1 September 2015

Best of Canberra taste off - Chinese

| Bec Cuzzillo
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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.

Sammys 1

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.

Sammys 2

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.

CBD Dumplings 2

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.

CBD Dumplings 1

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.

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batmantrilogy2:02 am 10 Nov 15

+1 for sammy’s , delicious stuff , one stop shop !

I totally agree with @Rollersk8rr, the east kitchen in Dickson is a really underestimated restaurant. It’s did is delicious and the staff friendly and accommodating especially with kids.

love for chinese is never ending especially at sammy’s !
best chinese i have ever had 😀

smilexinxinzhang12:15 pm 04 Sep 15

I couldn’t agree with u more about how tasty food of sammy’s kitchen is. It is fresh, dedicated, subtle, with authentic Chinese flavour and a nice touch of modern Asian cuisine. Totally different from traditionally chinese restaurants which serve cheap, blend food, sammy’s excels at being creative and consistency. Except for what you can order from the menu, I am always surprised by the offerings in the blackboard, like the new dish, pork belly,and steam bun with choices of soft shell crab and pork belly. so satisfied after yum food, what they offer is even better than what I can get in China, where sometime the food could be a bit oily with too much sauce. Sammy’s is well balanced, in terms of flavour and texture 🙂

I respectfully disagree. Sammy’s is hugely overrated, very cramped, rushed and pretty rude to be honest. It’s a production line.

CBD Dumpling House is fine, but nothing special.

The East Kitchen in Dickson is a place that’s trying really hard and deserves more customers.

Really like Sammy’s, and the mains at CBD dumpling house are large and tasty. Strangely, their dumplings are bland and uninspiring. Can we have a dumpling-off next time?

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