“I can easily eat this delicious chicken as a leftover cold meat the next day
and the coagulated gravy gel melting in my mouth would be bonus too.”
~ Chopinand, co-author of ChopinandMysaucepan
Each time I visit my sister and her family in Perth, I would generally look forward to the fabulous Malaysian food this city has to offer.
Some dishes such as the famed char kway teow at the Forum Food Court in Wembley will rival some of the best that Sydney can offer.
However, when it comes to Chinese food, Perth still has a long way to go in emulating Sydney’s top fine Cantonese restaurants. Most Chinese restaurants in Perth lack the depth of flavour, technique and variety. Sydney has an added edge of having some of the freshest seafood in Australia and many Cantonese chefs in Sydney have done some good justice to such treasures from the sea.
Tonight, we venture into Chen’s Kitchen, neighbourhood Chinese restaurant located along the cafe and retail strip of Wembley on Cambridge street.
Service is warm the moment we arrive, as it should be in your local Chinese haunt, and we are promptly seated in the cosy dining room that is larger than most suburban Chinese.
This restaurant gives me a good impression because they have a well presented menu, the room is spacious and neat and staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
I have been drinking Clancy’s blended varietal for many years and this wine is one of the most consistent and easy-drinking wines.
This 2009 Clancy’s Shiraz Cabernet Merlot has been sitting in my sister’s cellar for a few years now and even though it lacks the boldness of bigger wines, it shows well-rounded maturity and good balance with hints of blackberries and pepper.
A tofu hotpot with glass noodles and choy sum comes with a rich sauce that is a perfect complement for steamed rice lovers.
This is comfort food that I love although I think the sauce can do with a little bit more pepper to bring out the flavours of the ingredients.
I love beef brisket when it it braised until it is very soft and tender.
This Hong Kong style braised beef brisket hotpot is extremely tender and flavours are subtle though I prefer the south-east Asian flavours of star anise, cloves and cinnamon which is lacking. Nevertheless, this laid-back red wine is a good complement to the understated flavours of the beef.
The classic stir-fried snake beans with mince pork is well executed with plenty of wok hei and importantly, the beans are well cooked and has retained a nice crunchy texture.
By far the star of the evening is the Chinese style steamed salted chicken which I found to be true to its roots. The warm chicken meat, whether breast, thigh or drumstick is succulent with a good hint of salt, white pepper and Chinese rice wine.
I can easily eat this delicious chicken as a leftover cold meat the next day and the coagulated gravy gel melting in my mouth would be a bonus too.
I have been visiting Perth for many years now and I would gladly come back to this local Chinese because the food is honest, flavours are good and service is friendly.
More so, I am happy to return just to have another dose of the awesome steamed salted chicken.
So dear readers, do you have a local Chinese restaurant that you like and if so, what kind of dishes do you enjoy there?
194 Cambridge street
Wembley, Western Australia
Tel: + 608 9388 0608
Business hours: Lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesdays.
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