With the end of the year nearing, it's inevitably time for family gatherings. This year, we had our end of year dinner at Lily's Chinese Kitchen at Coopers Plains on account of the fact that an aunty was good friends with the head chef there.
Decor is relatively plain, and the store had a decidedly red theme to it.
As the aunty was already familiar with the chef, she had ordered quite a number of things off the menu days ahead of the dinner. Menus were not perused, and we just got started off with the complimentary soup, which was a light dried vege and pork broth.
Some fried dishes came out first, with a plate of deep fried flathead, and a serve of deep fried intestines. We found it interesting that the flathead was served chopped up as opposed to a whole fish. Whilst not as aesthetically pleasing, it ensured that all surfaces were crispy and crunchy, and we could avoid the inconvenience of flipping of the fish over. As for the deep fried intestines, they were the highlight of the meal. With a perfectly crispy outside, and a juicy chewy inside, I really enjoyed them.
The main highlight of the meal for others was the steamed eel, which was served with garlic and blackbean. Being used to Japanese roasted unagi, this was a definite change for me. The biggest setback for me was that the eel was quite bony, as opposed to unagi, where presumably the bones are removed for you. Nevertheless, being steamed, I could really taste the freshness of the tender meat, which was particularly accentuated by the garlic and black bean.
That evening we also had steamed scallops with garlic on top. Whilst plain, this method of cooking allowed for us to sample the freshness of the scallops with minimal flavouring. The scallops were fresh, firm, and large but interestingly served with roe, which served as a bit of difference in textures.
That evening, we also had two large hot pots. one was a braised beef, and the other was a salmon head pot. The beef was well marinated, and the pots were both very nourishing and welcoming, although the salmon was quite bony.
The meal was rounded off with a dish of stir fried water spinach with garlic and ginger, which was fresh, and cooked just right. The chef came out at this time and ran us through a number of variations on his dishes, including a completely deboned deep fried eel, which I was definitely keen to try next time.
Price Range: $15 - $30 per person