Normally when a craving for Chinese food hits, J and I head to Camberwell to Tea House. This particular Friday evening we (me) couldn’t be bothered going far, so we decided to check out somewhere more local.
The closest Chinese restaurant to our house is Emperor Court on the corner of Mitcham Road and Victoria Avenue in Mitcham. We had take away from there once before with friends and it was OK, but a bit pricey for what it was.
The car park, which is under the restaurant, was busy but there didn’t seem to be that many people in the restaurant. It was quite early and it did get busier.
The decor is a bit old school and traditional, but I did like the photos of the Hong Kong skyline. A DJ plays on Saturday nights and I believe there is also karaoke. I have heard stories of overflowing dance floors but there was no such excitement on the night we dined.
It was a tad cold inside, and it also smelt a bit funny.
The complimentary prawn crackers were standard issue.
We love our duck so ordered Peking duck (eight pieces, wrapped in pancake with spring onion, and strips of sliced cucumber and plum sauce).
The duck was presented to us and then carved and served table side.
I am still not 100% sure what the jelly strips were but the texture was very off putting.
Each pancake was made for us, which I like, but the waiter stood at the trolley making them while we ate. He would put a plate down with one pancake on it, we would pick it up and start eating it. He would make the next one, and put it on a plate which he would then place on the empty plate in front of us. Not sure what he would do if you had put the pancake you were eating back down again. It was a bit rushed as we felt we had to eat the pancakes as quick as he was making them. And with someone standing right there next to you, it was a bit uncomfortable and we hurriedly shoved the pancakes in without talking or making conversation.
The duck itself was excellent, but the pancake was spongy, it reminded me of injera bread. It didn’t work with the duck at all.
We had also ordered Sung Choi Bao, which never turned up. Which was a good thing in the end, as we didn’t need it, and we got it taken off the bill.
We shared two main dishes, and a serve of steamed rice each.
We had the kung po chilli chicken.
There was no hint of chilli, and it was too sweet for J’s liking.
The other main was beef fillet with szechuan sauce.
The flavour of the sauce reminded us both of dirt.
There wasn’t dirt in the dish, there was no grittiness or anything like that, it was just what we both thought when we tasted this dish.
So basically, we didn’t really enjoy our meal at Emperor Court and would not go back. We also thought it was way overpriced for the quality. This meal cost us what we would pay at Tea House, and the quality at Tea House is much better. Next time I need a Peking duck hit, we will be making the effort to go to Camberwell.