For a girls night out pre-theatre dinner, I decided on something a bit more fancy (Aladdin was an amazing musical!) I often walk past this place in The Galeries, and wanted to see if it was worth the hype. (Yes, Aladdin was my fourth out of six musicals I've seen, so you can probably tell this is quite out back dated post, from last spring menu).
Service was generally pleasant and friendly. I liked how our table had a few spotlights on it, although my seat had a lot of shadows. Generally the lights were useful.
nice cutlery for modern Chinese food
inside is quite big
Steamed mud crab and pork xiao long bao-$21
I was quite excited to try these despite the price. The dumpling skin is thin and you can taste the crab in it but a bit on the subtle side and not worth $5.25 a bite. I guess I have had better in Asia (as expected).
Fried rice with duck, asparagus and mustard seeds (large)-$25
Love this fried rice, not too oily with fresh flavour. Wish there was more duck though...I like this sort of fried rice as the texture of the rice is more dried/fried.
Wok fried tea tree, wood-ear, and mixed mushrooms with garlic-$24
This dish was pretty average as I normally have this sort of thing at home. It didn't taste like anything special, so wouldn't order it again. Sometimes the English names of Asian things sound cooler on paper, only to realise that you normally have this at home...
Pork belly with some sweet and stick soy based sauce (not on the menu anymore...)-$32
We all loved the pork belly, and that nice stick sauce. Some bits did have way too much fat to swallow, but decent chunks of pork which wasn't dry throughout.
Slow cooked beef short ribs with ponzu and soy-$39
Another favourite, the beef was really tender and fell off the bone. It had a good balance of citrusy and salty flavours, quite light yet flavourful.
Lotus garden: jasmine tea bavarois, apple, matcha sponge, apple cider jelly, burnt vanilla crisp-$16
It's so pretty! They are vary in shape. This crisp didn't have a hole in it where the 'pea tendrils' were supposed to go through. This was my favourite of the two. Subtle tea flavour mixed with apple. Didn't get much matcha sponge thought. Really loved the flavour in the jelly.
Mandarin picked from the tree: valrhona chocolate mousse, mandarin, dark crisp pearl, chocolate soil, caramel sauce-$17
It is so cute and looks like it's name. I'm just not a big fan of orangey flavours with chocolate as it reminds me of those Jaffa chocolates which I hate. The soil wasn't too buttery or dry, and the caramel inside wasn't too sweet either since it balanced with the bitter choc mouse and slightly sour mandarin flavour.
Dinner was more than the average price (for a typical uni student), but a splurge and catching up with friends is always a good idea (: