It is a weird feeling to be enjoying a bowl of chicken chow mein while a singer pretending to be Elton John belts out 'I'm Still Standing' a mere yards away, but that's exactly where I recently found myself. 

For some time, Hakka2 in the town centre has been putting on musical shows accompanied by a three-course Chinese buffet, all for the reasonable price of £28. 

It is a distinctly odd experience and it goes without saying that it relies on the strength of both the food on offer and the performer booked to provide the entertainment throughout the course of the meal. 

So, let's talk about the food first.

I was at a table of four, and our starter was a platter of common items typically found at a Chinese - satay chicken, crispy seaweed, prawn toast, ribs and spring rolls - with enough for each person to have two of each. 

The main course was a variety of dishes, with egg fried rice, chicken chow mein, chicken in oyster sauce, crispy chilli beef and king prawn in garlic chilli and to cap it all off, there was a dessert of banana fritters. 

All of the food was delicious with great flavours, served quickly, and in good portions. The crispy chilli beef and the spring rolls were my standouts. 

Me having a great time at Hakka2's Elton John tribute buffetMe having a great time at Hakka2's Elton John tribute buffet (Image: Newsquest)

So what about the music? Charles Michael Duke was on hand to give a slightly condensed version of his touring show 'Are You Ready For Love - The Elton John Story' complete with factual information about how certain songs were written, costume changes, and a flat-pack travelling piano. 

Charles, who had an amazing voice and a calming stage presence, rattled through Elton's hits, performing them with aplomb - a feat even more extraordinary when we learned via his Instagram page that he'd had a double lung transplant

Having someone perform at you while you're eating can be a little awkward, but everyone arrived to the event in good spirits, and at times people even left their tables to have a dance, particularly at the end. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, and I was incredibly impressed that a singer as talented as Charles was serenading me while I was eating it. So I would recommend giving these gigs a go. 

Hakka2 opened in December 2022 next to the Savoy Wetherspoons Pub at the former site of the Regent Court Chinese Takeaway, under the new ownership of Christine Liaw.