It seems RiotACT readers love Chinese food just as much as I do. There were more than 35 different Chinese restaurants that got a mention after this week’s call out for Canberra’s best Chinese food. The list included Dickson Dumpling House, Tak Kee Roast Inn and Jimmy’s Place in Dickson; Bambusa in Manuka; Wild Duck and China Plate in Kingston and Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant in Civic.
The top two nominations were also Civic restaurants, located within 500m of each other – Sammy’s Kitchen and CBD Dumpling House. I’ve been to both many times before, but this weekend I put them to the test.
First up was Sammy’s Kitchen on Bunda Street in Civic. It didn’t surprise me in the least that Sammy’s received so many votes. Having been around for a long time, it’s cemented itself as a mainstay of the Bunda Street dining scene and is always busy.
On Friday night I rounded up a couple of friends for a Chinese feast. It took a little while for our order to be taken, but once it was, our food came out pretty quick. We got the chilli beef ($17), chicken fillet Szechuan style ($17.50), deep fried duck with plum sauce ($19.50) and sizzling fried bean curd with Chinese broccoli and needle mushrooms ($16.50). It was all so delicious that we couldn’t agree on a favourite, but we left feeling very full and very happy.
On Saturday night, my partner and I made our way to CBD Dumpling House for a quick feed before going to the movies. Located on Scotts Crossing, CBD Dumpling House is a big restaurant and, like Sammy’s, is always busy.
There was a line out the door when we arrived, but it moved pretty quickly and within ten minutes we were seated. One of my favourite things about this restaurant is the big glass window into the kitchen, through which you can see the many chefs pumping out plate after plate of delicious dumplings and other goodies.
We ordered quickly, getting the chilli basil beef ($14.80), sweet and sour crispy tofu ($12.80) and pan fried vegetable dumplings ($10.80). The vegetable dumplings are my absolute favourite, but it was good to try a few other dishes for a change. The chilli basil beef was definitely the stand out.
Both Sammy’s Kitchen and CBD Dumpling House hit the spot for a good Chinese dinner. CBD Dumpling House is cheaper than Sammy’s and definitely one of my favourite places for dumplings in Canberra.
When it comes down to food versus food, however, I think Sammy’s has to be this week’s winner.