Hidden in the little housing estate surrounded by Le Souef Way in Melville is this not as well known (to my knowledge anyway) Chinese Restaurant. I was first introduced to this place by the mother, who was recommended the place by a friend of hers.
There is ample parking just outside the restaurant, since it is actually a little complex for the local residents, with a Thai place just next door. When you enter, the first thing that’s noticeable is how big it was, and when you go during the day, the light seams through which makes it rather inviting.
During my first visit to this place, I was recommended the fish head (fin) mee hoon, which is a soup based vermicelli dish, with stock made out of the usual pork/chicken bones, with preserved vegetables (kiam chye) and slices of ginger. The fish head, or wings, as they turned out to be, are deep fried fins of large fish. I was never exposed to this dish in Singapore till I came to Perth, so I’m not too sure if it might be a Malaysian dish?
Unfortunately I have limited photos of the dishes, but so I will just give a short synopsis of the dishes we tried for dinner.
Back to the food! So the dishes that I have tried at this joint:
- Fish head (fin) mee hoon – there are about 2-3 fins per serve
- Golden pork belly
- Salted egg prawn (dinner)
- Claypot Tofu with Seafood (dinner)
- Chicken dish (don’t remember the name! :( )
The one dish that seems to be very popular (i.e. I see many tables ordering when I visit this place) is the Curry Fish Head. Perhaps you’d like to try and let me know how it is?
Anyhoo, onto the food!
The fish head (fin) mee hoon is our favourite dish at Happy Union without a doubt. For those who think it will be difficult to eat fish fins, then this may not be the dish for you, but the fish fins are usually sufficiently fresh, well fried, and totally complements the mee hoon soup that contains the preserved vegetables and ginger. The ginger is really to counter-act the gas build up that the preserved vegetables would cause (or so says my ever so knowledgeable mother). The soup and mee hoon makes for the light side of the meal, with the fried fins absorbing the bulk of the tummy.
The golden pork belly is something that one must try when you’re at Happy Union. Marinated with what I think maybe ‘shrimp paste’ and some other secret ingredients, the aroma that comes through when the dish is arriving at the table is really quite outstanding. The only problem with this dish is the awful guilt factor after finishing a portion because it really is quite fatty… but man. OH SO GOOD.
For dinner, we didn’t mind any of the dishes… but we didn’t find them particularly ‘wow’ either.
What we did find was the wait time being a tad too long, and that it was a bit of a mess with how they served the tables. The strategy seems to be “keep each table happy for a while”… so we received the chicken, and upon finishing, we had to wait another 15-20min for the next dish, and the same for the last dish. This was seen throughout the restaurant. Perhaps it is their way, but I don’t think it’d be something I’d move forward with. The wait in itself is a little too much of a tease, especially for the hungry soul, and with most people eating rice with the dishes, the rice would just turn cold over time whilst waiting for the dishes.
There was an occasion where they seem a little shorthanded too, this made it a tad difficult to get the attention of wait staff.
That said, service is always ever so polite, and the wait staff generally serve with a nice smile and are friendly. Nice. (:
I don’t know if I’d be back again for dinner after that waiting episode, but for lunch, well I think I must have gone back several times since the first visit, so that should tell something!
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg
Happy Union Chinese Restaurant
Telephone: (08) 9337 8332
Address: Shop 1, Sommerville Shopping Centre, Cnr Le Souef and McMahon Way, Kardinya 6163