Now when it comes to Chinese food Kitchenslut is of an era when Chinese food was breaking out. Sydney's Haymarket was transforming into a more upmarket Chinatown. The Old Tai Yuen remained a classic with students and somehow KS still asocciates the best Chinese with bent greasy spoons and chipped laminex tabletops.
However, when it comes to the menu comparison below one can't help but think it is stuck in an aspic timezone before that era. I can imagine a debate over whether the sweet & sour pork has enough pineapple! As far as I am aware Golden Boat is regarded by many as the best Chinese in Cairns.
We took a couple of friends to lunch at a Chinese restaurant in town, as a good Chinese meal is one key to the heart and soul of most Australian families. While we will not specify our actual menu – our bill for four people amounted to $157.40 for limited “picky style” dishes and included 2 beers each – absolutely outrageous. We were so incensed over the cost that we have compared a suggested mainstream Chinese meal for 2 people at this Cairns CBD Chinese Restaurant as compared to an award winning Chinese Restaurant on the Gold Coast.
CAIRNS GOLD COAST
Prawn Toast 6.10 3.50
Won Ton (6) 9.15 2.90
Chicken & Sweet Corn 6.10 4.80
Sweet & Sour Pork 19.60 12.80
Prawn in Black Bean 25.90 17.60
Large Fried 15.10 7.00
TOTAL 81.95 48.60
A difference of $33.25 or 40.2% more expensive in Cairns than the Gold coast. WHY?
OK, so lets look at what googles for Chinese restaurants on the Gold Coast and these throw up as typical:
Yum Cha Robina: Won Ton (4) $6.80; Prawn Toast (4) $7.80; Sweet & Sour Pork $19.80; Prawn Stir Fry 23.80; Special Fried Rice $12.80;So is that very different from the Golden Boat? So lets look at the Casinos and the highest profile Chinese:
China Pier: Won Ton (6) $5; Prawn Toast (3) $5; Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup $6; Sweet & Sour Pork $15.50; Black Bean King Prawns $21; Fried Rice $10.50.
Zen at Jupiters: Won Ton (4) $10; Sweet & Sour Pork $25; Prawn Stir Fry $37. Special Fried Rice $16.Zen doesn't even have Prawn Toast so can be discounted as an ordinary place, eh? I have no doubt the King Parrot's correspondent from the Gold Coast has a fave value Chinese there. However, is that a valid comparison or more a reflection of asynchronous information and local knowledge? As posted here recently, worldly visitors are astounded at the value at places such as Lilypad.
Cafe China at Reef Casino: Prawn Toast $7.80; Chicken Sweet Corn Soup $7.90; Prawn Stir Fry $29.80; Sweet & Sour pork $24.50; Large Fried Rice $13.50.
However, as also posted here recently the proliferation of Indians in town recently is interesting and if there is an area where we fall well short it is Chinese which one would have thought should be a growth focus?