Saturday, May 10, 2014

Silks (Crown Entertaiment Complex, Melbourne) 05/2014

Silks has always been a place of great beauty with it's impressive silk tent, used as a bar until recently, dominating the main room of the restaurant. It's expensive and the food has always been good. Well spaced elegantly dressed tables, 
comfortable seating and first class service make it an excellent venue for special occasions. As well as an a la carte menu they offer a series of banquets for lunch from $45 to $128, dinner banquets from $108 to $158 and a vegetarian banquet for $99, which I am looking forward to trying soon.

On this occasion we took the top of the range dinner banquet.  
While waiting for the first course of coral trout fillet embedded in minced shrimp, pepper shrimp we were offered a dish of crisp sweet coated peanuts.

This course would not be out of place in a three star restaurant. It looked fantastic and it tasted as good as it looked. The coral trout a delicacy, beautifully prepared and the shrimp, which I would normally call a prawn, was well seasoned. The dish had everything, taste, texture, variety and presentation.

We were next served a selection of dim sum in a steaming hot bamboo basket. After we started eating it we noticed that this was not on our menu. Our waiter glossed over his error offering it as an extrafrom the chef! They were excellent. The Shanghai dumpling contained a flavoursome soup and fine pastry, and the three other dumplings, chicken, prawn and seafood were equally fine. An unexpected pleasure.

Stunning baked crab shell with crab meat, onions, coconut milk, cream, butter and cheese, brilliantly presented, was also something special. Very unusual, it is a fusion of western and Chinese cuisine. It is a dish of great delicacy with plenty of crab in the mixture.

Peking duck was the classical dish. The pancake was too thick and it looked a little lonely on the palate. The flavour could not be faulted.

Wok tossed lobster with mushrooms and vegetables was another very fresh and delicate dish with a good serve of lobster. There was a little too much ginger, which slightly dominated the taste of the lobster. I would also have preferred the broccoli, which was cooked beautifully, with crisp stems and soft florets, to have been served in smaller pieces as the chunks did not fit well with the fineness of the rest of the dish.

Pan fried Patagonian toothfish, with soy sauce and peas came next. This came from Canada. It is an extremely fine deep sea white fish. It is now being sustainably farmed at Heard Island, a bit of Australia, and I wish it had come from there. I would have liked a thicker fillet a little less cooked but one can hardly complain about such a delicacy served with a very light sauce.

Pan fried lamb cutlets with cumin scented abalone sauce were remarkably meltingly tender. The sauce was again very light. Not very Chinese but very delicious!

Fried rice, with scallops, chicken and Chinese wine was served with this, which was the last course before dessert.
Crispy mango rolls with flaked almonds ended the meal. These had been deep fried so as to make the outer pastry cover crisp, but not too oily, without melting the mango custard.

A couple of things irritated me. I thing a surcharge on credit cards at expensive restaurants is unreasonable. I would prefer it if they simply increased the price of the meal by $5 or $10. When we booked our table they insisted that we would have to leave by 8.15. Again I find this unacceptable if one is having an eight course dinner at considerable cost.
We both feel that the food, which, is now Western influenced Chinese, is that not the way of the world, was always good but now it is very very good.
Score: 16/20


John Salisbury said...

Wendy and I have eaten on several occasions.Grand style dining.

Elliot and Sandra said...

I think it is an asset to Melbourne dining.

Natasha Hannah said...

This is one of the exciting article I have come across recently. I also have a similar blog about Hairdressers in Rockhampton

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Natasha
I was in Rockhampton recently and enjoyed a particularly good meal at Signature a restaurant in a motel there!