It is about time Perth had a Chinese fine dining scene – and Yu wasn’t going to cut it as the best in Perth. I love Silks – having been there in Melbourne many times. It also helped to have a 2 michelin starred chef running the kitchen. The decor had made a difference to the atmosphere – much lighter and more elegant in a modern way.
The food is exceptional. I don’t believe Chinese food is properly showcased unless done so in the delicate way so typical of Cantonese fine dining. I also do not think there is any restaurant in Perth that does Cantonese fine dining like the way Silks does. Congratulations Perth, your food scene has just climbed another notch. As I was there at Silks for an event, I don’t know the price of each dish. If your taste buds are well refined and discerning and you don’t mind spending a little more money on quality food, it would be worthwhile to go. The only criticism anyone would have of this place is the serving size of the dishes – with each serve quite like a degustation serving. Make sure you ask the waiter if the food would be enough.
We started out with Cantonese roast of roast pork (siew yok) , barbeque pork (char siew) and marinated cucumber in Chinese aged vinegar. The glazed red char siew is elegantly served with a hint of jarrah honey. Cantonese roast pork has a beautiful 5-spiced crackling over layers of meat and fat – this goes wonderfully with the yellow mustard dotted on the side.
The Cantonese are well known for their soups – and use soups to balance the body. Cantonese soup is normally clear but really rich in flavour from the long cooking process used to draw out all the flavour in the meat. Chinese coups are probably likened to consommés. This soup is Double boiled Chicken with Cordyceps Flowers and Chinese Mushroom. This appeared far simpler than the usual herbal chicken soup – which I will be drinking during the confinement period after I give birth.
The following dish is old but gold. I love a good Braised Abalone, Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber and Duck web. I think abalone is best cooked this way – where it is turned into a tender piece of meat. The sauce is thick here and goes well with rice. Everything on the plate was tender and nearly slippery with softness. Even my father in law appreciated this dish despite it being quite far from his comfort zone! (I am very impressed.) His adventurous (and latter affectionate) side could be attributed to the Leeuwin Estate and Cullen served that night.
If you think the golden prawns served in Uncle Billy’s or Hawker’s cuisine is too overpowering, you will like the golden king prawns here. It is delicate despite it being deep fried – the flavour of salted egg yolk complementing rather than overpowering. The wok fried Patagonian toothfish was also delightfully crisp and light – its fattiness complemented by the sweet and sour sauce. You must decide on this dish for yourself because I am biased. I love toothfish especially when I make it at home in Nobu’s miso style.
For the final savoury course, we were served Silks’ Signature fried rice and stewed wagyu beef cheek in Port Wine and Mandarin Peel. The fried rice was generously topped with scallop and prawns. In the middle lies a slice of fried mantou – typically used in Singapore as a dipping medium for chilli crabs. I love Chinese style bread – it is always soft and fluffy and tasty even on its on. The wagyu beef cheek was really tender – the cartillage giving way easily. Port wine doesn’t seem to be a usual ingredient in Chinese cooking (to my limited knowledge) but it worked well well with the subtle mandarin.
Finally, dessert was a chilled black and white sesame pudding which was thick and richly nutty yet smooth with plump sago balls dancing around on my tongue. Mmm. Love.