Bubble tea and noodles are on the menu for Newington’s latest foodie offering.
Lian Pu serves up Chinese food and tea on Marshall Street, from noodles to rice, the restaurant aims to introduce a new flavour of Chinese food to the city focusing on the stronger tastes that originate in remote areas of China giving a true taste of the authentic dishes.
But it’s not all chicken curry and sweet and sour, there are names gracing the menu list that are not so familiar.
How about Hong Shao Rou? A traditional Chinese pork dish with ginger and chillies.
Or Lar Chee chicken. A dish with chilli onions, peppers and garlic.
With an abundance of Chinese restaurants in the town the owner decided to try something different, offering a taste of traditional dishes made exactly the same way as they are in China.
But it's not all unknown platefuls. If you’re apprehensive in taking your taste buds on a journey you can tuck into spring rolls, spare ribs, sweet and sour chicken and beef in a black bean sauce.
Drink-wise you can also take a risk with Chinese bubble tea bursting with flavours of hazelnut, passion fruit, mango and peach.
On entering, you select your own table and even help yourself to cutlery, napkins and place your order at the till.
The brightly lit restaurant is cleverly designed and disco style lights surround the serving area with seating options including booths and coloured cube chairs.
Large menu boards are displayed behind the counter on television screens that change showing images of the different dishes and the friendly staff are on hand to talk you through the menu.
To see what all the online hype was about, we delved into the delicacies trying a traditional taste of china.
The Chinese dumplings were the perfect light snack while browsing the menu. Slightly crisp on the outside with a soft inner shell stuffed with a tasty filling perfect for priming the taste buds for the meal ahead.
The most popular dish, Hong Shao Rou, was piled high with large pieces of pork belly coated in a sticky sauce. The pork had been cooked for five hours and was extremely tender with a chilli kick and a just a touch of sweetness. It closely resembles spare ribs off the bone with meat that melts in your mouth.
The shredded pork is not like your traditional deep fried style we are used to, but is a lighter alternative with a spicy kick mixed in with vegetables adding flavour to the meat. It’s not as heavy a dish and the flavours are much stronger.
To wash it all down, we couldn’t leave without trying the infamous bubble tea.
It’s a true taste experience and having never tried bubble tea before, I am officially a convert.
The most popular, bubble milk tea, was similar to drinking an iced coffee as the tea flavour tasted as we know it but with tapioca balls in the base of the cup adding a little texture.
The strawberry cup with coconut jelly in the base was a light milkshake alternative, not giving you the full feeling of a milkshake but with the sweetness of a smoothie.
Their most popular mango tea contained ‘mango poppings’ in the base of the cup, little pockets filled with fresh juice that burst into your mouth.
It seems the secret has already been uncovered by locals as the restaurant was buzzing with chat and a queue regularly formed at the till.
If you're looking for a taste adventure, Lian Pu offers casual dining matching the Chinese restaurant quality at half the price.
You can check out the full menu online.