Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day trip to Lowu? Try Arcadia Restaurant for Shenzhen value

Entrance, no English sign but you can recognize it by the fishtanks on the left
Going up to Shenzhen's Lowu Commercial Centre for a day of shopping?  Don't know where to eat?

I checked out the Acadia Restaurant.  The selection is immense, they have fresh seafood in tanks by the doorway, BBQ Roast pork, duck station, an Indian food station with freshly-made naan and a full selection of dim sum and Chinese dishes.

Candied walnut with sesame seeds - you can't stop at just one

The 'paid' starter was my favorite, Candied Walnuts, so fresh and crisp, I ordered a second serving.  They charged me for it but who cares?  It's so cheap here, over the border.  The quality of the food scores an 8 out of 10, it's good but not as fabulous as comparable restaurants in Hong Kong.  However, the prices are about 1/4 of what they are over here in the SAR.  In addition,  they boasts that they don't use MSG, they don't charge you 10% Service Charge.

There are four different menus here, one for Indian Breads, another for dim sum, another for a-la-carte dishes and smaller banquet menus.  Some are bilingual, some not.  But many of them have photos so you can point and order.

Succulent crispy skin chicken (Chinese version of fried chicken but much less fatty)

There's a huge poster for their Crispy Skin Chicken with Garlic Flavor (only RMB40!) at the entrance so I thought I'd give that a try.  We ordered a half-chicken (small).  The skin was as promised, it was crispy and very little fat, the meat was tender and it was very good.

The Green Beans was an excellent example of its kind, they were tender, flavorful with just a small kick to them.  Stir fried at a high temperature, they were cooked quickly in order to retain their vitamins.

BBQ Pork Buns

The Char Siu Bau were welcomed, they came steaming hot with fluffly white rolls and the pork was nice and moist.

Pan-fried Dumplings
The Gau Gee (Pan-fried Dumplings) were generously filled with lots of meat and vegies.   Although they were of a nice size, I thought if they had kept the size smaller, then they could fry them up to a uniform browness.  Whereas now, parts of the skin were browned, parts were still quite soft.  I felt if they had only taken more care in shaping the dumplings, they could be so much better.  The flavour was adequate but not out of this world.

Sweet and sour pork
How can anyone not like Sweet and Sour Pork?  The caramelized sauce with the colorful vegetables perfectly compliments the small morsels of pork ribs.  Although I have had better elsewhere, this example was perfectly edible. The pork did not have too much gristle, the batter was light, not cakey and the vegetables were fresh.


Our dessert was a delightful Peanut and Sesame Seed Roll.  Served cold, the chef made crepes and filled them with crushed peanuts and roasted sesame seeds then rolled them up and sliced.  The result is a scrumptious finger food.  It's so easy, I should try to make them at home!

Although we ordered enough for four people, my companion and I were able to finish most of the food! This scrumptious feast came to only all that food.  When we paid for our bill, my waitress brought over a silk red rose in a vase and placed it on the table.  Funny, I thought, it's not like it's a gift and we would take it with us.  Then as I was walking out, I noticed that there were a line of such roses in vases near the counter.  Ahhh, I get it.  When a customer pays, they put a red rose on the table so they know who has paid and who hasn't to keep track just in case a table makes a run for it!  Clever.

I will definitely go again because I want to try their BBQ meats, their stews, Indian breads and the seafood etc. Can't wait!

Arcadia Restaurant
Shop Number 5007, 5th Floor
Lowu Commercial Centre

Telephone: 0755-8232833

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