dalaran" - a small restaurant in a side street of Dalaran. Fancy and expensive as few, and in my naivety, I took that as a good sign. The boss was paying after all, so why not splurge on an exclusive, exotic and expensive experience. Golden Empire Noodles has a menu based on Pandaren specialties, there is duck, there is noodles, stir fry and deep fry, everything we have come to love from the Pandaren cuisine. Unfortunately, everything on the menu had one thing in common. Its banal to the bone and you can get a rat-kabob in the Deeprun Tram for one-tenth of the price, and it will actually taste better. To put it mildly, licking the pavement in Stormwind is more rewarding than some of the duds on Golden Empire Noodles' menu.

Starters:

I started out with deep-fried Mantis Shrimp and when the waiter brought the dish I was marvelled, a fine sprinkle of gold-flakes on top of the giant balls of dough gave me an impression of having hit the jackpot, this was a place and a dish where they really catered for the expensive. Unfortunately, I quickly changed my opinion. The sprinkling of gold flakes lent a top note of bullshit. And that was the good part. The dough was soggy instead of crisp, and had an off-putting tang and a rancid flavour, which seeped into the dried-out shrimp and left a greasy feeling on the roof of my mouth that, like a demonic spawn, it could not be destroyed, only dispelled for a while.

Main course #1:

Duck. I love duck, so for my main course I ordered duck in an orange sauce with a stir fry of seasonal vegetables. Let me be blunt, this duck did not deserve the end it got. It must have been an extremely naughty duck in life to deserve this sort of treatment in its afterlife. I chewed. And I chewed. My tastebuds never got the pleasure of the oranges in the sauce, perhaps they forgot them. The sauce looked more like a bowl of thickened morning-pee than an orange sauce, and after removing what must have been enough feathers for a small pillow, I finally gave up on eating the duck. Slowly, gradually, with great mental resistance but still inexorably, it dawned on me that I had paid 48 silver for a dry duck with almost no flavour. Nobody should pay this much money to be sad.

Main course #2:

After the lack of success with my first choice of main course I decided to double down and order a second main course. Maybe I had just been unluck so far. The menu promised a fish dish with "a simple flavour with a touch of sweetness", it sounded promising, surely this time it would be good. What a nightmare. I do not know if the fish had been half boiled and half grilled, or if they only had two halves of a fish and put it together. The verdict? Did it have "a simple flavour with a touch of sweetness"? It was hard to say after half of it had been simmered in soy sauce to a bony mush, the other half grilled in salt until chewy and served with its head still on, propped up with a wooden stake like a Magic Bass about to sing.

Dessert:

Really? you think I stayed for dessert? No way. I went back home to Stormwind and visited Lisa's wagon near the Stockade and got myself a quality ice cone with pistachio and banana soft ice.

Conclusion:

The toilets were clean.