Xanadu On Collins, Edge Hill
Thinking of ideas for Friday lunch with MS’ dad this week I remembered a recommendation from a good friend of mine for the newish Chinese Restaurant opened up in Edge Hill, Xanadu On Collins. Who doesn’t love Chinese so off MS and I trotted (drove) to the leafy suburb of Edge Hill with his dad in tow. Xanadu, for those that haven’t been to Edge Hill lately, is just past El Mundo and Linga Longa as you are heading towards the airport. It’s positioned at the bottom of a truly hideous block of apartments on Collins Avenue. But hey I’m no architect it was the Chinese food we had come for!
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly Chinese waiter and took a seat at a table outside so we could enjoy the beautiful day (the weather is too good not to comment on). This is the reason that we live in Cairns! Am I right or am I right? The waiter asked us if we wanted some tea. I accepted as did MS and his dad KS. He bought us some menus with Xanadu’s lunch specials which contained quite a long list of things to choose from including two different Set Menu’s for AU$15.00 each, as well as Rice and Noodle Dishes for AU$9.90 and Dim Sum for AU$6.00. The waiter that was serving us was so authentic that I don’t think he actually spoke any English at all. I asked him if we could ‘order’ and he went to fetch us some ‘water’. I thought that was quite funny. He did however, understand the universal language that is ‘Coca-Cola’ when asked for a glass by KS. It was all good, I did want some water anyway and not long after that the owner of the restaurant (who speaks good English) came out and took our orders.
Typically, we all ended up choosing the same thing – Set Menu A (although the Honey Roasted BBQ Pork and Rice nearly swayed me). Set Menu A consisted of Steamed Pork and Prawn Dumpling (2 pcs), Steamed Seafood and Chive Dumpling (2 pcs), Golden Fried Crab Meat Ball (2 pcs), Pan Fried Shanghai Dumpling (2 pcs), Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup, Salad and a Dessert of either Almond Jelly or Coconut Sago (there was only Coconut Sago available). All that for AU$15.00. I had to wait till the food came out but I was pretty damn sure that was a good deal!
Turns out I was right. We didn’t wait long for our meals to make their way from the kitchen to our table but in the mean time we just enjoyed out leafy surroundings. After spending about 5 minutes defending my dumplings from MS’ dredded chopsticks I finally got to have a taste of what was in front of me. According to the article on the window from The Cairns Post all of the Dim Sum is made in house by the chef. The Dumplings and the Crab Meat Ball were super tasty especially dipped into the Chinese Black Vinegar on the side. I wasn’t too sure about the other side sauce that tasted a little like Seafood Sauce and I wasn’t too keen on it. Not to say that it wasn’t good but I was more than happy with my Chinese Black Vinegar to dip my Dumplings into. I particularly liked the Steamed Pork and Prawn Dumpling and the Steamed Seafood and Chive Dumpling because of their soft texture as opposed to the crunchy texture of the fried ones. It’s the soft and juicy dumpling goodness that I love!
The other two were good but just not as good as the steamed ones. My dining companions (MS and KS) appeared to have the opposite opinion and preferred the Golden Fried Crab Meat Ball and the Pan Fried Shanghai Dumpling. Each to their own.
The side salad with lettuce, carrot and cucumber was only small and fairly standard but I have to say the dressing was awesome. Probably just bottled dressing but really good. I ate all of the carrots and cucumber out of my salad plus I snuck some of MS’ while he wasn’t looking. I’m not a big fan of Iceberg Lettuce (ok I just don’t bloody like it, I’m more of a Baby Spinach or Rocket kinda gal) so childishly I left it on the side of my plate.
The Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup was enjoyed by all of us although the other two did add a little bit of salt to theirs but they do tend to add salt to anything that they eat. I didn’t add any seasoning and enjoyed it just the way it was. It was thick, delicious and topped off my meal nicely, or so I thought.
After our meal we were chatting away when the waiter bought out the Coconut Sago desserts that I had somehow forgotten about. I was so excited I nearly fell off my chair. Anyone of my friends or family that knows me well knows that food surprises are my favourite surprises. I truly am a fat person trapped in a little persons body. That Coconut Sago ‘got in my belly’ and lucky for MS and I his dad decided that he had eaten enough prior to the dessert coming out so we finished ours and then shared his. The Sago wasn’t too sweet like many a Sago I have had before but more like Coconut Cream. It was decadent and I have to say the highlight of my meal at Xanadu.
At Xanadu On Collins their MSG-less food is memorable (in a good way), the service is attentive but not obstrusive and the atmosphere is Edge Hill’s finest. An online review I read says that Xanadu is too expensive for dinner and it may just well be but since I didn’t go their for dinner nor did I get a chance to read the dinner menu I can only vouch for the value of the lunch menu which by all accounts (the three of us) was excellent value for money. And here I was thinking that Xanadu was just a cringe-worthy 80’s song by Olivia Newton-John.
Xanadu On Collins
120 Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4053 7303
Opening Hours: Lunch – Thur & Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm, Sat – Sun 10.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner – 7 days from 5.30pm till 10pm