Located along King William Street in Adelaide, Citi Zen Restaurant is noted for hosting the best Yum Cha in the city. Having only tried their Yum Cha, we decided to try their regular dishes to see what they were like. During our visit, we ordered the Spicy Garlic Chicken, Chinese Vinegar Beef and Vegetarian Broad Bean and Bean Curd with Chinese Chutney (BBC).
Chinese Vinegar Beef (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Citi Zen's Chinese Vinegar Beef was quite a unique dish, featuring slices of beef stir-fried in a chilli and vinegar sauce. The beef was cooked to the correct doneness with a bit of texture coming from the Chinese mushrooms and bamboo shoots. The sauce the beef was cooked in also brought out its flavour without overwhelming it.
Spicy Garlic Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Although the coating of the chicken in their Spicy Garlic Chicken was a bit soft, the chicken was still tender and nicely contrasted by the firmer onions. The garlic the chicken was cooked with gave it a delightful savoury flavour and the dried chillies gave the dish a bit of heat, but not so much that it cannot be enjoyed by those not used to spicy foods.
Vegetarian BBC (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
To complete our meal, we ordered the Vegetarian BBC. Citi Zen's BBC was done in the 'dry' style with the dish having a little bit of sauce. The broad beans had the right amount of bite to them with a fairly generous portion of bean curd accompanying the broad beans. Compared to the other BBC dishes we have tried, the flavour of the dish was a bit more subtle with a hint of gingery flavour.
We were pleasantly surprised to be served a complimentary Chinese dessert, Red Bean Soup with Sago Pearls, at the end of our meal. Red beans take a lot of boiling to become soft and in this dessert the red beans are boiled until they are practically dissolved. The sago pearls were a good partner to the red beans. The bowls of red bean soup came to us fairly hot, the way that we enjoy eating the dessert.
The décor of the restaurant gave it a bit of a formal feel with the tables spaced a good distance apart from each other. There are free street parking around the restaurant but you may want to arrive early as they fill up quite quickly during the peak dinner hour. We enjoyed 25% off our total bill by using the Entertainment Book card.