Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Red Teapot, Northbridge

Its walls and logos are red.  The Chinese are famous for the origin of and their enjoyment tea.  Combined, we get Red Teapot - a Chinese restaurant the owners suitably named that is popular most nights of the week.

Situated on the quieter Northern end of William Street in Northbridge, Red Teapot is a typical sized Chinese eatery in Northbridge that specialises in Cantonese food.  Seating can be a little cramped to fit in about 30 people, and given its popularity I would suggest reserving a table ahead.

The menu at Red Teapot is quite extensive for the size of the restaurant, with many Chinese Cantonese dishes on offer from meat, seafood, vegetarian, as well as entrees and soups, all cooked in a variety of methods and sauces giving much choice for your meal.  However, like most Chinese restaurants, many of the dishes are best shared with people so you can have and share a variety of dishes.

Service is pretty typical of Chinese restaurants, but I found the level of English to be good and some of the staff in particular are very friendly and helpful, even when they are full house.

Honey and pepper pork rib  $13.90

I find when I see this on the menu there is something that tends to draw me to it.  Perhaps it’s the non-fat-trimmed pork that is battered and deep fried?  Sounds bad, but it tastes good if you like that sort of thing.

Though deep fried in batter, the pork rib didn’t appear to have been heavily battered - and thus didn’t seem excessively oily considering it was battered and deep fried.  The pork ribs were subsequently stir fried with onion and champignon mushrooms in a sweet honey and peppery sauce.  Whilst the overall taste was quite mild as opposed to overpowering in sauce flavours, the thick sauce did make every piece strong in the honey and pepper flavour.

Prosperous fragrant chicken - $17.90

This popular and recommended dish consists of half a deep fried chicken served with a vinegary sweet sauce that had added garlic, spring onion, and chilli.

The chicken was fried just enough to cook it through without getting too dry, and the skin was still lightly crispy.  The sauce added a savoury tangy flavour to the chicken that wasn't heavy, but definitely flavoursome.

Fried fish in chilli soy sauce  $17.90

Yet another deep fried dish, the fish was also battered and deep fried then served on a plate that had a decent layer of chilli soy sauce.  The sauce was only mild in chilli taste, and tasted like a toned-down-in-salt-soy-sauce based but still amply flavoured chilli soy sauce.  The fish was pretty standard battered and deep fried fish, but dipping it into the sauce made the batter get a bit soggy but also added additional taste to the otherwise relatively plain fried fish.  Personally, I quite enjoyed the combination of the deep fried fish with the mild flavours of the chilli soy sauce.

Mixed vegetables and tofu claypot - $12.90

Sometimes with these meals, you feel compelled to order a dish that is largely if not exclusively vegetables.  I suppose it sometimes makes me feel better that I’m getting some greens.

This particular vegetarian dish contained a mixture of tofu with mushrooms, carrots, Chinese green vegetables, and baby corn cooked in a light garlicky sauce that added large amounts of flavour to what would otherwise be a bland dish.  As a vegetarian dish this was cooked till the vegetables were soft but not overcooked, but I felt like it had a fair bit of oil for my liking – somewhat taking off the edge for me for what should be a “healthier” dish.

The tofu and vegetables were also presented and served in a metal “claypot”.

Chicken and mushroom claypot - $14.90

Served in another metal “claypot” dish, the chicken claypot consisted of bite size pieces of boneless chicken, Chinese sausage, sliced Chinese shiitake and other mushrooms, decoratively cut carrots, baby corn, onion, ginger, spring onions, and finely chopped garlic.

Cooked in the claypot, the savoury sauce had a hint of sweetness and garlic flavour.  Thanks to the sauce, this was a very tasty dish though perhaps a tad salty for my liking.  The skinless chicken pieces were tender and not dry, and the whole dish seemed to have flavour from the cooking technique infusing the sauce evenly throughout.

Squid tentacles with chilli and garlic - $10.90

Squid tentacles fried and tossed into chilli and garlic (and salt).  Need I say more?

Green apple iced tea  $3.50

Red Teapot offers a few “flavoured” drinks.  This particular drink had a sweet green apple taste that is common in syrup made drinks (which includes bubble tea).  However, I found this drink was not heavy on the sugar syrup, which to me was good.

In summary, Red Teapot sits well above your local run-down Chinese restaurant in terms of Chinese cuisine and offers a mix of your typical Chinese dishes as well as some more traditional Cantonese food.

Points to note:  Dine in or takeaway, if you want to ensure you get a seat on any night, you’re best off making a reservation.  BYO and cash only.  There is also 10% off all takeaway orders, as well as early birds who finish dinner before 7pm

Go for:  Good Chinese food - with all your usuals plus more.

Red Teapot
413 William Street
(08) 9228 1981

Trading Hours
Monday to Saturday - Lunch and Dinner

Red Teapot on Urbanspoon

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