Our group of three headed to Aquarium Seafood Chinese Restaurant to escape our local haunts and the spattering rain. There are pretty fairy lights outside and sparkly things inside, which is not something I would expect from a suburban Chinese restaurant.
Before we arrived, I’d done my research and knew that the menu was divided into two halves. The first half lists the usual sweet & sour, black bean, and sizzling options for those who want to convince themselves that they love “asian” food. Flip to the back for the good stuff! However, we kept to a budget because it was a mid-week meal and we didn’t want to splurge on the fresh, seasonally-priced seafood.
Chinese Tea ($2.50 per person)
We ordered chinese tea and I requested my favourite, bolay cha (also known as pu-erh cha). A family friend introduced this to me in Hong Kong and I’ve loved it ever since! This dark red tea can sit on your table brewing for ages but will never taste too strong.
Fried Pork Chops with Peking Sauce ($27)
My mum’s selection came from the first half of the menu, so I teased her mercilessly. I do enjoy peking spare ribs though and the sauce was tasty without being too sweet or sticky. You have to select a sauce for the fried pork chops, so I was a bit disappointed that the meat hadn’t been marinated to soak up all the flavours.
Assorted Mushroom in Claypot ($32)
Rather than choosing boring green asian vegies in some sort of generic sauce, we opted for the more exciting mushroom claypot. This was really tasty and I crunched on snowpeas while I picked through to find my favourites - shitaake, enoki, button, and straw mushrooms (in order of preference).
Deep-fried Duck with Yam ($39.50)
This unsual dish combined deep-fried duck with yam - it was one of the highlights of the night! We all enjoyed the light crunchy coating and thick layer of soft yam (reminds me of the yam balls at dim sum). The fried duck was quite moist, but I missed the wonderful saltiness that I love about roast duck. We were all undecided about the unidentifiable, salty, brown sauce with pieces of mushroom floating about.
Crispy coating, smooth yam, and tender duck
Our dinner came up to just under $40 each. While we enjoyed each dish and ate our fill, the meal did seem overpriced (even without any seafood options). However, service was impeccable and the restaurant itself is gorgeous. We agreed that Aquarium Seafood Chinese Restaurant is the type of place you would pick for a third date, or if a rich uncle was shouting the meal.
Likes: wide range of dishes that are consistently high quality
Dislikes: expensive vegetable dishes
Value for money: seems unnecessarily pricey
Overall: up-market Cantonese restaurant
202 Great Eastern Hwy
(08) 9478 1868