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A new restaurant has opened up in Canberra called Wilma. The location has a bit of a history as there was a murder of a Comanchero outlaw motorcycle group boss at the previous nightclub Kokomo’s. The person who committed the murder was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment late last year. I am not sure if that is why the nightclub closed but it may of had something to do with it.

Fortunately there weren’t any murders on the night we were there! The interior is dark and has a good mood about it, nothing like the bright nightclub it previously was. I particularly loved the booths surrounding the edges of the restaurant, the shiny black stained wood, the low lights and linens sheers. We were seated in a booth and I had direct views into the open and busy kitchen, so was pretty happy about that as I love to see the chefs and kitchen staff bustling about cooking our meals.

Wilma has an extensive menu that focusses on barbecuing using coals and a wood fire but it also has a separate vegan menu so I of course ordered from that.

I had several choices and nearly ordered the sticky eggplant with black beans and cashews dish; with sizzling or sticky eggplant being my favourite dish. However my friends who had eaten here previously, had tried the eggplant dish and didn’t love it. This made my decision easy; the ma po tofu it was. The dish was a little different to what I am used to as it contains not only tofu and fried chilli but sizzling Schezuan Shiitake mushrooms. The tofu was good but unfortunately I didn’t like the mushrooms in the dish.

We also ordered another vegan dish which was the morning glory vegetables in a hoi sin sauce with a chilli garlic crunch. I didn’t take note of the hoi sin sauce on the menu so this was another dish that wasn’t to my liking. My friends enjoyed it though.

My three friends ordered a range of dishes to share including the roast duck pancakes with shallots, hoi sin sauce and cucumber, the Balmain bug and egg noodles with chilli, coriander and sesame dish and the hot smoked char sui pork which were by all accounts delicious. They each ordered a roti bread but unfortunately that is made with dairy so I could not taste.

A bottle of local Canberra wine was enjoyed by us during the meal and lots of laughs at my expense over a particular new neighbour in my complex; not for further discussion here!!

An early evening as it was a school night which meant my three working friends had to work the next morning but we did return to my friend’s home for our obligatory night cap or roadie as we refer to it; being ‘one for the road’. Probably will return to Wilma and try a few other vegan dishes!