Big Gun Chinese Restaurant
Shop 7/2922 Logan Rd, Underwood
I've been trying to introduce Byron into developing an appreciation of eating out. He's one of 'those' (and there are many of 'those' out there) who have an ingrained state of mind deterring them from restaurants because nothing is as good as home-cooked. And look, that's fair enough if you are blessed with an ability to cook nice food. Hats off. But all the same, I'm quite partial to dining out for the reasons of: experience, environment, stuff you can't make at home and just having something to look forward to.
My game plan was to go to restaurants serving cuisine that we couldn't readily toss together in his kitchen. Asian food was an obvious choice because of all the ingredients/condiments required.
I involved a few uni friends I haven't seen in a while and we made an event of it. I had heard good things about this new restaurant in Underwood which supposedly does a mean yum cha after 9pm. We weren't going to go for yum cha but I sort of extrapolated these raves to predict that their normal dishes would be of similar standard.
We made a booking for 7:30pm on a Friday night. The restaurant wasn't anywhere near as busy as I expected. It was quite big though and furnished with reasonable flair. Better standards than an eatery in any case. Nice gold menus.
A plate of assorted cold starters was ordered for us to share as we decided on mains. I had an amusing time trying to describe what the components were. Hien tried to scare everyone by cataloging the plate as 'mixed entrails'. I was a bit more specific but it's hard to explain something like duck tongue or deboned duck feet skin while keeping a straight face. This plate kept us going for a while.
The complimentary soup was really bland and under-seasoned. Even a bit of poisonous MSG would have been an improvement here (joking... but only just). The guys argued amongst themselves over who had to eat the chicken feet.
I had ordered the eight treasure duck dish. My dad cooks something he calls 'eight treasure duck' where he makes an awesome stuffing and puts it in the duck (a bit like this). That's why I ordered it but this was totally different. It was instead kinda like a clay pot with 2 or 3 duck pieces (really chewy and overcooked) plus bits of other kinds of meat and squid. We were counting treasures but didn't find that many and started including things like carrot and bok choi. This dish was boring, bordering on inedible.
Byron had been craving Shechuan beef so that's what he ordered. We had 2 people wanting beef dishes so he was asked to change to Shechuan lamb. He resolutely responded 'no'. The Shechuan beef ended up being one of the only reasonable dishes on the table. It was quite saucy and flavorsome. Nothing mind-blowing but it gets a pass tick.
We chose the salt and pepper chili flounder as our fish dish. This was my favorite of the lot. It was crispy and crunchy. I was feeling quite appreciative of the fish until Byron pointed out that deep-fried things are rarely bad. That is true. Maybe it's a cheap win but still, go the fish.
Someone ordered the scallops. All I remember about this dish is that I got criticized for my pronunciation of 'scallop'. I didn't try a single scallop so no comment from me.
There was a soy chicken and mushroom dish. When we ordered it, the waiter warned us that it would have bones. We mocked that statement at the time, thinking 'der... we've eaten chicken with bone before'. When the dish came, I understood why he said that. All I got was bone. I picked up one chicken piece and gnawed at it for a few seconds before giving up. I don't want to say anything else in case it comes across as criticism overkill but... the chicken was really 'challenging' for my teeth. Dentally undesirable cuts of meat.
We also got a complimentary dessert of sweet red bean porridge. Byron politely pushed his away claiming it tasted exactly like the soup at the start, only sweet. I don't agree with him on that level but this is far from my idea of a nice dessert.
Sorry Big Gun! (Is it inappropriately lame if I say 'don't shoot me'?)
MAYBE the yum cha is good but frankly, I'm so deterred from this experience I wouldn't go back for that.