Sunday, 4 October 2009

enlightened cuisine for moon festival

When we arrived at Enlightened Cuisine, the table next to us was set up with a burner. Intrigued, I peered over occasionally, and as the table quickly filled with uncooked foods, drained noodles, and raw vegetables, I realised they were about to have a steamboat!

Sadly, we did not get to partake of the joys of steam boat. But next time! Now that I know!

Miss T perused the menu early and began hinting that we should consider the banquets. The banquets being varied, this general plan was agreed upon, but it took a further half an hour to reach any consensus regarding which one. In the end, we decided that half of us would order B1, and half of us would order B2, and we would simply share it all.

ma po tofu

This worked out to be both an excellent plan, and a not excellent plan. It was excellent because we got to try an array of dishes. It was a not-excellent plan because many of the dishes were very similar (meaning we could have achieved the same effect by ordering one dish each from the general menu).

The overall upside of this, is that we ended up voting for winners of each course. Sadly I cannot give you the results, as Miss T was our scribe, however I am sure she will post about it (complete with promised graph!) soon. ETA: Miss T's post including voting available now!

The meal commenced with spring rolls and curry puffs. They were fine but nothing special. They was followed by a (mock of course) shark fin soup, and a tofu and vegetable soup. The shark fin soup was deliciously awesome, I loved it.

some sort of fake prawn thing

Our first main dishes were prawny, a kung pao prawn and a sweet and sour prawn. I will confess I skipped both of these; I didn't like prawns when I still ate (and loved) seafood, there's no way I'm interested in replicating the flavour or the texture.

five spice tofu

These were followed by the ma po tofu and the five spice tofu. I was intrigued by the idea of the five spice tofu, but I felt their five spicy-ness was lost in the batter (I would have liked a little less batter, a little more marinating).

The fried rice and the mixed vegetables were good. The fried rice had a generous amount of diced cha siu, and the vegetables in their sauce were thick but not too thick (ie, not too corn starchy).

kung po "chicken" in nest

The final savoury dishes for the evening were sweet and sour pork, and kung po chicken in nest. The nest was awesome, made from deep fried potato, but the dish overall was a bit average. The sweet and sour pork was flouro and pineappley, classic Anglo-Aussie Chinese restaurant fare. No complaints.

banana fritter

Dessert consisted of something described only as 'lychee longan,' and banana fritters. The banana fritter was good, though nothing exciting, and the lychee longan was canned lychees and icecream. I had hopes the icecream was longan, but no such luck.

red bean moon cakes

We finished our evening with some red bean moon cake. Oh rich, delicious moon cake, how I love you, though I can only eat a bite or two.

We did have some issues with service: Jo wasn't eating the banquets, so ordered a separate dish, but the wait between our entrees and the main dishes was so great that she had just about finished eating by the time our first course arrived. After we had finished the main dishes, we then had to wait quite some time for our plates to be cleared, which was fine as we were just chatting but it was a bit awkward (and also we really wanted dessert!)

Overall it was a good evening, but this was my first visit to Enlightened Cuisine and I came away from it feeling a bit same-same. I think next visit (if I can't get the steam boat) I would like to avoid the banquet and order an array of dishes, and preferably at lunch time so I can try the noodles (who takes the noodles off the dinner menu? Ridiculous!)

Enlightened Cuisine
113 Queensbridge Street
Southbank

9 comments:

Miss T said...

I was not hinting! I merely suggested it as a cost-effective and taste-effective possibility ;p
Alos, I think I love your up-towards-the-ceiling-flash. Those photies are great!
Thanks again for organising; I hadn't been before either and will def go back, but I also think I would order an individual dish too.

Susan said...

A shame about the service, but the food looks pretty great in the pictures!
I'm with you - faux prawn stuff freaks me out. It all tastes like seafood extender, and I don't like seafood extender to begin with. Ick!

steph said...

Miss T, well, it was a cost-effective possibility, that is true! And it was fun to not be sure what was coming out and comparing them all. So overall it was a worthwhile experience! And yeah, the ceiling flash works great, it's a good way of getting an even light when you're out and about.

Hey Susan, yeah, the service was a bit average (it was a very busy Saturday, it was full, so I can cut them a little slack but still disappointing!). I agree about seafood extender, yuck!

Carla said...

YUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

great photos too lady!

Johanna said...

I am not a fan of mock meat but your photos are very tempting - I am especially wowed by the fried potato nest

steph said...

Thanks Carla! And it was pretty yuum, indeed!

Hey Johanna - I don't like lots of mock meats, but I do like them in moderation, they can do great things to dishes!

lisa said...

Beautiful pictures! Sorry I missed it.

I'm Philippa O said...

this looks so good. really wish i could have been there. where did you get the moon cakes from? i can't find any that don't have egg or lard in them

steph said...

Hey Pip. I bought these ones from the Chinese Grocer I go to on Victoria St (#200). I don't know if they'll still be selling any by now but I have some leftover unopened cakes if you want one...