I think that I've stumbled upon the best kept secret in Inverness - The Lotus Blossom Cafe run by the Scottish Highlands & Islands and Moray Chinese Association (SHIMCA)! (This post is not an ad).
Ages ago, I had seen an Instagram post from someone who had visited, and I had bookmarked it in the depths of my brain. Recently I was talking with a friend about places in the Highlands that we wanted to try, and this was on both of our lists! SHIMCA is on the first floor of the Multicultural Centre, and whilst there is no lift, there is a stairlift for those unable to walk upstairs.
When you reach the cafe, it has great views over the rooftops and spires of Inverness. School memories came flooding back as we took our ease on orange plastic chairs! This is authentic casual dining with no pretences which makes the food shine through all the more.
There is a large menu at the SHIMCA cafe, with dim sum, noodle and rice sections. There was a lot of choices! We were encouraged to order more as we went along if we didn't find that we had enough (we found that we had plenty with 3 dishes each) as dishes came out to us as they were ready.
We chose two different soups, both with fine noodles. Mr B chose a won-ton soup, while I chose the beef brisket soup.
Both bowls had a generous portion of soup - and while we both enjoyed the won ton soup, we both preferred the beef brisket soup, the broth was delicious and the beef was so tender. It was a perfect warm-me-up on a cold winter day!
Mr B loves fried rice dishes, and he chose a classic chicken fried rice. I was impressed at the uniform size of all the ingredients, it almost felt like a salad especially as it was not greasy as some fried rice dishes can be.
I'm not the most familiar with dim sum and Chinese snack menus, but when I saw Char Sui buns on the SHIMCA menu, I knew I had to order a portion of these.
These cloud-like buns are filled with BBQ pork, and they were excellent - I was not disappointed!
Dumplings were on Mr B's hitlist, and there were loads to choose from. We ordered some Shrimp dumplings and these were packed with filling.
Last, but not least, our final dish was some steamed beef balls. The delicious sauce they came with was sticky and just perfectly matched the beef.
Our full lunch came just short of £30 - brilliant value for a very leisurely and filling lunch!
The SHIMCA Lotus Blossom Cafe also has a shop in their kitchen, so you can pick up your fill of ingredients, sauces, drinks and sweets to create your own Chinese culinary treats at home.
The Lotus Blossom Cafe is open lunchtime only (12-3) Monday to Saturday. If you're in Inverness and like Chinese food, definitely give this place a try!
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.