My writer Tania celebrated Lunar New Year at Silks, she shares her experience in her post below. I will have to debate Neil Perry’s quote that “Silks is Perth’s best Chinese restaurant”. Although Silks is up amongst the best, Dragon Palace and Chinese Northbridge Restaurant do amazing chinese banquets which taste just as good and provide better value for money. What do you think?
Celebrity chef Neil Perry is quoted as saying, “Without a shadow of a doubt, Silks is Perth’s best Chinese restaurant” and although I haven’t been to every Chinese restaurant in Perth, I think he may be on to something.
Lunar New Year (previously known as Chinese New Year) is one of Silks busiest times on the calendar and the important festival is celebrated in style outside the restaurant, in the lobby of the Crown Metropol. First the Prosperity God appears and people scramble to have their photo taken with him, eager to place their hands in the golden bowl he carries.
Once he leaves, the crowd swarms around a table, like bees on honey, where two chefs prepare a Prosperity Toss – a large dish with a mound of salmon seated on top of a bed of shredded vegetables including radish and carrot, to which they add; lemon juice, 5 spices, sesame seeds, plum sauce and crispy wonton noodles. Those gathered around place their chopsticks into the dish and all together toss the food up in the air as they shout their good wishes.
Within seconds everyone melts away and the plate is empty. This ritual is repeated three times and once the final crowd disperses, I am led into the opulent surroundings of Silks restaurant for a signature banquet. A skylight and glass roof let in enough natural light to highlight the gold on the crockery, and together with the white linen the restaurant feels clean, fresh, and luxurious.
We are seated around a circular table, which I think is essential when dining in groups because it means everyone can interact with each other, and we can all contribute to one conversation.
Once introductions are complete and wine is poured, we are served ‘Amuse Bouche’. I’m not a fan of oysters and the sauce makes this one especially gooey that I cannot bring myself to place it anywhere near my mouth. Thankfully my dining companions are only too happy to take it off my hands and make content noises when they swallow it. I do however, love tuna, so I savour the bite sized chunk swimming in sauce, but so does everyone else so no one returns the favour.
This was followed by our own ‘Prosperity Toss’. The nine of us gathered around a tiny table and watched as the chef prepared the dish exactly as we saw in the lobby, then we used our red chopsticks (red are for communal use to choose food while white chopsticks are solely used for eating), to toss the food before being served our own portion. With seven different colours in the dish it looks as amazing as it tastes. All the flavours create a tantalizing combination and the crunchy noodles perfectly compliment the smooth fish.
Our next dish is a ‘Deluxe Appetizer’ consisting of slightly bigger than bite sized amounts of steamed scallop dumpling, twice roasted pork belly, roasted duck with Lychee jelly, and baked abalone with treasure sauce, all perfectly placed on our plate. Each item is distinct in appearance and have their own unique taste and textures but I find them a little bland after the previous meal.
My tastebuds are dancing again after our next course, which I have to say is my favourite. The thinly sliced slivers of slow cooked Wagyu beef briskets with honey pepper sauce were tender and juicy and the baby broccolini fresh and crisp. Deep fried boneless quail stuffed with traditional seafood paste was crunchy though slightly chewy and the fried rice with Chinese gourmet sausage was an excellent accompaniment. I even managed to coordinate my chopsticks for most of the meal, only snatching a few sneaky spoonfuls because I was eager to eat!
We finished off with a refreshing, palate cleansing icy cold lime sorbet on top of pineapple jelly lime crumble with pineapple chips. Deliciously tangy.
Lunar New Year is being celebrated at Crown until 28th February so join the fun at Silks and have a prosperous Year of the Monkey!
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited as a guest of Silks. See disclosure policy for more details.