Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spicy Ginger Cafe

Location: 25 Childers Street, Canberra, ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6162 1708 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (02) 6162 1708      end_of_the_skype_highlightingLink: http://spicygingercafe.com
Cuisine: Chinese, Sichuan

We sort of stumbled across the place accidentally - we were actually headed to Shanghai Dumpling Cafe which was completely full and at a friend's recommendation, we headed to the place next door. No regrets!

Pork belly

This was the first dish out, a simple pork belly dish. There's a reason why the Chinese aren't renowned for their pork belly - it was simply stir-fried in a way which does not capture the beautiful textures of the meat. The dish was, however, well flavoured and a welcome break from all the spicy food we had ordered.

Spicy pork ribs

This was recommended to us by a waiter, who suggested it as a replacement of a chilli pork dish we had contemplated ordering. And the waiter wasn't wrong - the pork was crispy on the outside and coated in a mouthwatering spice mixture. The meat was still somewhat juicy, albeit a little dry from the frying.

Garlic eggplant claypot

This eggplant was amazing, and comes second only to the eggplant dish at Dainty Sichuan in Melbourne (which reminds me that I still need to review Dainty's). The eggplant was soft and but still had some shape - the results of deep frying in hot oil. The sauce had a distinct sweet chilli and garlic flavour, but there was definitely a good combination of sweet, sour and spiciness.

Deep fried chicken with dried bullet chillies

I remember ordering a similar dish to this at Dainty Sichuan, but it was served in a wok. This was unfortunately no match for its predecessor. The chicken was a little overcooked and quite dry. The flavours were still amazing and the dish itself was quite spicy (you should be able to tell from all the chillis in the picture). Probably would not order this again - there are plenty of chilli chicken dishes to choose from.

Prices are a little upmarket from the usual small Asian eatery, but for Canberra standards, the price was pretty decent. Four dishes plus rice between five people cost us about $18 each. Not a bad deal for a cold night out.

Overall Impression: 8.5/10


Anonymous said...

I went to this restaurant when it first opened and it did not leave a good impression. Some of the dishes they served werent even cooked properly and were just microwaved. I ordered how soya bean milk and it came out warmish cold. I wouldn' come to this restaurant again.

jenster said...

How long ago did you go? I've been to some of the best Sichuan restaurants in Melbourne and I must say this place is quite comparable. Perhaps they have changed ownership or improved? You should give it a second chance some time!

Anonymous said...

I agree the food is generally quite good but the service is bad enough to discount the pull of the food.

I used to frequent this place quite a bit but after a few incidents, just not worth the troubles, especially when Canberra is definitely not short on nice restaurants.

But if you can overlook the poor service for the food, you should try the fish in chilli oil...