Shop 6, 17 Barrett Street, Robertson Village, Sunnybank
The heading of this post sounds appropriately confused because I genuinely don't know what the restaurant is called. Zomato has a listing for it as 'On the Silk Road', which is still displayed on the exterior of the restaurant but there's also a huge sign claiming 'The Red Claw'. That, plus numerous cartoon crayfish painted on the walls inside make me think there's a shift in restaurant specialty and namesake that hasn't been 100% completed.
Whatever the case, I hate having unblogged experiences so right or wrong I'm going to cover our dinner here. Marc and I underwent the most hectic couple of months in our lives. As well as getting married and honeymooning (considered the 'good part') we rented out our unit, were rendered temporarily homeless and had to find a new place to live quick stat. Moving house is probably the worst thing I could ever wish upon anyone, especially when the place they're moving into is just a so so temporary abode with no new house appeal that would otherwise be the light at the end of the tunnel. Even worst is when you have no time off work, have all your belongings and furniture stored away in sealed boxes across 2 different locations and happen to be a hoarder of useless crap. I felt like the move was never going to end. Thankfully we did it and are now somewhat settled in to our new residence in the Western suburbs of Brisbane.
Location-wise, where we are now is a lot closer to work for me than West End was, but it's undeniably further away from everything else. I'd be lying if I didn't admit I miss the ease at which delicious, new cafes and restaurants could be found in and around my old neighborhood. Ah well, such is life and we make do with what we can.
One night, during our extended moving process, Marc and I were driving past Sunnybank and figured this would be a good chance to have dinner other than takeaway, which is what we had been living off on prior days. I directed us towards Robertson Village with the intention of trying Fusion Cafe and Dessert. Browsing around, the fit out of On the Silk Road caught our attention more so we tried that instead.
The restaurant is moderately sized and if I was to dig out some old memories of my uni days, I recall 7-8 used to be in this very location. It is now a Chinese restaurant giving mixed signals about what kind of food it offers. Possibly the focus here is on Western Chinese cuisine with Middle Eastern influences (as per the Silk Road reference) or possibly they are trying to dig out a reputation for spicy cray fish. I'm choosing to blog this place as the former simply because we didn't order any cray fish.
We were presented iPad menus which may be considered gimmicky but I am nerdy enough to get sucked into such gimmicks. I would have liked their menu app to be more streamlined and perhaps have better English because it took us ages to navigate what we wanted.
On this evening, Marc and I ordered a sizzling beef, stir-fried vegetable and mushroom and sausage fried rice. I thought it was going to be way too much food and that we'd have convenient takeaway servings for the rest of the week but I underestimated how much our trip to China expanded our stomachs.
Sizzling spicy beef
The sizzling beef was Marc's pick and ticked his boxes for spicy and meaty. He commented that it tasted like 'taco mix' which from him is a compliment. I believe he was referring to the cumin seasoning which isn't common in central Chinese cuisine but when it does feature in meat flavouring, we always enjoy it. I think that's why I like food from Western China so much. The presence of cumin gives it that more exotic flair.
Stir-fried bok choi and shitaake mushroom
I was very boring and chose the stir-fried bok choi and shitaake mushrooms. As I mentioned earlier we had been surviving on fast food so I felt very nutrition-deficient. The veggies were exactly what I was in the mood for and the mushrooms added a meatiness that made it less like, well, plain greens.
I quite enjoyed the sausage fried rice because it featured Chinese smoked sausage, lap cheong. Too late I discovered Marc doesn't actually like lap cheong. He still ate most of the rice though. I liked that the grains were separated and it didn't taste too oily.
We didn't have any strong impression of On the Silk Road. Maybe that's my mistake for not ordering some cray fish but honestly, it was a confusing experience and when you leave a restaurant unsure of what its focus even is, there's something that can be improved in the layout, marketing and layout design.