Up To You Restaurant, Belconnen

15 Jun

There’s a new restaurant in Belconnen, I’m told, taking up space in one of the spaces on Emu Bank which has been empty for years and years. No one really knows anything about it – and I’m equally dubious about going there – but in the interests of research…

Up To You (this is really its name) comprises a sit down Asian restaurant and a karaoke studio (the second of its type in this building!). We look at the menu outside – I find it a little hard to understand, but ascertain there are ‘barbecue’ options and an ‘all you can eat’ hot pot. A staff member greets us and I give in – there are a number of full and happy-looking tables inside which is a good indicator.

Big drawcard

Big drawcard!

I’m impressed with how the space has been used, with large tables and comfy seats both up and downstairs. Each table setting has its own hot top.

IMG_2855

The barbecue menu looks okay, but it seems what everyone’s having is the hot pot, so we follow the lead. I ask our waiter what I should go for, and he recommends the laksa, and stresses that we can order whatever meats we want – and can order as many times as we want. Other broths include clear, misco and pork bones. The process of doing this is ticking a small white slip of paper.

Ordering two hot pots ($25)

Ordering two hot pots ($25)

We each order laksa hot pots with chicken, beef balls and noodles. The laksa comes out first and our cooking stations are switched on: there are five settings, from P1 to P5 (hottest). The meat and noodles come next, and the waiters seem and remain very concerned that we haven’t ordered enough. I’m still incredibly concerned that this whole dining experience involves cooking (not my forte – that’s an understatement) so am happy to stick with fewer ingredients (more manageable, surely).

Laksa (blurry, sorry)

Laksa (blurry, sorry)

Meat and noodles arrive

Meat and noodles arrive

This should be relatively straightforward – and it is, mostly. Throughout the experience, I can’t find the magic point between “off” and “boiling over” for my poor laksa hot pot.

Bubbling away

Bubbling away

I joked that the unlimited vegetables was a drawcard – it actually is. Near the restaurant’s bar is a huge square table covered with all sorts of vegetables and sauces, from lotus root to watermelon (?), tofu to corn, beansprouts and cauliflower.

Huge table of veges

Huge table of veges

Lotus root

Lotus root

The sauces, garlic and chilli are labelled with pink post-it notes.

Sauces

Sauces

While all you can eat meat is great, all you can eat veges makes it easy to forget about the meat. The laksa itself is actually really, really good (proving you can have no idea what you’re doing and add in whatever ingredients and it still tastes decent!). The noodles cook really well, the vegetables are crispy fresh and tasty, and the sauces yummy (especially the peanut and sesame). The one thing I wouldn’t order again is the beef balls: they’re frozen solid and take forever to cook (I’m hungry!).

All happening (I spilled much more than this by the time we left!)

All happening (I spilled much more than this by the time we left!)

Despite my reluctance, I really like Up To You. I’m stoked that more space at Emu Bank is (finally) filled, and this is a concept I haven’t really seen around Canberra. It’s a relaxed environment and there really did seem to be an emphasis on fresh, safely prepared food. It’s also open essentially all the time.

If you're ever after dinner and karaoke, Up To You will have you covered most hours of the day!

If you’re ever after dinner and karaoke, Up To You will have you covered most hours of the day!

*EDIT*! Despite me being their biggest fan, Up 2 You still kindly put a menu in my letterbox this afternoon! So herewith are terrible mobile phone pictures of it to help you. How cheap is the lunch menu?!

Front page of menu

Front page of menu

Second page

Second page

Third page

Third page

Final page (my description of where it is is better)

Final page (my description of where it is is better)

Date: Friday, 13 June 2014

Where: 114 Emu Bank (same building as 2 Yummy and Sanur’s, but on the side that faces the water rather than the street), Belco

Cost: $55 (two hot pots at $25 each, and $5 corkage for wine [they don’t have a license to sell alcohol… yet])

Value for money: High

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? There seems to be absolutely nothing (else) online… sorry! *edit* this has since changed!

Up 2 U Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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12 Responses to “Up To You Restaurant, Belconnen”

  1. Gary Lum June 16, 2014 at 5:58 am #

    Looks like the place to go Tara 🙂

  2. Tales of a Confectionist June 16, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Oh it is definitely hot pot season. I cannot wait to go! Thanks for the heads up. They definitely have Asian opening hours hehehe

  3. whisperinggums June 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Sounds like fun with lots of fresh food – hmm, and frozen food – Tara. I’m not sure I’d drive across town for it, but if I were in the vicinity I’d give it a go!

  4. theunicornmum June 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Finally! I was so disappointed that the all-you-can-eat hot pot in Gungahlin closed down. I am so going to this on the weekend!

  5. Susan June 18, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    This looks great! Thanks Tara.

  6. Thea June 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks for another great review Tara. Can anyone vouch for the quality of the karaoke? Atmos? Size of room/rooms? Range of song choices etc?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What’s new on the Canberra food and drink scene… | HerCanberra - June 21, 2014

    […] in the Belconnen area, and she’s unearthed a quirky little addition to the scene in Up To You. It’s a ‘hot pot’ restaurant where you pretty much choose your ingredients and […]

  2. Restaurant review: Up To You Chinese Hot Pot, Belconnen | The Unicorn Mum - June 28, 2014

    […] seeing the blog post by InTheTarratory, I pleaded with Mr E to go and check out Up To You. I don’t know why, but the words […]

  3. Up 2 U Chinese restaurant | TALES OF A CONFECTIONIST - July 29, 2014

    […] 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 […]

  4. Hot Pot at Up 2 U, Belconnen | Jenerally Eating - August 25, 2014

    […] cuisines, so I’d already been once before after reading about Up 2 U’s opening on In the Taratory. On a Friday night around 8:15 in mid-July, the restaurant was practically empty, so I didn’t […]

  5. What's new on the Canberra food and drink scene… | HerCanberra.com - January 31, 2015

    […] in the Belconnen area, and she’s unearthed a quirky little addition to the scene in Up To You. It’s a ‘hot pot’ restaurant where you pretty much choose your ingredients and […]

  6. Heather’s House of Cake, Belconnen | In The Taratory - March 19, 2015

    […] houses 2 Yummy, Princes Palace, Sanur’s Balinese and London Burgers to the side which has Up 2 You […]

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