It's was time for a new Chinese restaurant for Father's Day this year. We tried Royal Treasure in Burwood's Emerald Square for a Chinese seafood feast with a special guest star, the newly adopted member of the family Laura!
Laura picks me up that afternoon and when I get in the car she says excitedly, "I’ve got two things to tell you. First I’ve washed my hair and secondly my sat nav asked me if I’d like to name this address as I come here so often." It's true, although we first connected through work (she's in PR) we realised that we had so much fun together eating and misbehaving that we became friends.
Emerald Square is a newish building full of eateries and restaurants. Going to Burwood is like visiting another Chinatown entirely. Laura is thrilled that she is the only Caucasian person she can see. On Saturday nights you need to book at Royal Treasure because it is very, very busy. We're just hoping that we don't get a repeat of the previous Chinese dinner where we had to wait ages for food, service was lackadaisical and the food was middling in flavour.
Service is excellent, they're attentive and nothing is too much trouble and things are brought out quickly. When my sister Blythe asks for a fork and knife (they usually bring it and put it in front of Mr NQN who is perfectly capable of using chopsticks), they bring four sets-basically one set for every young person on the table.
Laura has now learned that if you order enough you will get a tureen of complimentary soup. This broth has watercress, carrot chicken's feet and pork bones and I love having this at the beginning of a meal.
The crab was the reason for Laura coming along to these dinners. Not only is she the social lubricant (my family don't really talk to each other in a normal way) she also loves eating crab. Last time we forgot to tell them about her capsicum allergy and some capsicum appeared on the crab so this time we tell them "NO CAPSICUM PLEEEASE."
We ask for XO sauce and this is $18 extra which seems steep but the other types of crab don't appeal as much (ginger and shallots, salt and pepper). The food arrives quickly and we dig into the crab. The crab is meaty and noodles saucy. The XO sauce isn't particularly strong. It's a good version of XO chilli crab but I'd like more XO flavour, especially since we paid a premium for it.
The Murray Cod is unfortunately a massive disappointment. I usually love this fish but it's incredibly muddy tasting and I don't want more than a mouthful of this.
The pork ribs with Peking sauce is always a favourite of ours. Here it is served with pineapple pieces and deep fried milk batons. These milk custard logs are coated and then deep fried and are very sweet by themselves but if you get a bite full of the pineapple, custard and pork it's absolutely delicious.
Blythe is obsessed with lamb because she lives in London where it is very expensive. The aroma of burnt garlic is strong in these and whilst they're juicy and fatty they're strong in garlic and a muttony flavour. There's also black bean and chilli but the garlic dominates this.
This was another order for Blythe. The salted egg prawns are coated in an intense and salty but sweet egg yolk coating. It's grainy because of the salted yolk and I think I prefer this on crab although it's too rich to do on an entire crab.
I always love the fried duck with yam and this is one of my favourite dishes of the night along with the pork and fried milk. The duck layer on the bottom is succulent and crispy with the skin on and then on top is a layer of seasoned mashed taro. A gelatinous sauce is on the side and I love the crisp and creamy texture and the flavours of this dish.
There were a few types of fried rice and we all love sticky rice so we order a fried sticky rice. It's got a bit more flavour with the soy sauce and it's good with lots of pieces of lup cheong sausage in it.
We never really tend to order dessert because we usually have cake waiting at home or go somewhere else. Out come the complimentary desserts: there's a plate or orange slices and strawberries. And then a plate of cookies too - sesame balls and butter cookies. "They're so dry, they're great!" says Laura nibbling on a sesame ball before taking mine and eating some of that too.
So tell me Dear Reader, what sort of food does your dad like the best? Do you order so much at Chinese restaurants that you get complimentary soup and cookies?
This meal was independently paid for.
Level 2, 27 Belmore St, Burwood NSW 2134
Monday to Thursday 11am–3pm, 5:30–10pm
Friday 11am–3pm, 5:30–10:30pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am–3pm, 5:30–10:30pm
Phone: (02) 9747 0288