One of the many attractions of Milton Keynes is its Chinese population - an attribute of having a stock of new houses when Hong Kong reverted to China. As a result, the city boasts some fabulous Chinese eateries, the Taipan in the theatre district being a good example.
The Taipan is one of my regular haunts and its Chinese-style lobster is a particular favourite. But for lunch it specialises in freshly prepared Dim Sum. The restaurant itself is cool, clean and modern, with tables far enough apart to keep your secrets, and an indoor pond around the staircase.
The service is reasonably fast and discreet, too. Lunchtime customers include business people and Chinese - always a good sign.
My most recent visit was with a new client and a target local editor.
It certainly helped break the ice to choose from the huge list of Dim Sum, mainly featuring crab, scallop and king prawns, though I try to avoid the chicken's feet and glutinous rice.
The form is to pick maybe seven or eight items and then share, which usually helps bond the party and allows everyone to get down to business in an informal atmosphere. The dishes arrive at your table in individual steamers and are a match for any in Soho. With green tea, orange juice and coffee, the bill for all three of us was around £35.
Where: 5 Savoy Crescent, Milton Keynes
Contact: 01908 331 883
How much: About £12 per head