209 Oxford Street
Telephone (08) 9443 8888
I have just 3 things to say about this small, stylish, convenient and new-to-the-Perth-scene Modern Chinese restaurant:
1) I have just died and gone to heaven
2) It’s a “Really….you must try this place” kind of experience and
3) I’ll be back. In fact…I’m going back tonight, to try their dinner menu.
Being so brief is not usually my style. But really….I have not much else to say about this place. From the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I jolted back, took one quick look around and thought to myself “wow…how clean ‘n’ cool. I like it!” It has such a pleasant vibe to it, I loved it instantly. One look at the lunch menu and aside from wondering how these people made a living charging such modest prices, I was keen to load up on my order and share the food lovin’ right away.
Oh, and the bonus? The dining experience came with a minor/major experience (minor detail, but major experience). A complimentary breeze of floral candle scented air on the short stroll to the bathrooms. Nothing like a clean bathroom, says Lydia Guerrini. It was like walking into a luxurious candle store. Such a random, quirky pleasantry but one which surely put a smile on my dial. Isn’t it just the little things that make something really, really good…just Absolutely Georgeous.
During the stroll, I noticed a sectioned off courtyard with a small bar and an alfresco ceiling donned with modern Chinese lanterns to add the perfect, relaxed ambience. Perfect for small functions and after work drinks and special occasions, this little jaunt is going to be a winner. It opened only 6 months ago, so it’s fresh on the Perth scene.
Prawn Toast. So simple, yet so different, wherever you may go. Must have the crunch factor, the right thickness of prawn spread on top of white bread-toasted sesame side down first. It took me a while to get to mine, and when I did it was still surprisingly crunchy. I would have prefered a quicker fry on the underside to be a 10/10 but if a 9′s close enough who’s complaining? Packed full of punchy prawn and zesty flavours, and for $2 per piece…why make it at home?
Remember the hard marker in me who detests a spring roll without any spring? Well this one was a leaping affair because my spring rolls saw more spring than September-November. No residual oil here, just crisp, honest fillings without that deplorable ‘greasy’ after taste some budget spring rolls put forward. Not here. These are the real McCoy. In fact, between you and me, they shall be called The McCoy Rolls. In fact I think I will.
Now we were advised by the waitress to perhaps remove 1 of the fried dishes as there was “too mich fried food” and too much food altogether…at which point I felt like disclosing to her that whilst I simply can not eat everything, I will never stop trying. She was right though…but I was right too. If it wasn’t about being right, but about being happy, well…then I was both. You can see below, my Holy Trinity. Amen.
Soft shell crab. Salty, chewy, moist, ocean flavours here. What I love about this dish is that it makes a perfect share plate. I’d love to see this come out in larger pieces, for those (like myself) who just want to eat everything for themselves. Both are winners, so if you’re in a group, you might really enjoy this one- it’s plentiful, flavourful and colourful.
And then of course is this piece of artwork. A stack of Deep fried tofu, with salt and pepper chilli ($8). I played with the tofu on these babies, piled so high. I wondered how they could stay so light and silky after everything they’ve been through. See the raindrops of green onion, sesame, red and green chili and fried onion? These are the little sweet, salty, crunchy pieces of jewels that play against the silky tofu, and they got the balance of flavours right here folks.
Finally, the Silver Fish. More substantial than white bait, and softer on the inside with a good balance of crispiness. Again, perfect for a full table of hungry friends to tie everyone over until your mains arrive; the portion sizes are fit for P’u Yi’s army.
But wait! I did say I was going back for dinner…and I did. I just had to see what was on the dinner menu. Because I’m a curious creature. Monday’s jaunt had taken my fancy and it’s Wednesday now and I wanted to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. I’m a researcher remember…so consistency is key and my, oh my, The Zenith delivered tonight as well.
What I do know, is this. The Zenith are releasing a new menu soon, and it’s promised to be concise, fresh and excitingly contemporary. I can’t wait and I’ll be back with more details I’m sure. I’m excited about The Zenith. It’s a family operated restaurant and you can feel it in the attention to detail and caring service. This is a space I want to watch and I suggest you do too. Let me know how you go, and be sure to let them know that Lydia from Absolutely Georgeous sent you xxx
Dinner 20th June, 2012
Deep fried squid tentacles with salt and pepper chili ($6), Chicken Fried Rice ($12.80) and Duck noodle soup ($16.80).
What I loved about this combo is that I got to use that thick chili sauce that came with the squid to add some heat to my duck noodle soup- nothing like a bit of spice at night. The broth was otherwise clear and delicate so keep it that way if you want to remain a puritan of the dish. The duck was plentiful, its skin still in tact and crunchyabove the soup, and below the duck meat soaked up the broth and gave it a soft and moist texture which came off the bone easily.
The chicken fried rice arrived as an enormous portion with good quantities of chicken, egg omelette and vegetables. The squid- well, it’s not a secret one is partial to fried Dim Sum, so this rounded the meal off for me. I love the crunchiness of the green and red chili with the fried onion and saltiness of the squid. To bonus it up…they serve my favourite cider in the Whole. Wide. World. Rekorderlig. Heaven.
Again, service was smooth with ambience at both a casual yet sophisticated level. I question the blue neon lights and artificial flowers that light up the otherwise contemporary venue. If you do too; overlook it. If you don’t, you may miss out on a food niche that I’d love for you to experience as contemporary, stylish, yet casual and approachable.
I’ve been to The Zenith twice in 72 hours. That’s seriously good feedback.
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK? Yes, 25% off up to $35-dine in or take-away, and it seems so unfair to use it! Their menu is SO reasonably priced! Page No: A92 Card No: 137
LINEN? No. The clean, modern Asian inspired decor doesn’t require it.
SERVICE? Table service was fast, friendly, efficient and the waitress offered helpful advice.