Contemporary Chinese Cuisine in Canberra
For my regular followers, you know I love all things China and definitely love Chinese food, so when my friend Jen asked me to catch up for dinner at a new Chinese restaurant in Canberra, I immediately said ‘yes’…
I knew the location of this restaurant as it previously was home to one of Canberra’s fine dining institutions which has now moved to the other side of town (another great Chinese restaurant called Chairman & Yip). On this occasion, I drove into town and walked a short distance to the restaurant, which only opened up this year and is known to have a fabulous interior. Wow…when I walked inside… it really is fabulous!!
Amazing cartoon portraits of Chinese princesses and pinups cover the walls. The roof lights are contained in bamboo cases and bankers lamps hang from the walls.
The room is adorned with Chinese replica furniture and porcelain..(I know it’s replica because the owner told me after I admired some of the pieces)
(last photo above from: http://www.foodpornjournal.com)
After about half an hour of catching up, my friend and I ordered our dishes. The menu is extensive and like the restaurant; rather glamorous.
Inside the menu there is a great saying:
one cannot think well, sleep well, love well
if one has not dined well
I ordered the lotus roots and mixed greens with macadamia nuts and cashew nuts..this was an incredibly fresh and delicious dish…I loved it!!
Mr friend ordered the beef with green vegetables and onion which she said was very tasty.
The bar offers a range of wine and spirits but instead my friend and I enjoyed a lovely pot of fragrant Jasmine tea…beautiful!!
The service was excellent and I started talking to the owner who was extremely friendly. I spoke a little Chinese and she gave me her business card. As I was giving mine I saw a group of three Chinese at the next booth, all with gaping mouths…one male said they couldn’t believe I was speaking Chinese (and really it was just basic conversation)…they kept starting at me whilst I continued chatting to the owner. Of course they gave me the usual phrase when a Chinese hears a non-Chinese speaking Chinese ‘Nǐ shuō dé hěn hǎo’ (you speak very well)…I knew I hadn’t really but decided to take the compliment and thanked them. It was very sweet of them to compliment me. My dear friend was also suitable impressed with my Chinese but really I am not sure why as over the past ten years or so she has learnt to speak fluent French (very clever).
My final question to the waitress was to ask if they would make the spicy hotpot eggplant dish without pork and was advised that the chef would definitely do it for me (next time).
I loved this restaurant so much that I have organised a group of friends to celebrate the upcoming festive season in early December. Can’t wait to try the eggplant dish.