03/09/2013 09:16 BST | Updated 03/11/2013 05:12 GMT

The Good Earth, or How I Left My Flat

I am a big fan of Chinese food, although my flatmates are not, complaining that our sofas are becoming slowly re-decorated in a series of sweet and sour smears and dropped noodle stains. I have therefore been forced to leave the pleasant and comforting confines of Chinese take-aways, and venture into the much more intimidating world of actual Chinese restaurants.

The Good Earth has opened a new restaurant in Wandsworth, and I had recently met a very handsome boy who lives in Wandsworth, so we went there for dinner. My anger at my flatmates began at this point, as I was forced to wash and dress before I could eat. 'This sort of thing never happens with take-aways,' I grumbled as they shooed me gently out of the door. My anger only increased when I realized that the distance from my flat to Wandsworth was much greater than the distance from my sofa to my front door.

I arrived at The Good Earth, therefore, entirely prepared to hate it. Unfortunately, the décor at the Good Earth is lovely- all silk cushions and elegant glass lazy-susans. I grudgingly admitted that there might be some benefit to leaving my flat occasionally, if only to gain valuable interior decorating tips.I sat down, and quietly reminded myself of previous lazy -susan disasters, resolving this time to be much more grown-up about the whole thing.

The Good Earth is a long-established Chinese restaurant- it has several restaurant locations and also offers take-away, although the quality of the food means it is about as far removed from the usual greasy take-away offerings as Kashgar is from Beijing (these were the types of jokes I tried to avoid on my date).

By the time my date arrived I had read the menu thoroughly, and knew exactly what I wanted to order. Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten that Chinese food is usually shared. Also that other people often prefer to be fully sitting down before you ask the waiter to come over and take your order. Stalled, but not thwarted, I consoled myself by ordering a mixed tempura platter.

Too often, mixed starters are simply the restaurant's way of getting rid of a surplus of its cheapest starters, the diner paying more for their laziness and lack of thought than a quality selection of food. The Good Earth did not let us down. A lovely glass platter arrived (I would like to reiterate how impressed I was with the décor, which made me look as though I had picked an extremely classy restaurant, not simply that I really liked Chinese food), filled with perfectly done tempura delights.

We ate most of the menu, all of which was great- the sizzling hot pots were particularly excellent, and left without either a lazy-susan or a silk cushion incident. All in all, a tremendously successful date. Even if I did have to get all the way to Wandsworth.