The folks and I drive past this place really often, and because of the way it is rather secluded (it’s sitting right at the foot of Jacob’s ladder), we always wondered if they would be noticed by other non suspecting drivers or ladder enthusiasts.
We decided to try this place seeing how it is in the entertainment book this year. We aren’t too sure how to perceive Chinese food in a fine dining setting because we’ve always been used to the hawker style method of serving Chinese food. I for one was rather excited to try this place out.
As we entered the restaurant, immediately we noticed how big it looked on the inside in comparison to how it looked on the outside. We should never ever judge a book by its cover should we?!
We were shortly greeted by a waitstaff who then handed us over to a lady whom I can only guess to be the manager of the establishment, or even the owner. Friendly, we were efficiently brought to our table.
Comfortably seated, we were presented some menus, and asked the type of tea we would like. They had a good variety of tea for us to choose from, which is refreshing because not many Chinese establishments stock a variety of tea for their patrons to choose from. We decided on a family favourite “Tie Guan Yin“.
Promptly bringing the tea to us, they served each of us our little cups of tea, and gave us sometime to deliberate on the menu.
We were intrigued and was at a loss as to what we should order, so we asked the manager/owner to give us some recommendations, to which she was very patient with us, and gave us relevant recommendations based on what we’d like to have.
We were most pleased to hear that they had fresh fish, with which they’d be able to served, steamed Cantonese style, which is something I always appreciate.
In the end, we ordered the following:
- Silver Perch, steamed Cantonese Style – $45
- Vegetables & Mixed Mushrooms stir fry (Asparagus) – $18.80
- Fried stuffed tofu (came highly recommended) – $22.80
- Stuffed yam duck – $26.80
- Steamed rice – $2 per head
We were onto a theme of stuffed foods that evening for sure.
As the dishes arrived, our rice was served to us individually, which I thought was a lovely touch, in contrary to the usual self-service we would have to do when dining at other Chinese restaurants.
The silver perch came out looking fresh and nicely steamed, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. Not many places do steamed fresh fish, so I was undoubtedly excited. The fish was beautifully steamed, and of perfect texture. There was plenty of sauce and garnish to complement the fish. Because the fish was fresh out of the tank, there was absolutely no sense of fishiness. This was definitely one of the favourites for the evening, and at $45, it was well worth it.
The stuffed yam duck was probably my next favourite dish of the evening. I’ve always had a liking for duck, and with taro/yam being thrown in, it is an absolute bonus. The duck was served with a light brown mushroom sauce, which went well with the stuffed duck. The duck itself was nice and moist, and to my surprise, there was a decent amount of meat complementing the yam/taro. Mom mentioned that she would have preferred if they provided a plum sauce with the duck, instead of the brown sauce, but I was quite happy with what they offered.
The tofu was something different. Cooked in a style familiar to most (salt and chilli), the thing that was unique was how the stuffing was a prawn based one, and added a nice dimension to the dish. I wouldn’t pay that money to order the dish again, but it was enjoyable.
The vegetables came out simply presented, but was cooked really well. There was still a nice crunch to the asparagus, and there was a generous serve of mushrooms. It was tasty and not overly oily. I loved this dish.
Dessert time came and I was thrilled (and this is an understatement) to see they had redbean pancake on offer! Needless to say this was definitely going to be my order for the evening. The manager came and told us of the special for the day which was a jackfruit spring roll with a side of ice cream. These were sweet words for Mom’s ears, who is a massive fan of jackfruits. So for desserts:
- Red bean pancake – $10.90
- Chef’s Special (jackfruit springroll and ice cream) – $15
I have yet to try a red bean pancake in Perth that has left me coming back for more, so I did not put too much expectations here. When it arrived, it looked like how I would have expected to look, but it was when I took my first mouthful that I was left grinning from ear to ear because it tastes oddly close to what I used to have in Singapore. I was a happy camper. There was a generous serving of red bean paste too, which is always a delight.
The chef’s special was not too bad either, but because of the fact that there isn’t any fresh jackfruit here, this didn’t taste as good as it could be. It’s a great dessert idea, but I think I would personally order the red bean pancake twice. Or perhaps I am biased.
The service at Canton Bay was wonderful, with the wait staff and manager warm and friendly.
Overall, the experience at Canton Bay was excellent, and I would definitely not hesitate to come back for more fresh fish, stuffed yam duck and some of that awesome red bean pancake!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg
Canton Bay Chinese Restaurant
Telephone: (08) 9486 9399
Address: 130A Mounts Bay Road, Perth 6000