13 March 2014
China Town in Northbridge is packed full of similar-looking restaurants. We booked ahead to score a large round table for 13 friends on a busy Saturday night. Heads up, Uncle Billy’s sits on the opposite side of China Town to the far inferior Billy Lee’s.
Cantonese restaurants don’t really understand hawkers food, so stay away from the Malaysian dishes towards the back of the menu. A good rule of thumb is to order as many main dishes as the number of people minus a couple. We ordered 12 dishes to share among our large group, which was roughly the perfect amount of food!
Garlic king prawns ($20.80)
Lots of juicy prawns in a clear gooey sauce that tasted lightly of garlic. Nothing amazing here but a safe choice for mates keen to avoid chilli.
Chilli pepper squid ($15.80)
Fried squid is always a winner and this was no exception. Light batter, tender squid, and enough pieces for everyone to have a taste. Make sure you scoop up the bits of fried garlic and spring onion!
Roast duck with plum sauce ($21.80)
Roast duck is often the same wherever you dine in Perth - I’ve heard restaurants source roast duck from the same supplier. This one was salty and tasty, but unfortunately the waiter forgot our plum sauce *sadface*.
UB’s crispy skin chicken ($16.80)
Crispy skin chicken is another dish that’s very safe, especially for Aussies who are not used to the more unusual Chinese dishes. I prefer crispy chicken with vinegar (eg. Foo Wah in Willetton) because otherwise the dish is a little bland, so that’s probably the dish I would order next time.
Minced beef and bean curd with chilli sauce ($14.80)
This mabo tofu is a popular Szechuan dish, which means it should be properly spicy! This one was flavoursome but too oily and it should have been spicier.
Kang kong with sambal ($13.80)
My fav vege dish in Chinese restaurants is kang kong with sambal (shrimp-based chilli). I would usually ask for more chilli but didn’t want to scare others from eating it!
Sizzling Japanese bean curd with salted fish and diced chicken ($17.80)
Sizzling Japanese tofu uses the silky egg-based tofu, which is different to the regular white tofu cubes that you’ll find in mabo tofu. I prefer pork mince to the chicken mince used in this variation of the dish, but the sauce was flavoursome from salted fish so it was still yummy.
Kai lan with oyster sauce ($11.80)
To add more greens to the table, we ordered some standard steamed kai lan with oyster sauce. Again, nothing fancy, but a good veg dish for those who couldn’t take chilli or didn’t like the fishiness of sambal chilli in the kangkong dish.
Salted egg soft shell crab (~$15)
Golden soft shell crab is so freaking good! Crunchy oily fried bits of swishy crab, lightly coated with salted egg. Incidentally, this is obviously the world’s best drunk food. Most people on the table weren’t squeamish about eating whole organisms, which meant they enjoyed the crabs, legs and all! A winning dish but not as awesome as the one from City Garden on the other side of China Town.
I didn’t take photos of everything, but we did order a few other dishes. Spare ribs with Peking sauce ($14.80) were meaty but the sauce was a little too sickly sweet. The Sizzling beef ($14.80) was also packed with sugar, overpowering the thin slices of beef and onion. I usually enjoy duck, but I found the Special duck claypot ($16.80) too salty and one-dimensional in flavour.
Service was attentive and reasonably prompt despite the Saturday night crowds and our enormous order. Our meal was roughly $20pp including steamed rice ($2.20pp) Chinese tea ($1pp) and BYO ($4 per wine bottle). Uncle Billy’s has good food and good service, which makes it another great candidate for boozy dinners in Northbridge!
Likes: good service, decent food, reasonable BYO charges
Dislikes: sizzling beef had a sickly sweet sauce
Value for money: very reasonable
Overall: good spot for boozy dinners on a Saturday night
Shop 9, 66 Roe St
(08) 9228 9388