South Ocean sits within the Kardinya Shopping Centre area and has been there for ages (well since before I arrived in Perth till now I would believe… that makes it about 10 years!). It is one of the few restaurants that I have seen the ups and downs in quality, but ultimately, it still serves an averagely good chinese meal.
Serving mainly Cantonese-style food, South Ocean was offering one of Perth’s cheapest snow crabs. That was about 1-2 years ago. Am not too sure how it is now, but it will be more than interesting to find out. :)
The restaurant sits about 10-12 tables, about 4-5 of which are relatively large tables, allowing up to 12 people to sit. With a lazy-susan situated in the middle, there wouldn’t be any unnecessary fighting over the food!
They recently renovated the place as well, making it a little brighter on the inside, and a little bit more spacious, although there really isn’t that much more room than before – they have maximised the use of their space!
One of the good (and rather rare) things about this place is their free prawn crackers (a.k.a ku-ru-pok to M’sians/S’poreans) served when you are seated at your table.
Not the best quality of prawn crackers, but a generous serving. A bit of a compromise there?
That night, we had a rather large group get-together so we had quite a feast! I can’t remember all the name of the dishes (ok, so what’s new from Miss Egg?), but here is a list of the dishes we had (some actual names, some, my usual descriptions… bear with me!):
- 3-course Peking Duck
This comes with the roasted skin (that comes with a bread-like cover to wrap the skin in, with some vegetable and hoisin sauce)… then the meat is diced and fried, served with some lettuce to wrap, also called “san choy bao”… finally, the bones are used to make a duck and preserved vegetable soup (very popular amongst us Teochew-descendants).
- Hot Plate Tofu with Chicken/Pork & Salted Fish
- Spinach with Three Eggs (namely chicken, century and salted duck egg)
For those who are unaware of the latter two eggs, they are eggs that we chinese love to eat, the Century egg usually used in congee, and the salted duck egg usually eaten with plain porridge.
- Golden Prawns with Salted Duck Eggs
- Garlic Kailan (Kailan is a variety of chinese vegetables, with rather long stems, and large leaves (when they are of age)
- Tooth Fish with Sauce
Pan-fried with the sauce poured over the fish
- Honey Black Pepper Steak
The colour of this dish might put you off at first but the taste… well, I’ll keep you in suspense!
- Special Chicken & Almond Dish
I really don’t know the name of the dish since I didn’t make the order that night, but it is made out of chicken and some almond flakes. Quite special.
Unfortunately, this greedy Miss Egg did not manage to capture the lettuce-wrapped meat, and the soup because she was too busy gorging herself with this overwhelming amount of food.
The skin was not too bad at all, but not the best I have had. That said, it has been difficult to find a place with good peking duck skin served. The bread-like wrap was rather good tho’. :)
The meat was tasty, with everyone stuffing their lettuce rather well. The layers of the lettuce were well-separated too.
The soup was my favourite out of the three, other than the good fattening skin. Tasty and very comforting for a cold winter’s night!
The hot plate tofu was tasty. But the dish could have been a tad hotter (warmth), especially being served in a hot plate. The traditional way of pouring the tofu and the gravy onto the hot plate only when it is being served to the table. Average I would say, but worth ordering if you do visit this establishment.
The vegetables were rather bland, and I definitely have had better vegetable dishes around the state. The better of the two vegetable dishes would probably be spinach because of the gravy that comes along with the dish. The garlic kailan is really nothing to boast about.
I actually didn’t have the chance to try the tooth fish, but from what I heard, the quality of the dish was average and from the sounds of it, there are probably better tooth fish dishes around.
The honey black pepper steak was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Don’t be mistaken by the dark gloomy look of the dish – it turned out to be rather tangy! With a generous serving of vinegar being splashed into the dish, it made this dish unique and special to the tastebuds. I definitely recommend this to be ordered (assuming you’ve got a love for vinegar like me).
This dish is actually a speciality dish of South Ocean… the name of which I have no idea about, but if you do wish to order, check it under the specialty dishes, and see if you can find anything with chicken and almond in it. If you do find out the name, then the Perth Food Engineers will be grateful if you could drop us an email or a comment to let us know the name of the dish! Miss Egg will definitely be grateful. :)
The dish came with a dipping sauce, but I ended up dipping it with the gravy from the Honey Black Pepper Steak. It turned out lovely. I wouldn’t say the dish itself had alot of taste to it, tho’. Definitely well presented and well cooked, but there was this lack of seasoning in the taste of the dish.
Overall, South Ocean is average in food. Service is average too… ambience… well, there really isn’t much to talk about ambience when it comes to chinese restaurants (generally speaking :))… I wouldn’t go back there again, unless it’s with people who would like to try that place, simply because it is a tad too far for me, and well, the quality of the food isn’t strong enough to pull me back into the establishment.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T (a.k.a Miss Egg)