Shop 6, 206 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Given that I have a few more exciting meals lined up for the next couple weeks, Friday night dinner this week was less of an affair, and more of just a simple meal at China Red that doesn’t break the bank.
I’m really not very sure when China Red rocked up, but it’s been a while. They seem to do continuously well due on a mixture of reasons, including a reliably adequate menu, a large range of dishes, and the novelty of touch-screen ordering. I imagine being the little sister of HuTong doesn’t hurt their reputation either.
|Chilli Wontons ($8.9, 8pcs)|
Though I’ve long since given up on HuTong as a bad job, I’ve always retained fond memories of the Chilli Wontons ($8.9, 8pcs). Unfortunately these if not destroyed, then at least tarnished those recollections at least a little. The skins on these wontons were no longer silky and delicate, and the sauce was heavy on both sugar and vinegar, whilst the chilli oil had lost its smoky aroma. They’re hardly bad, but I would no longer go out of my way to order them.
|Peking Dumplings ($11,8, 12pcs)|
The Peking Dumplings ($11.8, 12pcs) however defied expectations. Mind you, they were very low to start off with, but these were actually on the nicer end of the spectrum. Despite being somewhat gluggy and mushy, the taste was actually quite authentic, though presentation could definitely use some work.
|Seafood Combination with Beancurd in Clay Pot ($21.8)|
The pick of the night was the Seafood Combination with Beancurd in Clay Pot ($21.8). Everything about this dish was fresh and perky, the vegetables vibrantly crisp, and the curls of calamari competed with the arched prawns for attention. The pale yellow tofu, wobbling inside its fried exterior, soaked up every last drop of the glistening egg gravy. I love it when a simple dish like this is made well.
China Red is neither good nor bad, cheap nor expensive. Though I wouldn’t remember it when I’m on the hunt for good Chinese food, I’m sure it’ll crop up here and there when I’m out of ideas for places to eat, when I want something simple and comforting, or after a long day of work where I would rather keep to myself and order from the touch screens instead.
Rating: 12.5/20 – antisocial dining.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.