80 Walcott Street, Mt Lawley
Ph: (08) 9371 8888
Enter the Fat Dragon
The first time I dined at Fat Dragon I fell in love with this charming little Asian Diner and have since made a point of going there for dinner whenever I’m going to see a show at the nearby Astor Theatre in Mt Lawley. The Lee family has a long history of running Chinese restaurants in Perth – dating back to 1978. Their latest venture, Fat Dragon has been open for about four years, and is not your average Chinese restaurant. The chefs are from Hong Kong, and the food is modern but authentic Hong Kong-style (not Westernised), and superb quality. The staff have always recommended good wines to go with the food, and the atmosphere is simply delightful.
Owner Nick Lee suggested a refreshing glass of sparkling De Bortoli Rococo Premium Cuvee (Yarra Valley) for me, and a bottle of Snow Beer (from China – a new brew for Perth) for my dining partner, and we sat and admired the huge mural of a Chinese lady sporting a dragon tattoo as we sipped our drinks and waited for our entree. The red walls and smart red bench seats, black chairs and tables, a vase of lotus flowers and a bronze buddha in one corner and a charming alfresco area out the front all contribute to the atmosphere.
Nick brought out a Tasting Plate with a selection of starters including tasty duck and shitake dumplings, prawn twisters with sweet and sour dipping sauce, Chinese anchovies – which are salt-pickled and eaten bones and all – and a fresh, crisp bean sprout salad which offset the salty fish perfectly. We chatted with Nick and his mother Susanna Lee while we enjoyed these tasty morsels. “It’s all about crunch, flavour and presentation,” says Nick.
Our main courses came out all at once and were placed on the table, banquet style. There was Crispy Roast Duck – juicy, flavoursome, tender, rich meat with crunchy, crispy skin and slices of cucumber; and Manchu Prawns – a spicy dish of plump and juicy prawns in batter with slices of chilli, salt and pepper on a bed of rice.
There was Red Spotted emperor – an authentic, traditional dish with large chunks of tender fish and lots of fresh, tasty vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, lotus root and spring onion served with oyster sauce – this dish would suit the diner who prefers their food a little less spicy and easier on the stomach.
And finally, my absolute favourite: Chilli Salt and Pepper Squid – so tender it just melted in your mouth, lightly crumbed, and served on crispy noodles with cubes of zucchini – such a simple dish, but so tasty.
At Nick’s suggestion we had a glass of 2013 Watervale Reisling (Clare Valley) and one of 2012 Urlar Pinot Noir (Gladstone, New Zealand). The Reisling with its lively lemon and lime flavours and clean pure finish was perfect to accompany all the seafood dishes, but the Pinot was truly an exceptionally fine wine, and a fabulous match with the duck.
Fat Dragon is fully licensed, with an excellent selection of wines, and staff who can advise you on the best wine to suit your choice of dishes and your taste, but you can bring your own wine if you prefer. They often host functions, and are family friendly, while still being funky and cool. Nick told us that the most popular dishes are the Kung Pow Chicken and the Crispy Roast Duck, but they always try to encourage people to try something new.
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