Sunday, 9 February 2014

Riverside Cantonese, Cardiff Chinese restaurant review

Sometimes, only a Lazy Susan will do.

Whilst curry and tapas are good fun to share with a group of mates, nothing quite compares with a rotating wheel of Chinese food for creating a sense of occasion.

And the jostling and tactics required to maximise the food to spin ratio, only add to the sense of excitement.

Okay…I’m a loser.

On Thursday night, a mob of us visited Riverside Cantonese.

With an English language menu consisting of familiar classics and a smattering of interesting seafood dishes like Szechuan style monkfish and salt & chilli soft shell crab, Riverside Cantonese also serves dim sum everyday between 12pm and 5pm. Furthermore, if you’re feeling adventurous, I’d hazard a guess there’s fun to be had on their Chinese language menu.

We stuck to the familiar.

As we waited for Susan to receive her goods, a couple of bowls of stale prawn crackers (£2.20) thankfully didn’t set the tone for the rest of the meal.

Starters were good. Not incredible, but good.

Sesame prawn toast (£6.50) were crisp and topped with a decent amount of crustacean. The bread, however, was a smidgeon too greasy; a ridiculous statement to describe glorified fried bread.

Barbecue spare ribs (£5.50) were coated with a pleasingly sweet and sticky sauce whilst roast spare ribs with salt and chilli (£6.95) were moreishly spicy and savoury. 

Duck lettuce rolls (£6.95?) did everything needed of them – huge leaves of lettuce, tender duck and crisp noodles combined effectively. 

The mains allowed Riverside Cantonese to demonstrate their class - every dish utilised impeccably fresh vegetables and light sauces which steered along way from gloopy.

Spicy Kung Po chicken (£7.75) with al dente carrot, cucumber, celery, green chillies, mushrooms and peppers was bejewelled with ultra crisp peanuts. 

The classic guilty pleasure, crispy shredded beef with chilli (£7.75), was pulled off with aplomb. Thin batter, tender beef, a light sauce and a liberal amount of diced chillies were all on the nail. 

Chicken in chilli and black bean sauce (£7.75) effectively paired the slight bitterness of black beans and sourness of green peppers. 

Even a vegetarian dish of aubergines with garlic (£4.95) was enjoyably meaty in texture. 

Special fried rice (£4.95) was fluffy and flecked with a generous amount of char-sui pork and prawns.

And Mandarin noodles with beansprouts (£4.95) were laced with the fragrant aroma of sesame oil. 

Having wiped every plate clean, I abstained from the usual uninspiring range of Chinese desserts (I picked up a Double Decker on the way home).

However, a friend’s banana fritters (£4.50) were crisp, tender and drizzled in lovely light caramel. 

Whilst old skool Cantonese often gets a bad rep for its dayglo MSG rich sauces, the Riverside demonstrates why a plate of Chinese nosh is one of the nation's favourite comfort foods.

The details:

Address - Riverside Cantonese, 44 Tudor Street, Riverside, Cardiff , CF11 6AH
Telephone - 029 2037 2163

1 comment:

  1. Chinese people are very clear when calling their family members. For example, typically in western countries both your mom and dad's sisters are both called your aunt. Translator in Beijing