Sunday, 26 August 2007

Shark Fin Inn City

I have about 6-7 backlogged foodie posts and also 2-3 essays due for uni and lots of catching up work to do due to my mini self-proclaimed holiday last week. *tears hair out* Anyway, I'll try to catch up with the food posts slowly, and I'm sorry that most of the "new" updates will actually be backlogged posts. :(

I ate at some rather good Thai and Korean places last week but due to our recent onslaught of Thai/Korean lately, I'll leave those for last. Hahaha. Haven't had a Chinese review in a while, so how about one of those?

Shark Fin Inn (not to be confused with the popular yum cha place Shark Fin House even if they are owned by the same company) is a place introduced to us by Alf and I have to say that they serve pretty good Chinese food. Therefore my sister and I took our parents and little sister there last week and being unadventurous and kinda hungry, we ordered our usual favourites.

Starting off with the veggies, we ordered the Spinach with Dried Scallops 瑶柱菠菜.

Green spinach under a mountain of scallops.

It's my favourite vegetable dish - I love the saucy spinach that manages to maintain the right amount of crunch along with the chewy bits of dried scallop...mmm! Yummy indeed. It might be a little salty to some on its own (i.e. my dad) but eating it with a mouthful of rice makes it a delightful mouthful. The dried scallops added a very nice taste to the vegetables in general, perfect compliment!

Little sis is a huge fan of deer meat, so we ordered the Venison Stir Fry with Spring Onion and Ginger 姜葱鹿肉.

Say 'Venison' to be posh.

The venison slices were just sliced the right amount of thickness and it's very satisfying to the chew and bite. My only complaint that it was just a little lacking of the gingery taste but the spring onion was a good enough complement to the dish, and the venison retains a little of its gamey-ness. More ginger taste would be great but the dish is still pretty good.

Our personal favourite and house favourite, Fried Tofu 琵琶豆腐. FYI, this dish is not available with the English menu (many items are not in the English menu could be found in the Chinese menu) - and 'Fried Tofu' is really not the most correct way to describe this wonderful dish.

This rocks in a soft-tofu way. I kid you not.

Basically it was bean curd pieces mashed with a little bit of meat (I think, I can't be sure), spring onion, bits and pieces of spices (including mushrooms I think), and then rolled in a very thin layer of flour to be deep-fried. The outcome is a beautiful piece of tofu that was just thinly crunchy to the bite and full of creamy tofu goodness on the inside. It was also wonderfully fragrant and it just tastes really really good. Alf introduced this dish to us and I have had this dish for the past 3-4 times I've been back there.

Just tell them "Pei Pa Tao Fu" (Canto) if you want to order because I really have no friggin' idea of the English name.

Dad is a big big fish person so he spared no expense in ordering a fresh, swimming fish to be steamed in a light soya sauce. I was told that this was a "三刀鱼" (literal translation: Three Knife Fish and I am 101% sure that is NOT the English name) and I have no idea of its English name. The waiter had no idea either. :D I had to zoom in on the fish from my other end of the table so pictures were not that great, sorry.

Bigger than it looks.

See the big head.

The fish was quite enormous - close to 4 pounds I think, and steamed to perfection. The fish meat was tangy and chewy and just so fresh to the taste. The accompanying soy sauce was light and nothing fancy and went wonderfully with the simplicity yummy-ness of the steamed fish. However this dish was a whopper in price, I think it would be close to AUD$100. x.x

I forgot how much was each individual dish but the total meal costs us AUD168 ++ and that was just four dishes. I don't think the venison, spinach and tofu would cost more than AUD$20 on their own, even if giving the venison an extra 5 bux to AUD$25.

Quite a costly Chinese restaurant I supposed, but I've never been disappointed with their dishes. The dishes I've tried so far were all in the range of good to excellent, with a lot of dishes in the upper half. Another favourite was the fried chicken and being the dummy I am, I've already forgotten the exact name to it, and also the crunchy prawns.

Next time I go back there, I'll photograph the pages of menu so I can refer to it for my favourite dishes. :D

- Mouse


Shark Fin Inn City
50-52 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 9662 2681


crushedguava said...

wah steamed fish.

did you eat the head? ;p

tigerfish said...

Wooo...that's a luxurious generous splash of dried scallops :)

New Kid on the Blog said...

The fish is fresh!! It looks fresh!! Yummy yummy yummy

Ginger said...

wooo.. i love fish!! especially steamed fresh fish.. but quite expensive isn't it? I know I wouldnt be able to order it on my own.. maybe when my family members come over to Melbourne for a visit? LOL.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Wow! I love all your food pictures!

.+ shopaholic +. said...

I am so hungry after looking at your post and pics!

The tofu *does* look really good.. I think I had something similar in another place, but I didn't know how to order it.. We basically went "Are there any nice tofu?" to the manager and he said "Ok! I will order for you"

The tofu ended up costing us $35.

mouse said...

Hi crushedguava,

I didn't, but I think either my dad or my mum did. :D The fish was really really good!


Hi tigerfish,

Yes indeedy! And it all went together so nicely with the spinach!


Hi new kid on the blog,

The fish IS very fresh...for the price we paid, if it was not fresh, we'd probably throw it at the waiter, or something ;)


Hi ginger,

We actually ordered it without knowing the price! Although we did expect it to be pricey because one time I was there with the gang, we also ordered a steamed fish that went up to $60...quite a lot to pay for some poor students. I guess the compensation was that it was really really REALLY good.


Hi east meets west kitchen,

Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! ;)


Hi shopaholic!

I've learnt to discreetly ask the price when asking for recommendations; some waiters/managers will end up ordering something crazy expensive if otherwise. x.x I hope the tofu at least tasted very good - $35 for tofu is indeed pricey.

Anonymous said...

i wanna eat the venison and fish. tt vege reminds me of the "stir fry spinach with salty eggs" at the vegetarian restaurant( u know tt restaurant rite Mouse?the one near Crown). just thinking of tt vege dish makes me drool =)

n a lovly post btw. enjoy reading it =D