Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Asian House Restaurant & Enjoy Inn Restaurant

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland

There’s just so much I enjoy about visiting China town.  Any China town in fact.  I’ve wandered all over China town in San Francisco and in New York City, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and when we eventually take off on our European Food Trek we’ll visit China town where ever we end up.  And one day we’ll even visit China.  In China Town I just love the vibe and the buzz that surrounds the market places and vendors stores that have an exotic atmosphere no matter what time of day it is.
Being a Queensland resident, China town in Fortitude Valley Brisbane is some where we love to visit for our fix of wonderful Asian food.  The Brisbane China town is probably the smallest of the three major cities Chinese precincts but it has a lot to offer.  There are a number of Asian grocery stores that are great fun to wander around and browse the many imported exotic goods that you don’t see in main stream supermarkets, from bottled coconut juice, canned abalone, and salted plum confection to medicinal teas and heaps of chilli products.  The list goes on and on and the prices are surprisingly reasonable as well.  Most weekends you will find a street market offering fashion items as well as interesting art and many unusual items.  They have live music and entertainment and the atmosphere is a lot of fun and you can grab a bargain
Our favourite place to have lunch in Brisbane’s China town is called Asian House and it’s always full of happy diners.  Asian House is a very humble little restaurant with very modest furnishings and simple décor, but that’s half the charm of the place.  The menus are in both Chinese and English and most of the customers are Asian which tells us this is where the locals eat.  The service is very friendly and very fast.  Our favourite dishes are the salt and pepper soft shell crab which is just delicious and crunchy and only about $20 for a huge serving.  Another of my favourites is the deep fried whole flounder with chilli and fresh herbs.  My mouth is watering while I write this.  The sweet white flesh of the fish is perfectly cooked and the crunchy herb and chilli crusted skin is so yummy I end up sucking on the bones and the waitress just about has to wrestle the empty plate from me.  Yet another bargain, it’s only $20 for the whole fish.  The meal is finished off with a complimentary plate of freshly cut fruit that appears at your table as if by magic.  We always totally enjoy our experience at Asian House and we will definitely be back, very soon.
You wouldn’t believe it but right next door to Asian House is the Enjoy Inn Restaurant. This place is a bit more flash with fancier décor and live fish on display in large tanks.  Enjoy Inn boasts being a multi award winning restaurant and the awards are on display through out the dining area. 
Unlike next door at Asian House, the waiters wear uniforms but they’re not as warm and friendly.  The food was comparable in price to Asian House but I wasn’t too sure of the quality.  The atmosphere didn’t feel welcoming.  It was as if they wanted us to hurry up and eat and leave.  Where as Asian House makes us feel like we can stay for as long as we like. 
There are heaps of good places to eat at China town and it’s a great place to just explore and discover for yourself.  So next time you visit Brisbane, don’t forget to drop into the “Valley” and check out the wonders of China town. 

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