Delivering delights for fine dining in isolation 

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Pork ramen… a White Chaco signature dish, the broth was poured on top of the noodles, pork and egg. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Keen to support our struggling restaurants while maintaining social distancing, dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON hopped on to and ordered from White Chaco in Braddon.

STAY home. Could the COVID-19 message be any clearer?

While our restaurants, clubs, pubs, cafés and bars have shut shop for sit-down meals, many are – at lightning speed – redesigning business models to offer takeaway, pre-order and pickup and/or home delivery systems.

Wendy Johnson.

It’s a tasty way to break the monotony that some face cooking at home night after night after night.

Bigger picture, it’s a fabulous way to support the hospitality industry that works so hard to keep us well-fed and watered.

To make life easy and to save heaps of search time, a group of Canberrans, from creative digital agency ED, bunkered down to create a web portal listing local hospitality businesses adapting to the new social distancing measures. Within one week of its launch, already had 320 venues listed, with more than 16,500 unique users. What does that tell you about how much Canberrans love to eat?

Hew Sandison from ED says the site is a work in progress, but the team wanted to get it up quick-sharp to meet growing demand. It’s free for food businesses to sign up to feedfeed (businesses are vetted to ensure they’re adhering to the new-normal rules).

I hopped on to check the site out and decided what to get for my first ‘food delivered’ review. I was looking for restaurant-quality food and delivery to Kingston. I spotted White Chaco in Braddon and saw free delivery to Kingston with a minimum order of $40. Bingo.

The menu is divided into sharing plates, rice dishes, ramen dishes and drinks. It was a snap to order and White Chaco delivered with no problem at all.

The seared salmon sashimi travelled super well… here it is plated at home. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Now came the real test – how did the food stand up?

Again, no problem. We ordered the seared salmon sashimi ($15.90) which was as melt-in-the-mouth as it was the first time I had it (sitting down in the restaurant). It travelled super well.

Popcorn chicken… bursting with flavour and the meat was moist. We plated it in a locally designed Bison bowl. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

The small morsels of Taiwan-style popcorn chicken were bursting with flavour and the meat moist – a fun starter to share. The vegetarian fried dumplings were just as yum ($10.50). The wasabi king prawn bao was scrumptious, but a little worse for wear through the delivery process ($14.90 for two).

The rice for the beef curry… tender beef and a complex but soul-satisfying mix of ingredients. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

An amazing dish was the beef curry ($17.90). The beef was so tender there was no need for a knife and the curry a complex but soul-satisfying mix of ingredients, masterfully pulled together. We took the advice, when ordering, to try the pork ramen, which has become a White Chaco signature dish ($17.90). We poured the broth on top of the noodles, pork and egg and got stuck right in.

We ate outside, sitting 1.5 metres away from each other, enjoying every bite.

Check out White Chaco’s menu here

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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