Friday, October 17, 2008

Sho at Crown Casino

Introduction: I have not been a great enthusiast for accepting invitations from restaurants for dinners, not that I get that many. I was more than pleased that I accepted when Crown offered bloggers an opportunity to try their fare.
The evening began with a traditional chinese tea ceremony. This really deserves a separate entry and I will try to do that before too longThe ceremony takes place on this beautifully carved wooden tray with most attractive utensils. This was followed by a masterful exhibition of kung fu with a boiling teapot with a spout almost 2 metres long.
A noodle pulling demonstration
preceded our meal which we had served at the bar. The restaurant has a large open kitchen area where everything is cooked. This is surrounded on three sides with a bar comfortably wide enough for food and drinks. There is a 'mountain of tea' at each end of the bar. On each side there are also tables and chairs for those that prefer them.
The table settings are simple and unclutteredThe initial offering of three dumplings were silky smooth and very fine.
This was followed by a selection of tender and tasty cold cuts - chicken, pork and duck with a sweet plum and hoisin sauce
Next came a lobster dish - rather dry
and a deep fried fish cooked till crisp on the outside but moist and tasty under the light batter.
The beef randang was mildly spiced and served with a tower of riceand this was soon followed by a very mild, almost tasteless, noodle prawn dish which would have been much better served before the spicy beef A plate of greens and a sweet chilli chicken dish from which the red chilli could easily be seen and avoided if desired came nextThe rolled up mat is actually the tea menu. Sho has about 20 different teas. Tea, for the Chinese is comparable in some ways to wine in the West. There are hundreds of varieties and grades, there are competitions and top teas sell for $1000's / kilo. We tried several including the 25 year standing. My palate for tea is quite untrained so I could not appreciate the qualities of these beverages.
Finally we had a triple mango dessert - fruit, custard and ice cream.Unlike other restaurants at Crown this Sho is actually in the Casino. It is ideally placed for patrons to enjoy a quick meal or a more extensive good quality banquet.
It has a a very clean open feeling.

Service was efficient with explanations on request

Wine: After a champagne with tea and I think, a touch of plum sauce we enjoyed a pleasant slightly dry T'Gallant Pinot Gris and a Stonier 2007 Pinot Noir between a variety of Chinese teas.

Comments. A good addition to the Crown stable. I'm definitely going back for another meal

Score: 14.5/20

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