Adelaide Central Market was established in 1869 and officially opened on 22 January 1870. Located between Gouger Street and Grote Street, it's the most visited tourist attraction in South Australia. The market has over eighty traders under one roof, offering multicultural cuisine and fresh produce including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, cheeses, baked goods and health foods. Eating places have sprung up around Central Market over the years; Gouger Street is now lined with cafes and restaurants, with some spilling over to Grote Street. My family was amazed at the number of Chinese restaurants located in this one single area when we first visited Adelaide. Central Market is now the go-to place for us when it comes to a delicious Chinese meal.
What makes a good Chinese restaurant? For my family, it's tasty piping hot dishes full of "wok hei" (achieved by cooking food in a very hot wok), quick service, the inclusion of new dishes periodically (we just love trying new dishes) and the ability of the chef to turn out off-the-menu delicious dishes on request. Ding Hao Restaurant ticked all these boxes for us. Our favourite dishes at this restaurant are the 'Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab', 'Oyster Omelette', 'Minced Pork with Olives, Mustard & Long Bean, and Aniseed Smoke Tea Duck.
T Chow Restaurant is another restaurant that serves yummy dishes with "wok hei" quickly and efficiently. We have not visited the restaurant often enough to know if they introduce new dishes periodically and are not familiar enough with the staff to request off-the-menu dishes. We love their 'T-Chow Green Peppercorn Chicken' and the 'Deep Fried Quail with Pine Nuts'. The quail is a bit fiddly to eat, but the tender meat, set off by crispy skin, makes the work worth it.
For casual dining, we tend to revisit Bing's Chinese Restaurant. Their 'Pan Fried Pork Dumplings' is still the best that we have tasted in Adelaide and their steamed whole fish the cheapest we have come across. They also serve my favourite version of 'Spiced Hot Chilli Chicken' due to the generous size of the chicken' and what we currently consider to be the best BBC (Broad Beans with Chinese Chutney) dish in Adelaide.
Hong Fat BBQ Restaurant is where we go for a reasonably priced tasty dinner. The free soup that they provide gives us the feeling of eating a home-cooked meal because a typical Chinese home-cooked meal consists of three dishes and a soup. One of the dishes that we like there is the 'Salt and Pepper Prawns' which has the right amount of zing from the salt and pepper seasoning accompanied with crisp prawn crackers.