The PFEs were recently invited to the revamped Shun Fung on the River for dinner. With a new management and import of four new chefs from China, I was looking forward to find out what the food and service would be like!
Shun Fung on the River used to be the buzz in town when they first opened but went on a steep decline as the years rolled by. Personally, I have not been back for nearly a decade! The same sentiment was echoed by the other bloggers I met that night, who like me, had not visited this restaurant in ages!
I was fortunate enough to be seated next to the group owner Eva, and managed to talk to her about her ideas and vision for the restaurant. We were told that this restaurant is their 31st restaurant, with the other restaurants mainly based in China. That was a surprise to many of us. Why choose to open one in Perth? She loved Perth after her first visit here! That was a nice compliment to our city! :) From our conversations, I observed she is quite particular with presentation – quite obvious with the beautiful decor she had bought to fit out the restaurant!
We were served a banquet style dinner, with Appetizer, Entree, Soup, Main Course and Dessert. It was almost like a degustation except the dishes are shared in the middle. Eva is passionate about not only introducing quality Chinese food to Perth but also to share the exquisite culinary culture – Chinese food is not just the usual lemon chicken, sweet and sour pork etc. There are so much more to it!
For Appetizer (approx cost of $15-$20 per dish), we had the following:
- Green Chilli in special sauce and Rucola Salad - The green chillies were really hot so I did not have too much to do with them :p. The Rucola salad on the other hand was milder, dressed in a vinegar sauce, but mixed with Szechuan peppercorns. The Szechuan peppercorns exuded an exotic scent and gave a tingly numbing effect which one has to get used to. The salad was quite refreshing nonetheless.
- Spicy Kimchi in Chinese Style – this was mild in hotness and had a claypot taste to the sauce. I still prefer the Korean style kimchi than this version. Love the flowery decor on the side!
- Marinated Duck Wings – this was my favorite of the three! The duck wings were served cold and were tender and juicy! I couldn’t get enough of them!
For Entree, we had this….
We were blown away when the platter came out! Breakdown as follows – the platter cost roughly $85-$90 (with 1 dozen of each item).
- Baked Oysters with Foie Gras Sauce – the oysters were plump and juicy. The foie gras was a weird combination especially in a Chinese cuisine but I quite like the taste, something different!
- Chilli and Salted Mini Dried Fish – these were white baits deep fried and dipped in a creamy sauce.
- Golden Radish Balls - these balls were my favorite, they were a mixture of seafood and radish, rolled in a ball, crumbed and deep fried. Yum!
Next up was the Sliced Abalone in Superior Soup ($16-$18). This was where the personal service came into play as the soup was poured at the table with the staff wearing white gloves! Very special!
The Main Course started after this!
- Coral Trout Fish in Two Style – Steam with Ginger and Shallots and Pan Fried Style ($15pp). The fish was huge, so they had to divide and cooked it separately. I prefer the steam style over the pan fried as the fish freshness was retained in the flesh.
- Diced Wagyu Beef on Sizzling Stone ($72) – the beef came out cubed on a nice looking sizzling stone. I much prefer this then the usual sizzling plate where everything splatters around the plate and the smoke gets into your hair (you end up with a Chinese restaurant smelling hair the whole night!). The beef was tasty and tender.
- Honey and Mustard King Prawns ($35-$38) – this was my favorite of the mains – deep fried king prawn coated with a honey and mustard creamy sauce. The mustard gave a slight tangy taste to the prawns (almost like those you get with wasabi but milder). Love! Check out the pretty presentation!
- Szechuan Spicy Chicken – juicy chicken pieces stir fried with Szechuan peppercorn. I must say I’m not a big fan of this numbing after taste from the peppercorn. Need to get use to it!
- Braised King Oyster Mushrooms with Shallots – thick slices of mushrooms cooked with a tasty oyster sauce fanned out on a layer of leeks. Tasty!
- Sizzling Runner Beans - I didn’t quite like these beans, it was oily and had the numbing taste from the Szechuan peppercorn. I like how they modified the sizzling plate though for better presentation and less splattering!
- Dim Sum Platter – this was one of the highlight of the night as I love my sweets! The platter consisted of Pumpkin balls (crunchy on the outside, chewy goodness on the inside), Durian puffs, Jujube sweet, Osmanthus sweet. I managed to try all of them except for the Durian puffs! I must go back during dimsum hours to try those durian puffs! The rest of the sweets were excellent! There were some magnificent skills shown in making the layered Osmanthus sweet. Loved it.
There were still Dessert to come at this stage! I was really full at this stage but manage to soldier on. We had a choice of either Mixed Sweet Beans with Ice Cream or Deep Fried Ice Cream or Red Bean Pancake with Ice Cream. Most of us ordered the Fried Ice Cream (came with either chocolate or caramel sauce) or Red Bean Pancake with Ice Cream.
I had a taste of the Red Pancake but did not quite like it – the batter was a bit too thick and the fruits did not match the overall taste of the dish.
Service that night was great. The staff explained each dish to us clearly and served them to us individually in a professional manner. Like! The only thing I thought that could be improved was in the replacement of cutlery. There was no change in cutlery between the mains and the dimsum platter. I had to use my hand for the sweets as I didn’t want to use the oily fork and spoon from the mains.
Another thing I thought was quite considerate of them was the care they took for special dietary requirement. Dishes were prepared separately for one of the bloggers who was allergic to gluten. Plus for that!
The cost for this banquet is roughly $120 per person, comparable to a degus menu. I though the price is quite fair considering the quality and amount of food on offer. A nice meal to have for a special occasion!
I wish Eva and her team all the best in their pursuit in providing excellent Chinese culinary dishes to Perth through Shun Fung on the River!