Three little girls are seated at a bustling Chinese restaurant. You know the type – the staff practically run from table to table, sizzling trays of beef and live crabs in their hands. You can hear the lively chefs talking loudly to each other in the fast-paced kitchen. For one of those little girls, aged just four, it was her first visit to a Chinese restaurant.
‘What are the magic wands for?’ she asks innocently holding her chopsticks in the air.
That was 18 years ago and I still remember that moment. How my parents held back their laughter I will never know but they kindly explained to my little sister’s friend that they were for eating. I have frequented Enjoy Inn since I moved to Brisbane at the tender age of five. Back then my food repertoire was a little less extensive but there are a few menu items that I still order now.
I always, always start with prawn chips. It’s just not Chinese without prawn chips.
I actually don’t think the specials board has changed much in 21 years except maybe for the prices. It has always been on the same wall, hand written in coloured chalk.
My other all-time favourite food at Enjoy Inn and one of my most loved foods all together is deep-fried spinach. It’s not actually on the menu (I don’t know when they took it off, I’ve never really looked for it) but you have to order it. One mouthful of the salty, crunchy spinach will have you calling the waiter for another plate of pop-eye-pleasing goodness. I always order at least two plates of it. I haven’t seen it in many other restaurants but it is sometimes called mermaid’s tresses.
Mum and dad have always ordered the salt and pepper quail but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started to eat it too. The meat it so tender and succulent and the skin so crispy. Beware – it’s super hot when it arrives.
Steamed dumplings were a first on my most recent visit. The filling was a tasty combination of pork and prawns. I enjoyed these but I think if they were smaller they would have been better. The filling to wrapper ratio was a little too biased toward the filling for me.
After prawn crackers the next essential element to a dinner at Chinese is special fried rice. Enjoy Inn’s version is chock-full of ham, egg, shrimp and veges and flavored with something delicious.
When my aunt is out from Spain, we always take her to Enjoy Inn for the scallops This was the first time I’d tried them as I only just discovered my love for them. The simple ginger and shallot flavours were so nicely balanced and the scallops were cooked perfectly. I love the presentation in the shells.
Everybody raves about the crispy beef including everyone at our table. I’m not a massive fan of it. The flavours are great but something about the meat grosses me out a little. If you like this sort of thing, definitely order it.
I think that these were prawns Enjoy Inn Style. They were so good. The light crunchy crust was subtly spiced with a secret blend and the prawns were big and juicy without a hint of chewiness.
I’m not the only one who likes this restaurant. They’ve won so many awards they have a whole wall of them! If you’re after good Chinese in Brisbane I definitely recommend a visit to Enjoy Inn.
What about you? Are there any restaurants that you’ve been going to since you were little?
Enjoy Inn is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. It is located at the bottom of Chinatown and reservations can be made by calling (07) 3252 3838.