Saturday, 7 April 2012


If you are wondering what .CN is, it is the name of a fairly new restaurant in Cardiff.

Opened about 2 years ago in City Road, this restaurant boast Authentic Chinese Food. They serve food in their restaurant and they also do takeaways. I heard that they even have Karaoke rooms upstairs if you like singing in private!

But this time, we were only interested in the food.

Now, China is a huge country with so many different provinces that the food they eat can be so different from each other from North to South and from East to West. According to the restaurant website, they offer food from the Northern Provinces of China, in particular the Szechuan Province. It is known that, whenever people hear Szechuan food, it means super hot and spicy! That is also one of the reasons why I waited so long before visiting this place (I can't take food which is tooooo spicy!).

They also offer the traditional Chinese Hot Pot in the restaurant but we went for the a la carte this time.

There were so much to offer on the menu that we decided on these five dishes including vegetables, meat, fish and squid.

Pan Fried Dumplings

First up, we had the Pan Fried Dumplings. I was surprised to see the presentation of it, Chinese Dumplings looking like a pancake is new stuff for me!

I thought Chinese dumplings usually look different as shown here.

Nevertheless, dumplings are still dumplings when they are made of minced pork enveloped in flour 'skin', dipped into Chinese black vinegar.

Nicely pan-fried to give a crispy skin, coupled with well-marinated mince, I am happy.

Steamed Seabass 红烧鲈鱼

Then the Steamed Seabass arrived, basked in dark, sticky sauce and garnished with some spring onions.

This dish is actually a common dish within Chinese households where the fish is normally steamed or braised in a nice spicy sauce filled with ginger, chillies and spring onions.

The fish was nicely fried, giving a crunchy texture and the sauce was tasty although not as spicy as I thought it would be.

My housemate cooked this dish before - Spicy Seabream, and personally, I thought it was much better tasting, and better looking.

Northeast China Salad 五彩大拉皮

As for the vegetable dish, we ordered the Northeast China Salad.

I thought it looked beautiful with many different colours.

This salad dish is made of julienne carrots, cucumbers, shredded pork, flat rice noodles (made of rice flour), shredded omelette and some parsley. The dressing for this salad is a type of peanut sauce. Everything on the plate was mixed together before being served.

I love the different textures and flavours of this salad with the sweet shredded pork and delicious peanut dressing - wonderful!

Salt and Pepper Squid 椒盐鲜鱿鱼

The Salt and Pepper Squid (deep fried) was amazing!

I love the crunch with each bite, well seasoned with salt and pepper, and the perfectly cooked squid which was not too chewy and not too hard.

I must say that this was my favourite dish that evening.

Braised Chinese Meatballs 红烧狮子头

The next dish was the Braised Chinese Meatballs. Because it was new on the menu, we decided to give it a go.

However, I thought this dish was rather disappointing.

The meatballs were a tad too soft and mushy for my liking, maybe that is how Szechuan makes it but I have to say that it is an acquired taste.

I thought it had too much tofu content compared to meat and the meat tasted like luncheon meat out of a can!

The sauce was exactly the same as that of the fish dish.

I was not impressed by this dish.

Again, my housemate made similar Chinese Meat Balls before and it was way nicer than this!

Steamed Twisted Bun 花卷

Last but not least, was the very simple Steamed Twisted Bun to accompany all the flavours of the many dishes.

We thought the Steamed Twisted Bun would go well with the sauces of the different dishes so we ordered one to share.

I had quite an interesting experience in this restaurant where I found out what dishes to order and what not to for the next time.

Most importantly, I enjoyed the fellowship with my friends!

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