The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Uncle Billy's in Chinatown Northbridge

Last night, we had dinner with my family prior to my parents' flight back to Malaysia. My mum asked me to choose a Chinese restaurant, somewhere in Chinatown (the 'official' one on Roe Street) in Northbridge, to have our dinner. Rather than going for Billy Lee's (good food but always crowded) or City Garden (good food but bad service) [too bad Chin Chin has closed down indefinitely because that would be our first choice], I decided to go for somewhere we haven't tried before, hence my suggestion of Uncle Billy's. I didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be a nice meal.

The price of the dishes are similar to the other Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, with non-seafood dishes generally costing $9-13 and seafood dishes costing upwards from $13. There were 8 of us plus a toddler, and we shared 7 dishes banquet style with steamed rice.

My mum selected "Sizzling King Prawns" - this was nice with fresh prawns. The hot plate and prawns were brought out separately, and the waiter placed the hotplate on the lazy susan and poured the prawns into the sizzling hot plate. Usually the dish is brought out already sizzling (or not sizzling, like at the Ambassador) but it was nice to have it prepared at our table, as it made sure the dish stayed hot.

My dad ordered "Spicy Duck", which wasn't chilli spicy, but rather prepared using the Chinese five-spice). The duck was prepared quite well, and was served with vinegar sauce.

Ian chose his standard "Peking Spare-ribs", and this is how Peking spare-ribs should be.

Rob ordered a "Two kinds of Squids in prawn sauce", with the squids prepared two different styles. This was delicious, although the squids were a bit on the overcooked side.

Honey chose the Combination Hotpot, which is a claypot dish and not actually hot-pot (you know, steamboat style with spicy szechuan-type soup gravy?). This had tofu, pork, veges and seafood in it. This was yum. I would've chosen this dish if I didn't want a Japanese tofu dish.

Faye ordered "English spinach with century egg", which was a generous dish. English spinach with lots of gravy and both the century and salted eggs. Click here for more information on century egg. I love spinach so this dish gets my thumbs-up.

Finally, I ordered "Japanese tofu with sliced pork and mushrooms". Japanese tofu are soft egg tofu and I love them! This dish also gets my thumbs-up.

All the dishes were well-prepared, and the total bill came to $104.50, which is quite cheap to satisfy eight hungry people. I would go back to Uncle Billy's again.

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