Silks at the Crown Perth just opened recently and being a sucker for new restaurants, I called to make reservations for a Saturday evening but found they were booked out every Friday and Saturday nights for the whole of August! Guess I’m not the only sucker for new restaurants! We managed at the end to get a table on a Sunday night.
Everything was grandiose at Silks, from the entrance, lighting and decor right down to the menu and cutlery on the table. I love the warm lighting and ample spacing between each table. Great ambiance!
For drinks we had the Oolong Tea – Tie Guan Yin King ($6pp) and the Bamboo Garden, Sugar Cane, Lemon Grass and Lime Juice Mocktail ($12). The teapot was kept warm with a burner which I thought was a great idea. Our cups were topped up automatically the whole night – great service which I guess came with the price tag. The Mocktail on the other hand was very average, it had no sugar cane taste at all, it was more a lime juice than a sugar cane mocktail!
Before our entrees came, we were served with a complimentary Spicy tuna pumpkin with egg yolk starter on a pretty Chinese spoon. Nice!
For entrees, we had the following:
- From the Hot Appetisers section …
- Baked Crab Shell with Portuguese Sauce ($18) – the filling was creamy but did not have too much of a curry taste to it as expected from Portuguese sauce. I love it!
- Scallop San Choy Bow ($22) – this was tasty and had good serving of scallop meat. The only thing I would complain about this dish is the state of the lettuce cup. At this price, I would expect it to be crisp and fresh and cut like a proper cup.
- From the Barbeque Specialty section …
- Peking Duck ($11 per piece) – we were disappointed with this dish as the pancake was too thick and doughy and the duck skin was not as crispy as expected.
- Crispy Pork Belly ($38) – this was the best dish of the night! The skin was roasted to a nice crisp and the pork was succulent and tender. The mustard seed dip complemented the taste beautifully. I was not too sure about the sugar that came with it as well as it didn’t add to much to the taste. I would be back just for this! Best pork belly I have eaten so far in a Chinese restaurant in Perth!
As I only had one Peking Duck for entree while the rest had two, I substituted it with a dish from the mains, the Braised Pork Belly and Lohan Fruit served with Hollow Bun ($16). More pork belly for me! The presentation of this dish was very cute where the bun is literally hollowed out so that the pork belly can be placed inside. This was delicious!
The next round was from the Soup section …
- WA Blue Manna Crab Meat Hot and Sour Soup ($28) – another hit, I love the spicy and sour combination of this type of soup and this was cooked really well with the spiciness up a notch. There was generous amount of crab meat as well.
- Double Boiled Silky Chicken with Abalone ($38) – this was another highlight of the table. The soup came with a plump abalone and it was my first time tasting a black silky chicken – the flesh was really silky like its name! The abalone was also soft and smooth and not chewy.
For the mains, we had:
- Steamed Coral Trout with Iberico Ham and Black Mushroom ($48) – this was an ok dish for me but the others on the table did not like it much. The trout was tender but too small a piece. I did not like the ham that came with it.
- Wok Fried King Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk ($48) – this was a great disappointment for me! There was only such a faint hint of salted egg yolk in there that one would not have thought it was this dish unless you ordered it personally. The prawns were huge in size but lacking in flavour.
- Crispy Pigeon served with spiced salt and lemon juice ($48) – my first taste of pigeon and it did not leave me wanting for more. Meat was tough and I could not understand why in the world they would serve this with the head roasted almost black plonked on the dish, and further more with some garnish stucked in between its beak. It was more a turn off than a plus.
- Braised Chinese Cabbage with Bamboo Piths ($32) – this was the only dish that the whole table liked for mains. I like the soft bamboo piths, more of those please!
After the disappointing mains, we had high hopes for dessert but was disappointed again! They were a bit too fusion for our liking and too much happening in one small cup. It may have been better if they laid it out on a plate so that each component can be sampled.
- Signature Mango Pudding Creme Brulee, Lime Crumble, Coconut Sago and Compressed Mango ($15)
- Cherry Blossom Tea Jelly aerated Milk Chocolate, Streusel, Cherry Mousse and Chocolate Sorbet ($17)
We were given complimentary something similar to a petit four of Szechuan Jelly squares and Sesame Seed toffee. The latter was better than the first.
The meal costs us approx $150 each, the same as what one would pay for a degustation menu. Service was slightly hit and miss, there was one staff who was very good (the one preparing the san choy bow pic above) but the rest didn’t seem too sure of what was happening at the table, with wrong dishes brought to us and what felt like ineffective communication between them. They had asked whether we wanted toothpicks and we had said no, but the next minute the toothpicks were plonked on the table.
In general, I think it is great that more fine dining Chinese cuisine are being offered in Perth. Personally for me, I would be back just for the entrees, most of them were amazing.