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

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Bateman Chinese Malaysian Restaurant, Perth

I've often wondered why some restaurants don't come up with more imaginative names than the suburb's name of the restaurant's location. Perhaps I'd never know. Anyway, my mum's birthday coincided with our last visit to Perth, and my brother booked dinner at Bateman's Chinese Malaysian Restaurant located in Bateman. I'd never heard of this place, and probably would never have come here if not for my brother's booking. He said that they did nice fish head dishes, and my mum loves fish heads so you see the connection.

It's a small diner, fitting at most two big tables (to seat 8) and a couple smaller tables (to seat 4). They also set up a couple of tables outside for because they have a space problem. It's apparently a popular place as it was packed when we arrived 30mins early for our booking. The people seated on our table certainly took their time leaving eventhough they'd finished their meal for that whole half hour we were waiting (typical Chinese!). We were asked to give in our orders while we waited, which helped us pass the time as we looked at the menu. The service was what you'd expect at a Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant of this calibre - friendly, no-fuss service.

The food was quite average. Tasty but not great. Prices were also quite average, around AU$11 per dish. All in all, an average restaurant (I've had a lot worse - the 'white man's Chinese' restaurants still rank quite low on my list). What was important, though, was that we got to spend some time together as a whole family (as whole as you can get with 2 sisters and a nephew in Sydney), and everyone else was introduced to Honey's boyfriend. It was good to get to know him as someone other than my friend's brother, and outside of the blogging world. And he has finally witnessed me in my awkward action of photographing food on the table.

Recognise the guy?

Here are most of the dishes we filled our empty tummies with that night (there were one or two other dishes but I've forgotten what they were. Even looking at the photos did not help):

Sizzling Japanese Tofu and Assam Curry King Prawns. My mum was dissapointed that the assam prawns wasn't the hot and sour one she had expected. By the way, you won't find Japanese egg tofu shaped like that in Japan. They come in square plastic packages, not in cylindrical tubes.

Mongolian Lamb and Fried Fishhead. I can't say I like the Mongolian lamb - it had a very strong lamb smell to it. The fried fishhead was not actually fishhead, more like the fishwings, which I adore. Needless to say, I liked this dish a lot (eventhough it was a deep-fried dish). My mum prefers the actual fish head so she thought this was only so-so.

Combination Tofu Claypot and Sambal Fish. I just had to order the tofu claypot, since it is the standard dish I use to tell how good a chinese restaurant is. It was quite average, which reinforces what I said about this restaurant before. The sambal fish was disappointing. It wasn't even spicy.

So, the verdict? It's a good place to go to if you live in the area and you want some decent Chinese (Malaysian) food.

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