When A’s birthday came about, I was uncertain where to bring a food connoisseur who has just about tried every restaurant in the eastern suburbs. The sister suggested Chinese and not a single place popped to mind. Frankly, a lot of Chinese restaurants are uninspiring when it comes to the types of dishes served and service is always dubious.
After another thorough reassessment of places, Secret Kitchen appears to be one of the highly rated restaurants albeit costing slightly more in comparison to other restaurants. I was happy to compromise price for good quality food and at least a bearable restaurant environment.
Bookings are necessary to avoid disappointment but for last minute decision makers, rest assured that there is ample of seating area in their Doncaster branch so walk-ins may be accommodated easily.
Service is definitely top-notch here as waiters actually paid close attention to our needs such as refilling our pot of tea without us requesting for it, offering to change our dishes when needed and ensuring that dishes on our table are cleared as soon as the plate is stripped clean.
For entree, we ordered the abalone and shark fin soup which was priced at $42.80 and shared it amongst the three of us. Was it worth it? Yes it was. The abalone was tender and braised in a delicious, savoury sauce, of which, I doubt I can replicate. The shark fin soup was delicious as well and neither too salty or bland to my liking.
We begun with the roast duck and boy, did it have a deliciously crisp skin and moist flesh. All of us agreed that this has to be one of the better roast duck dish we have had in Melbourne.
Up next was a plate of stir fry mushrooms and snow peas. A little greasy in my opinion but still a well seasoned dish. Veggies still has a nice crunch to them, an important indication of it's freshness.
No celebratory meal is without a plate of freshly steamed fish, garnished with spring onions and shallots. I love how the waiter managed to perfectly debone the fish and put it back together as though bones never did exist in the first place. Fish meat was soft and pairs well with the soy sauce dressing that it’s drenched with.
Final thoughts? Yes it does cost more than your usual Chinese restaurant but I personally felt that it was worth every cent spent and have made this my number one place to bring any Chinese cuisine foodie or for important events. Or maybe just to reward myself;)