I love eating at new and exciting places, I love staying up late and I love myself some steam boat, so when my friend said that she wanted to celebrate her birthday at the Up 2 U restaurant in Belconnen, I was super excited! She asked if would I wanted to eat at a 9:30pm or midnight, I opted for the earlier time slot as I thought everyone else would fall asleep in their food if we went at midnight. 😛
I never knew that there was a whole other world behind the Boardwalk in Belconnen facing towards the lake, luckily I had read the review from In the Taratory about this place, otherwise I would have thought my friends were taking me to a quiet dark place to ditch my body by the lake. The signs for the restaurants were sketchy and hand written but I assure you that there is a restaurant behind that fogged up glass.
This restaurant could easily be mistaken for a European bath house as all the steam condenses on the cold glass doors.Very dodgy looking signage around the place but they all point you to the right direction of the restaurant that is tucked away at the end of the Boardwalk.I was really excited about eating here and couldn’t help but eat from the three categories that this restaurant offers: BBQ, hot pot and clay pot rice. I ordered chicken skewers immediately upon arriving as we wait for the birthday girl so I wasn’t tempted to start eating my friends.
It should be no surprise that I ordered this. The chicken wings were met with lots of enthusiasm between being hungry at such a late time and feeling the cool draft blowing from the doors, although the waitress didn’t quite understand me as I wanted 4 serves but she only gave us 4 skewers (2 per serve for $5). The chicken wings had slits cut into them to ensure thorough cooking. They were served hot and crispy (maybe marinated with curry powder?), I didn’t leave any meat to waste. It was very tasty and we ordered more when the birthday girl arrived. Cantonese Clay Pot Rice~ “The making of clay pot rice is quite simple. Put the rice into the clay pot after washing it. Add appropriate (amount) of water and close the lid; cook the rice until it is 70% done; add in all the ingredients and simmer the clay pot with a slow fire”.
I love clay pot rice, it was one of my ‘must eats’ before I left Hong Kong during my last trip. I was tempted to order three of the same thing but I thought variety is the spice of life so I chose another two flavours that generally appeal to everyone’s taste buds. I enjoyed all of them overall, this restaurant is the best (and only?) place to get a clay pot rice around in Canberra. They take around 20-30 minutes to cook which we were happy to wait for.
Spare rib with black bean sauces with Cantonese clay pot rice ($13.80). This is always my number one pick when I eat clay pot rice and was probably my favourite pick of the night if I had to choose. All the meat juices flowed through the rice and each clay pot had the crunchy rice stuck around to the sides and bottom which is my favourite part to eat.Steamed chicken and mushroom with Cantonese clay pot rice ($13.80).Steamed beef with oyster sauce with Cantonese clay pot rice ($13.80).Hotpot~
This is what my friend’s have dubbed ‘Asian fondue’. A little easier not to lose your food with individual hot pots and is an easy quirky way to have dinner with friends. Firstly you choose a soup base, then a variety of thinly sliced meat, noodles, protein balls and seafood with an ‘all you can eat’ vegetable table and cook it all in the pot. When the meat is done it will change colour, the protein balls are done when they have expanded and floated to the top and the vegetables and noodles can be cooked to your liking. There is a lot of control of how your meal is done and that is probably why they have named the restaurant ‘Up 2 U’. The lunchtime specials menu stipulates ‘please don’t waste food. Extra change will be applied!’.Individual pots also mean that people don’t take all the food I put in which is what usually happens when I’m at home with my family.When the birthday girl arrived she happily said that she would have the steam boat with me while the other guys were just happy to gorge on the clay pots. We both order pork bones as our soup broth and choose a combination of meat, noodles and seafood. They informed us that they were packing away the ‘all you can eat’ vegetables that is on offer for the steam boat but will bring us a selection of greens and vegetables on a plate. I thought it was odd considering they weren’t theoretically due to close for hours to come but we agreed.
Hot pot for one $25.00 pp or $30.00 pp with free soft drink refills but there is a lunch time special between 11am – 2pm for $15.00 pp.
The hot pot is bubbling away, it is time to start filling it up!There was something wrong with the burner I was sitting at, it only had one setting ‘full ball’ so usually when a hotpot is bubbling away and on the verge of over flowing, you would just turn down the heat but I had to eat as fast as I could or add more things to the pot. Intermittently our pots were refilled with more broth and a the end the soup becomes thicker and full of flavour from all the food you have cooked and I couldn’t help but drink it. It left me feeling very full, warm and content.
A combination of thinly sliced beef, beef balls, fish balls, lobster balls, ox tongue (not for me) and pork balls.We ordered more food, this time with pork, squid and fish. I found the pork meat too fatty so I left it out.The meat is frozen but don’t worry, it quickly defrosts in the hot cauldron.A combination of noodles and tofu.A random mix of greens and vegetables, I think it would have been better if we could have chosen our own. Maybe next time we’ll come earlier.The restaurant is spacious with seating extended to upstairs but there are drafts coming through the doors which make it very cold at night and the glass is constantly fogged up. I could see how you could lose hours giggling and chatting over a hot pot with friends with a unique dining experience. I would definitely come back soon as I have developed a craving for the clay pot rice as I write this post.
I love their opening hours. Very handy for those who want something different and with convenient opening hours. We left just before midnight and they had packed up all the vegetables just before we started our hot pots so I don’t know if they closed up for the night after we had left.The staff said that we should feel free to ring ahead for the clay pot rice next time to reduce waiting periods, something I will heavily consider doing.
Venue: Up to You Restaurant
Address: Unit 5, The Boardwalk 114 Emu Bank, Belconnen 2617
Phone: (02) 6253 0440
10 thoughts on “Up 2 U Chinese restaurant”
Hi! I’m a long-time reader, but first time commenter. Hot pot is one of my favourite dining experiences back in New York so after I read In the Taratory’s review, I also had to check it out, but my group only got the hot pot. The clay pot rice sounds and looks amazing so I’ll have to head back. Good call on the pork bone broth – I went with laksa based on Taratory’s review but should have known better. The laksa broth overpowered the food and rendered the sauces redundant, and I love dipping.
Anyway, just wanted to say, I love your reviews. Keep up the awesome work.
Awww Thanks Jen! Hey another blogger! I just browsed through your blog and it looks really good (cute name). I’m new to WordPress too, I haven’t fully figured it out but I’m just plodding along until I use up all my upload and I’m forced to look into the features of this platform.
I know a lot of people like the spicier broth, but I’ve always liked simple and easy. I’m not sure what ‘original’ was so pork bones was the natural choice. Hot pots are more fun with friends but maybe next time convince another foodie lover to go halves with you in a clay pot rice so you get the best of both worlds
How crazy steamy is it in there?!
Thanks for taking a look! Only two weeks into the business, I’m not sure if I’d call myself a blogger yet though! 🙂 You have no idea how many hours it took to figure out how to embed an urbanspoon link. You’ll have to let me know how upgrading goes when you get to it. I’m sure you’ve already picked up lots of tips and tricks. I’d love to pick your brain sometime.
My table tried four of the broths: pork bones, original, miso, and laksa. The pork bones was a bit richer than the original, which was just a clear broth (not sure of the base). I only had a quick taste, but I actually liked the miso the best. It’s subtle enough to not drown out the food flavours, but still had a nice flavour of its own.
We were seated near the window, which did fog up while we were eating, but there were only one or two other tables there (8ish on a Friday) so it wasn’t too steamy. Actually, I think they rely solely on the burners for heat because we were absolutely freezing!
Hehehe, feel free to pick my brain, I just hope I don’t disappoint you.
Oooh I might try miso next time, that sounds nice. Did anyone dare to drink the broth at the end of the night? It gets a lot thicker and develops lots of complex flavours after all the cooking.
I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one freezing in there, we left partially because I started losing feeling in my toes hahaha!
Thanks for sharing this. Looks really yummy, I will definitely give it a try. I wonder if the $15 per person hot pot applies for weekends as well.
That would be interesting to see if it applies on the weekends, all the brochures just stipulate a time frame.
It also has specials for students for dinner time and 20% off every Monday and Tuesday (hot pot only)
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I must go back again, I do get cravings for the claypot rice!
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