First visit to Canberra’s refurbished casino
I had read about the Chinese restaurant at the Canberra Casino which had very good reviews but had not particulary wanted to go there as it was located inside the casino and guess I didn’t think it would have great ambience being next to gambling tables. But… recently I read another review at the beginning of Chinese New Year (gong xi fa cai to my Chinese friends) which again mentioned how good the food is…so knew I had to go especially over CNY.
And as it was CNY, my friend Jon and I first visited the Chinese Gardens in Canberra [pot to follow] and then drove to the Casino. You have to first walk through the Casino floor, which is pretty small compared to those in Sydney (where I have been for work) and Las Vegas (also for work) with a bar next to the entrance to the restaurant.We were the only people in the restaurant which had lovely Chinese lanterns all throughout and was served by a beautiful girl who was born in Japan and moved to Australia to be with her partner; an Aussie boy – lovely chatting to her I must say.
There was a lunch special on during the week; being the choice of pork, chicken, egg or tofu wheat noodles for $10. These were inexpensive so we decided to try them along with other dishes. The bowl came out filled to the rim firstly with the noodles then topped with all vegetables, tofu and ginger – such a filling dish.I am not sure where the name Natural Nine comes from but all the colourful paper place mats have the Chinese character for the numeral nine on them and also the same character is on the walls. They all look fabulous.The menu is extensive and great for vegetarians and I think that is why we ordered so much food. First up we ordered the steamed mushroom and water chestnut dumplings with black garlic dressing and as Jon loves spicy food and chicken wings he ordered the Sichuan pepper and lime chicken wings. Both dishes arrived pretty quickly which made me think they are part made and heated up when ordered but my dumplings were still very good and Jon said the wings were extremely tasty.Our next dishes were the sweet and sour plum eggplant with handmade egg tofu – best dish ever!!! I loved it. This came served with a bowl of steamed rice but as we had ordered another rice dish we did not touch it.We also shared a bowl of exotic mushroom and burnt onion wild fried rice; so delicious and such a big bowl, so we only were able to eat about half. Shame we were so full as it really was very good.This restaurant is well worth visiting; such good food. After lunch we head to the Casino and watched a few people start with a huge pile of chips and end up with none!! I guess that is why I never gamble!!
They also serve a Chinese High Tea on a Friday and Saturday afternoon with both savoury Chinese treats and sweets – so must return!When I spoke to the waitress, I had mentioned that the paper place mats were fabulous, so when we went to pay she gave me two to take home…very kind!!