Granville RSL doesn’t bring any great food memories- the last (and only) time I was here to dinner was years ago, back when the restaurant was a buffet. Cheap and cheerful, it attracted hoardes of mostly Asian and old people but the food, as I remember it, was quite terrible- the only highlight for me was the hot chocolate from their coffee machine.
The buffet is gone now, and in its place is Golden Treasures Seafood restaurant which, to some extent, keeps with the cheap theme with its discounted yum cha lunches which still attracts many (mostly Asian) locals here on the weekend. The decor is not the most interesting and reminants of the old buffet still remain- there’s a bright neon dessert sign just above the entrance to the kitchen and a drinks bar on the side, which is quite lonely as you would expect since the restaurants serves tea to its diners.
We’re here for dinner, and more specifically, to try out their daily dinner specials which we had previously noticed when dining here at lunch (for their yum cha). We are disappointed to find that they have since removed those offers, instead, replacing them with less interesting ‘weekly specials’ (i.e. available every single day of the week).
The lobster is the only thing on the specials menu which really captures out attention, but mostly because of it’s price. At $68, the lobster is cheap, even if a little small (900g) but of that is, of course, expected. The dish does its job in satisfying those lobster cravings, but we find the overall flavours of the dish a little bland, and lacking in lobster taste.
I have claimed that I haven’t come across a sweet and sour pork that I don’t like, and at first, this wasn’t an exception, with its crispy fried batter covered in the usual bright red, sweet and sour sauce. A little mediocre but enjoyable all the same.After a few bites later however, one starts to notice something isn’t quite right with this dish…………Where is the meat?
The ratio of batter to pork is much too high and each piece of deceivingly ordinary looking fried pork only contains a tiny small piece of meat. Which might not be the biggest problem to batter lovers (*ahem* me) until 10 minutes later, when you’re left with sad pieces of soggy batter which no-one likes eating.
The menu is also quite entertaining and great for a laugh (only if you can read chinese). I suspect that it was not written by a chef though, as the names do nothing to tell you what the dish actually is.
The 5 Flavoured Duck is another nicely priced dish though its name does not reveal much about the actual flavours of the dish. The duck (or rather half a duck) looks promising, with its deep colours and tasty looking sauce- even if the dish looks a bit like more like duck carcass. We are disappointed however, to find that the intriguing idea of the ‘5 flavours’ is not present in the duck and even the most basic flavour, the flavour of duck, can barely be noted. Instead, the dark pool of sauce overwhelms all other flavours (even without having dipped the duck in it) and to me, tastes more like an overly sweet soy sauce than anything.
The seafood and tofu hot pot is a relatively generous serving of seafood in the form of prawns and squid lightly tossed with come fried tofu and veggies- it is quite enjoyable, though not amazing.
The (rather pushy) waitress recommends this dish to us, as fresh nagaimo is not often available. This is the first time I’ve tried fresh nagaimo- a curious ingredient I’ve read about on blogs (I’m told that I’ve also had the dried version in some chinese soups). This dish is quite tasty, and the pork neck very tender but the highlight of the dish is the nagamio, which has an interesting, slightly crunchy texture (which reminds me of water-chestnut) and is great at absorbing the flavour of the sauce.
Beef Ribs in Black Bean Sauce (牛仔骨)
The beef ribs are a generous serving, and interestingly served in a deep clay pot, keeping the dish hot. Overall, I quite liked this dish. as I love beef ribs, and I liked the depth of flavour of the black bean sauce. The ribs however, are a little too soft and tender- a sign that they have been tenderised with baking soda.
Red Bean Soup
Of course, no dinner at a chinese restaurant is complete without the finishing complimentary fruits and dessert. Along with a plate of oranges and kiwifruit, we are served a red bean soup which has a surprisingly smooth and silky texture- it’s so delicious it may perhaps be the highlight of this meal.
The walnut cookies are quite a funny sight. with each cookie being a different colour. Luckily, the over/underbaking doesn’t have too much effect on the taste and texture of the cookie, and they are quite light and crispy- a great way to end the meal! Now, if only the mains were as good as the complimentary desserts!