Sea Treasure in Crows Nest, as the name suggests serves Chinese seafood dishes with tanks of live seafood ready to order. During our visit for my father's birthday we tried a range of seafood dishes from crab with e-fu noodles in XO sauce, pippies with vermicelli and king prawns with garlic butter that came with five enormous specimens of prawn.
"I want to eat crab," my father said simply. It was his response to the question, "What would you like to do for your birthday?". I searched my mind for good Chinese restaurants that would be open on New Year's Day (most of them are, I'm sure they do well being open then). I asked my friend Nick who despite being Greek may as well be Chinese and he recommended Sea Treasure in Crows Nest. Crossing the bridge for Chinese is not a natural thing for my father but we offered to drive so that put any complaints to rest.
We are the first to arrive. I've booked us in for the very early time of 5:30pm because my dad would eat at 4:30pm if he could and after all it is his birthday. We are the first table but gradually during the night, more tables arrive. Service at first is strange. We order from the menu and before we can finish, our waiter walks away which causes us all to look at each other and wonder. The first plate of pippies with vermicelli comes without the vermicelli because our waiter saw that we were ordering noodles with our crab so he struck it off our order. They seem eager to move things along, clearing things before we have finished.
Sorry about the weird lighting in the photos, there is very yellow lighting in the restaurant
Pippies with vermicelli $77
After we send back the pippies asking for the vermicelli as we ordered it they arrive shortly after. And they're good indeed. There is a generous amount of sauce and I grab a corner piece of the crispy deep fried vermicelli. Even Blythe who only two days ago had insisted that she hates vermicelli likes this dish and it goes back without a morsel on the plate.
Crab with efu noodles $171
The crab is a 1.3 kilo crab and while the sauce lacks a lot of the oomph of XO sauce (it's more chilli, ginger and shallot) the noodles are silky, the crab meaty with sweet, delicious meat and we savour every piece. My father and Mr NQN get the two enormous claws as they often struggle with prising the meat out.
King prawns with garlic butter sauce 5 for $41.80
There's always a point when we order seafood where we wonder if we should get the garlic butter sauce. We all love it but it is so calorific that even us gluttons are somewhat wary of it. But the prawns are the next best thing as it is a smaller dish. There are usually four prawns but we ask for five and they are absolutely enormous specimens in a deep pool of garlic butter sauce. The sauce is fantastic, however alas the prawns are a bit overcooked.
Fried Rice with chicken and salted fish $24.80
The fried rice contains plenty of tender chicken as well as shreds of lettuce and whilst I don't really see much salted fish it is seasoned well so perhaps it is very finely minced. We also ladle spoonfuls of the garlic butter sauce over this.
Salt and pepper lamb chops $5.80 each
My sister is somewhat obsessed with lamb which is contrary to my father who is rather lamb phobic citing cholesterol concerns. So we just ordered a couple of these lamb chops. They're deep fried and seasoned with salt and pepper. Ironically my father likes these a lot so he savours the chop with very small bites.
Stir fried cauliflower with ham and chilli $19.80
Although it says Chinese broccoli the menu picture was of cauliflower and the end result is cauliflower. It's served with slices of bacon and chilli with a liberal sprinkling of cumin seeds to give it a fragrant spice.
Mango pancakes (complimentary)
Perhaps it is for New Year's but everyone in the restaurant that evening receives mango pancakes instead of the usual fruit plate. Many of us are too full to contemplate one but Mr NQN, ever the fruit enthusiast gobbles these eggy thin pancakes stuffed with plump mango cheeks and thick whipped cream down.
As for my fussy father the only thing he had to say was that he would definitely come back. "Next year though and if you drive." Of course!
So tell me Dear Reader, what are your favourite Chinese restaurant dishes? What time would you eat dinner if you could eat at any time?
This meal was independently paid for.
46 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: +61 (02) 9906 6388
Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, 5:00-10:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, 5:00-10:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, 5:00-10:00 pm