Quadrangle Shopping Village
100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag
Photography by Donna Portland
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
7 March 2019
Sydney’s North Shore has a new stand-out restaurant.
On Canton Kitchen’s opening night, owner and ex-Queen Chow Head Chef Jason Chan served up no less than fourteen inspired dishes that were brought out with meticulous timing.
For starters, there was a traditional steamed dim sum platter with subtle variations.
Tofu can sometimes be difficult to prepare in its gelatinous form, and the “Silken Tofu with Vegetarian Xo Sauce and Shiso” was cooked to perfection and came according to the description.
The menu then took a sharp turn when we enjoyed “Steamed Venus Bay Blue Tail Prawns, Garlic and Vermicelli”. I would have preferred the prawns to have been peeled but the infusion of the garlic into the meat and the vermicelli provided a nice contrast to the subtlety of the tofu in the previous dish.
The heat was amped up with “Hot and Numbing Chicken Wings” that were accompanied by the powerful presence of whole chillies.
“Sweet and Sour Kurobuta Pork” was made more interesting with the inclusion of Pickled Lotus Root and Pineapple.
Then came two dishes of ribs. “Grandma’s Sticky Mongolian Lamb Ribs” were chewy, really sticky and tasty. In contrast, the “Riverine Beef, Black Bean Sauce, Pickled Celery & Onion” included substantial pieces of beef that were tenderised as only good Chinese restaurants can.
In the “Mushrooms, Morel, Tofu, Sugar Snap & Truffle” we experienced the heightened flavour of several types of mushrooms, one of which reminded me of abalone, but my hankering for seafood was soon more than satisfied with the “Singapore Chilli King Prawns, Fragrant Sambal & Heirloom Tomatoes” and “Seafood Mapo Tofu, Lobster, Alaskan Crab & King Prawns”. Both were exceptional, although we would have liked some utensils for gaining access to the uncracked crab legs.
In the middle of these dishes came the “Canton Kitchen Special Fried Rice, Chorizo, Squid, Prawns & Saffron”. The saffron was the hero ingredient that set off the other elements.
The usual ending to a meal in a Chinese restaurant is cut fresh fruit, but we were treated to two desserts. One was the biggest “Fried Ice Cream” in captivity, a delicious concoction that featured coconut batter. The other was the “Sago Coconut With Fruit”, a simple, artistic offering that yielded a spectacular, sensual result.
Jason Chan’s Canton Kitchen in Castlecrag will provide you with an unforgettable and unique set of taste experiences. As they say in the classics, “I’ll be back”.