Sunday, 16 March 2014

Dining Out: Wonder Meals authentic Chinese cuisine, Belconnen

I have been curious about Wonder Meals in Belconnen for some time now. I had eaten at its predecessor many moons ago, and being something of fanatic for Chinese food, I was intrigued by the unassuming facade to the new place, and the crowds of Chinese patrons I've often chanced entering the restaurant as I've driven past.

With a danger to becoming one of those  occasional Foodie Bloggers who only ever say that the places that they eat at are amazing; Wonder Meals is AMAZING! 

The second I walked in the door and saw the fit-out, I was entranced. I was lucky enough to try Wonder Meals for the first time yesterday at lunch with a girlfriend of Chinese heritage, and we both had a really lovely time. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves for most of our meal, our food was brought to us promptly, everything was delicious, and it didn't cost much at all.

My friend and I poured over the menu, ad in the end ordered four dishes and a pot of Jasmine tea. The dishes we selected were:
Goutie (Pan-fried Dumplings)
Sauteed mutton with cumin
Fried snow peas with fragrant sauce
Fried eggplant with spicy salt

The dumplings were unlike any I have had before, which was a nice surprise. The mutton is the best I have had in Canberra to date, with other offerings having been incredibly greasy, where this dish was almost dry-fried and beautifully fragrant. The fried snow peas were delicious and perfectly cooked with enough crunch left in them, but I did find the sauce a little too viscous. The eggplant was again, perfectly cooked, and the spicy salt was delicious, though the batter could have been a little thinner. All in all, I had no actual complaints with my meal at all, and was eager to return and try more of what Wonder Meals has to offer. 

So eager, in fact, that I jumped at the opportunity to return this evening with a group of friends. There were nine of us in total and we ate like pigs  for little more than $30 a head, including drinks and a tip. I won't detail everything that we ate because I didn't have time to snap pictures (I was too busy wolfing down the delicious food); but I will share this hot tip: order the 'Deep-fried Tomatoes with Flavor'. This, as it turns out, is a desert dish. It is regular tomatoes you'd buy from the supermarket, lightly battered (much lighter than the picture above suggests!), deep fried, and served hot sprinkled with sugar. I hate tomatoes raw (I know, I'm a weird guy), and I had two helpings of this dish! It is kitchen alchemy! So get on it, because your taste buds will thank me! 

I really recommend that any Canberrans, but especially those living in or near Belconnen, get down to Wonder Meals and try some Chinese food that strays outside your Anglo comfort zones. Believe me, you won't regret it!

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