Is Ginling Chinese restaurant a contender for best suburban Chinese restaurant in Adelaide?
The main reason we chose to visit Ginling was that despite neither Pete nor I ever hearing about it before it seemed to be the most popular restaurant near Hungry Pete and Ruby's new Warradale digs.
First impressions were positive. When we arrived the restaurant was three quarters full, with a slight majority of diners of Asian background. Two menus were placed on the table, one of which was mainly Aussie-Cantonese in style and the other slightly more adventurous without being threatening for conservative eaters. Cool air-conditioning compared to the furnace outside and the conversations at nearby tables was a pleasant background hum.
After ordering the food came out quickly. My favourite dish of the night, the chicken and salty fish fried rice. Salted fish fried rice is not something you'd see in many Adelaide suburban restaurants which generally come with a choice of steamed or 'special' fried rice. However I love the salty flavour the fish gives the dish, which came with nice fluffy rice rather than the shot gun pellets you often get.
Surprisingly the second best dish came from the more westernised menu, the sizzling fillet steak. Actually that may reflect my personal tastes somewhat, as I do like pork and beef dishes with a (not overly) sweet sauce. Arriving hot and sizzling at the table, nicely tender steak, just a tasty dish.
We were a bit intrigued by the crocodile with XO sauce. Crocodile is not something I've tried that often but I can confirm two things - the texture of the meat was slightly chewy and like a lot of white meats it does taste a little like chicken!
Our final dish was an old perennial favourite of seafood and bean curd hot pot. A decent amount of prawns and scallops, a nice dish and more delicately flavoured than the steak or crocodile. The sort of thing that while there was nothing about it that particularly stood out I'd be happy enough to order again.
I am usually quite down on suburban Chinese restaurants, particularly in Adelaide's Western suburbs, but it was all good at Ginling. Good food, good service, good price and good place to eat. Nothing to push the boundaries of Chinese food in Australia but everything we tried was consistently better than what I'd expected before arrival. A pleasant surprise.
Food - 7.5
Service - 7
Ambience - 7
Price - 7.5
609 Marion Road
South Plympton SA 5038
Tel: (03) 8374 1288