Anyway back to dinner. The place was busy as can be expected for a sunny evening during holiday season. We ordered the son in law eggs as I wanted to try them and spring rolls to start. The eggs were a little strange. I expected them to be more flavoursome and spicy but the chilli sambal was non existent and the sauce tasted just like honey. Honey coated eggs are not a common combination. Steve liked the spring rolls but I was less effusive as I thought the wrap was crumbly and not spring roll like. Not a brilliant start admittedly. Neither dish was bad but we have learnt that in Melbourne where food standards are high, mediocre is not good enough especially when prices are high in this particular part of the city.
Next came Peking duck which was an improvement on two preceding dishes. The duck was meaty and the pancake wrappers good. It wasn't shredded like UK but in thick slices and I liked this.
Next up were a Malaysian chicken curry and a black soy with tenderloin char kway teow (fried rice noodles). The curry was fragrant and nicely spiced. The sauce was good with the steamed rice. The fried noodles were also good.
It's not exactly authentic Asian food; definitely more Westernised (or bastardised as some people like to say) but that doesn't stop it from being tasty. And as offspring of parents who sell Westernised Chinese food for a living but who also loves authentic, I say there's a time and place for both. There are times where I like a bit of sweet and sour Hong Kong style and other times where I'll fight my cousins for fish eye and partake in chicken feet!
The bill came to around $100 which I thought to be pricey for what we had but that's what it's like at Southbank. The prices are high because of the location and ambience. We could have had that food for half the price at a traditional place near China Town or on Victoria Street but we wouldn't have been able to sit outside on a pleasant terrace and instead would have been sat on plastic chairs at a formica table reading a menu on the wall all lit up with fluorescent lighting and a neon sign in the window. We wouldn't have had cloth napkins and we'd have been in and out in 25 minutes! So I guess this is why prices are higher! It wasn't as if the food was bad; it was actually pretty tasty but could definitely get the same quality elsewhere at much less but then at the lower price we'd have lost out on the ambience and the location....