Michelin guide inspectors may not have made it to Australian shores yet but Crown has brought in a two star Michelin chef to head up the kitchen at Silks. Chef Tsang Chiu King gained his two stars at Ming Court in Hong Kong and is now installed with several of his kitchen staff at Crown’s luxury Chinese restaurant.
It is years since I last ate at Silks so I was keen to try Tsang Chiu King ‘s cooking and jumped at an invitation to try Silks’ banquet for the upcoming mooncake festival. The restaurant was as swanky as I remembered, tucked away on the upper floor of the casino directly opposite the Mahogany room for high rollers. The main dining room is spacious and dominated by a heavily embroidered tent which serves as a private dining room for groups. Tall windows look out over Melbourne’s glittering lights while the bling continues with the table settings of gold handled chopsticks and gold trimmed crockery and cutlery.
The banquet for the mooncake festival is all about luxury ingredients cooked with skill. It started with plump, steamed scallops doused with garlic to deliver a real flavour kick. More delicate but equally delicious, a double boiled chicken consommé had a beautiful aroma and was teamed with spongy dried scallops.
A dish of giant coral trout was presented spectacularly so it looked like a fish jumping out of the ocean. Cutting into the fried and seasoned fish you could see a layer of minced shrimp adding contrast to the coral trout. I also loved the lobster which was sauteed and served with a really light black bean sauce which was miles away from the usual gloopy and thick black bean sauce you are served at Chinese restaurants.
Dishes of diced beef tenderloin and chicken fried rice were not as impressive as the beef was not tender and the fried rice lacked the wow factor of previous dishes. But the main event was the moon cake served at the conclusion of the meal.
The cakes aren’t made in house yet (Chef Tsang Chiu King is still working on his recipe) but for a first time mooncake eater they were certainly memorable. The cakes feature a filling made from lotus paste and each contains a bright yellow cured egg yolk inside to signify the moon. The taste is a combination of savoury and sweet which probably has to be something you grew up with to love. I may not have been sold on the mooncakes but I was impressed by Chef Tsang Chiu King’s cooking and its clear he is set to reinvigorate Silks.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Silks. Crown’s Mooncake festival runs from 9-22 September this year.
Details: Silks, 8 Whiteman St Southbank 3006 (Ph 9292 6888)
Damage: Budget breaking. On this occasion I did not pay.