Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When bad is good

Ok I'm back... it has been way too long since my last post and I suppose most readers out there would have either assumed I had gone MIA or lost interest in food altogether... well I can assure you it was DEFINITELY not the latter.

I have over the past few months, married the love of my life, bought and moved into a new house and come to terms with the new found responsibility of being dad to two pups (well they're both something like 90something in human years but in typical parent speak - they'll always be kids to me).

Nevertheless, my point is I am back. And during all that time, while I've stopped dishing up my insights on my fascination with food on the table that is this blog, I have not stopped eating, pondering and photographing.

And so I'll start sharing a few gems that have been uncovered during this hiatus. I will also start by prefacing that M and I had established a new mantra over the past few months to start discovering more of Perth. Yes, it is quite easy to dismiss this sleepy town as a gastronomic ghost town - and in many ways it still is. But what we have decided to do is put away the better part of our pre-conceptions and just venture out to try stuff - regardless of how unlikely we expect to like places we would normally shun away from due to lack of decor, publicity and general appeal.

Shanghai Flavours in Northbridge is one of these places. Dark, dingy, green fluorescent lighting, a kitchen that is clearly audible with constant shouting and decor that can only be described as stuff you wouldn't even sell on eBay, this was one of those places M and I had always tried to avoid as all the signs yelled (or that could equally have been the cooks in the kitchen) at us to stay away. But we stuck with our conviction and ventured in... and boy were we rewarded. What was also surprising was that whilst Shanghai Flavours is obviously meant to excel in Shanghainese cuisine, it was a Szechuan style dish that blew us away. The Szechuan hotpot here with a choice of beef or fish is incredibly addictive. Numbing szechuan peppercorns balanced with a consistently well seasoned broth and chilli oil hits the flavor buttons on your palate in all the right places. And whilst it probably doesn't look like much, just like the restaurant itself, looks in this case are more than deceiving.

Well worth a try (if you can get past the dining environment).

Shanghai Flavours
Shop 2, 375 William Street
Perth, 6000


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