Forest Hill, VIC
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY!! We are so, so lucky to have a restaurant as good as The Treasure literally up the road from our house. We normally head to The Treasure for a leisurely weekend Asian brunch (aka yum cha) session, as opposed to facing the yum cha moshpit at places such as Shark Fin. But today, we’re here to celebrate mum growing one year older, one year wiser, and one year prettier of course!
Not usually fans of Cantonese food, it’s testament to just how good the food here is when we list The Treasure as one of our favourite special occasion spots. Which is why it’s so strange that it’s literally empty at 7pm, with no patrons besides us and two other couples. We think it’s probably due to the out of the way location in the ‘burbs.
|Complimentary Prawn Crackers|
|Complimentary House Soup|
There’s a special place in our hearts for their complimentary House Soup, a delicately porky broth with just the right amount of richness, flavoured with all manner of Chinese herbs.
|Spicy Calamari ($19.5)|
We really really like the whole fried flounder, but in the spirit of trying something different, we ordered the Spicy Calamari ($19.5) instead. The ivory curls of calamari are tender yet springy, but it’s the spicy, crispy batter encasing them that’s the star of the show. Scattered with a handful of fragrant fried scallions and chilli, this dish is living proof that deep fried can be elegant too.
|Chinese Mushroom with Bok Choy ($18.5)|
The Chinese Mushroom with Bok Choy ($18.5) was like a cluster of shiny, black jewels resting on a bed of greenery. The mushrooms were tender, and just the first bite will fill your mouth with the most intensely aromatic juices. Interspersed with the crunchy bok choy, it’s good enough to convert even the most avid carnivore.
|Chicken, Beancurd and Salted Fish Hot Pot ($19.5)|
The Chicken, Beancurd and Salted Fish Hot Pot ($19.5) combined several of our favourite flavours for a potent umami hit. The quivering blocks of tofu were the perfect vehicle for the savoury sauce, and the occasional encounters with a sliver of salted fish, or a chunk of chicken, were a delight.
|Pepper Lamb Cutlets ($24)|
Whoever said Asians can’t cook lamb clearly hasn’t had the Pepper Lamb Cutlets ($24). Through the sweet glaze, you could feel the rasp of black pepper at the back of the tongue, bringing out the sweetness of the young lamb cutlet. The little medallion of lamb dissolved on the tongue, and the slightly fatty, sauce-drenched bone made for excellent gnawing, just to prolong the experience that little bit more.
|Complimentary Red Bean Soup and Jasmine Tea|
|Complimentary Watermelon and Coconut Jelly|
And when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, out comes bowls of complementary Red Bean Soup, a plate of Watermelon wedges, and wobbly squares of Coconut Jelly. The lush sweetness of the watermelon combined with the subtle, creamy coconut just can’t be beaten.
The Treasure is a perfect example of simple food cooked well. There’s nothing on the menu that even nudges at culinary boundaries, and the yum cha selection in the morning is modest compared to most other places. But you get the undeniable feeling that every dish here was prepared with care. By sticking to what they know and perfecting it, The Treasure leaves no room for anything other than contentment.
Rating: 15.5/20 – treasure