Things are crazy busy right now at Cheap Eats HQ so this is just a quick fun post about a ‘research’ trip we did with friends of ours last week. They were looking for great food for a party and we were only too glad to help sample the delights of Dominion Road with them to find some winners to serve up on the night.
We are pleased to report that Barilla and Xi’an Food Bar (Dom road branch) are still fantastic and we were very happy to make the acquaintance of a new friend, Spicy House, in the same section of the strip
I can’t say this is a balanced review given we were specifically looking for deep fried delights but what I can say is that I will be back for the deep fried squid ($15) as soon as I am able, such was its allure. It had a lovely light crispy-but-soft coating punctuated with perfect amounts of salt and chilli, neither overwhelming the other. It also had small amounts of spring onion and red capsicum for garnish. The texture was perfect for me, tender enough but not without that little tension when you bite in.
We also tried the Chilli Chicken ($15) and the Deep Fried soft shell crab ($20). The crab was similar in taste to the squid but – of course – softer in texture (also delightful) and the Chilli chicken, while also fried with a light coating had far more kick, although not as much as you would think looking at the crazy amounts of dried chilli it was nestled in. It also had a hint of sugar, giving it a different dimension and was extremely tender.
Our impressions were very tainted by the fact that we were sampling three very similar menu items, all deep fried and with varying degrees of spice. The conclusion was they were all great (and I would order any of them again) but my heart belonged to the squid in the end.
I obviously wasn’t the only one as we saw it being passed around at the party last week (obviously it made the cut) and the guests seemed just as enraptured as me. I’m dying to go back and try the veggie dishes and anything else they have to offer. Judging by the constant stream of customers right through a Monday night, it’s got a few fans.