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Chinese food in Canberra

fullsizeoutput_9fdThe other night it was my Chinese friend Peter’s 30th birthday so we decided to go out to dinner and Peter chose a new restaurant in Canberra which is about a five minute drive from my home.fullsizeoutput_a0aIt’s a Chinese restaurant, quite casual and with an unusual name Chic Gourmet which if I had heard the name before we went I would not of thought it was Chinese cuisine…I guess I am so used to names with a Chinese connection!!

The menu was large and whilst there were my usual favourites, there were a few dishes I had not eaten before.  So I ordered my usual dishes and the waitress was very helpful in checking which ones were vegan.  My choices were the salt and pepper tofu with chilli, the Thai style sweet and sour deep fried eggplant and something I had never seen before, hand-made fried mushroom buns in the shape of a baby Hedgehog.  These arrived looking so cute but I did eat them and they were truly delicious as was the tofu; so fresh and with just the right amount of chilli.fullsizeoutput_a09fullsizeoutput_a05fullsizeoutput_a02Peter ordered all the meat dishes and started off with the hand-made signature pan fried pork buns, hand-made pork wontons in a spicy sauce and a dish of stewed duck with beer and chilli oil. It’s a real shame those wontons were not vegan as I must say they looked fabulous.fullsizeoutput_a00fullsizeoutput_a01fullsizeoutput_9ffEvery dish really arrived very nicely presented and as with the majority of Chinese restaurants; food arrived quickly.

Peter also ordered two soups one was a stewed Barramundi in a hot and sour soup and the other was a boiled beef, Ling fish, king prawn and squid in a hot chilli sauce. fullsizeoutput_a08fullsizeoutput_a06Every time we go out with Peter, he always orders what we think are way too many dishes but they seems to get eaten, every time!  This evening there was five of us and I was the only one not eating meat so there was quite a bit of food to be eaten even lots of vegetable dishes.

Peter’s girlfriend Katie had been to the restaurant a couple of times before and knew that two vegetable dishes in particular were very good.  So she ordered them; the stir fried mixed vegetables with lotus root (probably the most delicious vegetables I have had for some time) and a dish of organic stir-fried pea sprout with garlic sauce (another absolutely delicious dish).  I now can’t wait to return to eat these delicious and very healthy vegetable dishes again.fullsizeoutput_a07fullsizeoutput_a04And just when we thought the dishes had finished Katie ordered both her and I a bowl of  traditional Peking style slow cooked pear and white fungus soup for dessert.  I thought this was very sweet of her as she had brought a cake from the local cake shop and as it wasn’t vegan she wanted to ensure I had something to eat.  Not my favourite dessert I must say but I took a few sips.fullsizeoutput_a0efullsizeoutput_a0bfullsizeoutput_a28And as you do when you are with much younger people, you find out about Apps (beautycam) that makes your skin look fabulously smooth and adds ears and other things to photos, so we engaged in some frivolity for a little while before ending the very lovely evening.