Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A moment of silence...

One of the most shocking discoveries in the weekend that just passed was that one of my all time favourite casual chinese eateries in Perth has, or at least appears to have, shut down very suddenly.

Hong Kong BBQ or 顺德 as it is affectionately known by the local chinese has been around forever. And by forever I mean ever since I first arrived in Perth as a student almost 15 years ago now.

For as long as I can remember, this unpretentious, extremely efficient and welcoming chinese restaurant has been a dining home to my friends and I. We found comfort in their delicious beef brisket braised to melting perfection in earthen claypots, marvelled at their large portions of crispy roast pork, were thrilled by the ridiculously moreish wok fried snow crab in a salted egg yolk batter and most importantly, became hopelessly addicted to their house made chilli oil (a potent blend of fried dried chillis, garlic and other secret condiments).

We had our Sunday lunches, late weeknight gatherings, after movie supper catch ups, birthday celebrations even in this very popular establishment... this place was as much about the food as it was the memories that it injected into our lives. The lovely owners that ran the restaurant were always extremely warm and friendly - and having visited this place countless times in the past 15 years, I had become a familiar face that they always acknowledged with a welcoming smile. My only regret is that I had never bothered to get to know them on a first name basis.

And as I take a moment of silence to reflect on the (potential I hope) possibility of losing 顺德 - I realise that just like the people closest to you in life, you should never take their presence for granted... I mean I had never even thought of including this old favourite on this blog until now.

My only hope is that the owners had decided to take time out to renovate the restaurant's premises... and in the process allowed me to appreciate this restaurant for what it really has been - a big part of my dining life here.


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