It’s fantastic to see the Perth restaurant scene starting to reflect the diversity and quality of their eastern states counterparts. Last week while I was dining at Sydney’s popular Chinese restaurant Mr Wongs, my new writer Nicola was blogging away about Perth’s Miss Chow’s located in Claremont Quarters. Here’s her debut post for foodie cravings featuring what she thought and most importantly what she tasted at Miss Chow’s blogger event.
Monday nights are usually about relaxing and recovering from the weekend (and typically come around far too quickly!) but on this particular Monday night, I was really looking forward to going to Miss Chow’s.
Situated in the Claremont Quarter, the restaurant is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from the train station.
With its stylish, modern décor, to friendly polished service and a fresh perspective on Chinese cuisine, Miss Chow’s is a unique niche in Perth’s bustling restaurant scene.
From the moment you walk in the door, you are lured in by the elegant brightly-lit dining rooms, trendy lanterns, and contemporary – incredibly vibrant – artwork.
The open plan kitchen is also in full view with busy-looking chefs amongst hundreds of towering bamboo dumpling steamer baskets. In fact, juicy buns and steamed dumplings are one of the signature dishes, hence the sheer amount of them!
Sporting black t-shirts with catchy slogans on the back: ‘Juicy buns please’, ‘More dumplings’, ‘Yummy dessert’, ‘Time for champagne’ was definitely eye-catching and quirky.
The menu for the night was a Chef’s Selection – so I guess that took the decision out of my hands (as I often take ages over deciding what to eat because I usually I want to sample everything!).
The first taster was a bowl of Edamame – blanched baby soy beans. Although a simple dish, the soft salty beans are incredibly addictive – and pair quite well with a glass of Little Creatures Pipsqueak Cider.
Next up, Miss Chow’s spicy fried chicken which looked stunning dressed with tiny flowers and fresh coriander. The succulent pieces of crunchy fried chicken were delicious – but what made the dish extra special was the drizzle of the house made chilli mayonnaise, it was perfect with the chicken and spot on with the amount of heat.
There were fresh chillies for an extra kick, making the dish fresh, crunchy and zippy! Crispy slices of fried garlic at the bottom of the bowl were divine!
For our next course, bamboo baskets were delivered to the table – as they were delicately placed in front of us, it was like receiving a present!
The wait person revealed its delicious delicacies as steam vaporised into the air.
Little green dumplings popped out on the first level – 4 pieces of spinach-infused vegetarian dumplings, bursting with mushroom, bean curd and Chinese cabbage. The filling was really mouth-watering with a creamy consistency.
The second layer of bamboo was 4 pieces of Crystal prawn dumplings “har gow”. The succulent prawn was delicate in flavour encased in a soft and silky dumpling.
Both dumplings were brought to life with accompanying house made dips of chilli oil and threads of ginger with black vinegar. These sauces gave an explosion of flavour.
There was great anticipation for the mains – Caramelised Spare Ribs, served with fresh pineapple, Buddha’s Delight – shitake mushrooms, lotus root and fried bean curd stick, with a side dish of Teochew Fried Rice with olive leaf, egg and spring onion.
The ribs were everything you’d expect – and more! Incredibly dark, rich and sticky – impossible to eat with any air of decadence! Cubes of pineapple, mint and coriander made the dish clean and fresh – and a degree of coolness to the gorgeously intense sauce.
The Buddha’s Delight was equally as wonderful to the eye – and intriguing, with lotus root taking centre stage, as their unusual shape and pattern was the first thing that jumped out of the dish.
There was a soup/broth consistency to this main meal – so a spoon was much-needed because the shitake mushrooms were proving a bit too slippery to handle with chopsticks!
But fear not – if you’re no chopstick novice there are helpful little information sheets dotted around the restaurant and on the tables – ‘How to use chopsticks’ and also ‘How to eat Dumplings’ – so there’s no excuse!
There was a lovely savoury tone to this main course – and something completely different to the sweetness of the ribs. Both went well together.
The Teochew Fried Rice (pictured above right) was a winner – olive leaf gave this dish a real contemporary twist – something of which the concept of Miss Chow’s is really keen to put across – a fresh perspective on Chinese cuisine, cutting through all the understanding and precedent of what we currently expect of Chinese cuisine.
It was a side dish loaded with flavour.
Not forgetting to mention the drink list – although I was tempted to stay traditional with the Chinese food and select from an array of tea on offer, I’m always attracted to the wines! That’s not saying I wasn’t lured to the cocktails – which infused the exotic flavours of Asia. There was Miss Chow’s Lychee Martini (with vodka, lychee syrup and lemon, Shanghai Tang (with champagne, gin and lemon), to name a few.
All sounded wonderful – the cocktail menu looks perfect to match a light dinner/small bites after a day’s shopping in Claremont Quarter – something of which Miss Chow’s is keen to encourage. There’s also a happy hour menu which I am sure will be a great success.
The wine of choice was Rare Earth Sauv Blanc Semillon, described as having great flavours of gooseberry and passionfruit. It packed the punch with tropical flavours and really cut through the spicy dishes.
Having a table right in front of the busy kitchen was great for watching what treat was coming out next – dessert.
From where I was sitting it looked like trays of glass terrariums coming out! (which appear to be the trend at the moment). Obviously on closer inspection, I breathed a sigh of relief that we would not be eating an ornamental plant for dessert! The glasses contained cubes of Aiyu Jelly with sugar cane and lemon juice. They looked stylish and decorative.
This dessert was light – and almost like a palate cleanser. The jelly was soft and delicate while the lemon juice was quite tart and acidic. It certainly tantalised the tastebuds.
It was a graceful way to finish a meal of an array of spices and sweet flavours. It didn’t leave me feeling bloated or full.
There was a lovely ambiance at Miss Chow’s -a stylish vibe complimented by a young and knowledgeable team. Our waitperson was always on hand to answer questions about the menu.
It will certainly be a great place to hang out in after an exhausting day’s shopping around Claremont Quarter. Miss Chow’s is a fantastic way of sharing and exploring a variety of contemporary Chinese dishes – I’m already looking forward to returning to try the full menu.
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited as a guest of Miss Chow’s. See disclosure policy for more details.