Red Emperor Restaurant @ Southgate

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Red Emperor.
Red Emperor is a stylish Chinese restaurant located within the Southgate precinct featuring authentic delectable Chinese gourmet dishes, an excellent wine list, great ambience and wonderful service. 
Each dish is carefully prepared by talented and professional chefs, using both traditional and modern methods of Chinese culinary art.
Our host for the evening was Red Emperor’s manager for over 20 years, Christine. Delightful, full of passion and a brilliant sense of humour, Christine made our visit to Red Emperor an absolute highlight.
Crispy pork belly, hargow (steamed prawn dumpling) and steamed prawn, coriander and water chestnut rolls

The guys at Red Emperor have truly mastered the art of pork roasting. The pork belly is succulently roasted to retain a porky juiciness, achieving a healthy layer of melt-in-the-mouth fat in the process. The feature item is the crackling which possesses the ultimate crunch and acts as the ideal partner for the tender pork meat. Coupled with beautifully made hargow and steamed prawn, coriander and water chestnut rolls, this starter was a true beauty. 
 Jumbo Queensland Prawns with XO Chilli Sauce served with egg noodles

One of our favourite dishes from our evening at the Red Emperor, the lusciousness of these prawns beggared belief. The dish was further highlighted by the noodles which retained the natural sweetness of the prawns and exhibited a pleasant firmness. Lightly flavoured by the aromatic garlic shoots and the deliciously spicy XO sauce, this dish boasted the characteristic charred flavour that normally accompanies wok-tossed items.
Sichuan smoked tea duck

It only takes one bite of Red Emperor’s Sichuan smoked tea duck to understand why it has become one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.  Simply put, the dish is all about the duck’s thin crispy skin – achieved through a rigorous process of pumping air into the duck’s body, then spreading boiling water over the skin before drying and roasting the duck. The tender duck meat, although delicious, plays an ancillary role in this affair with the moreish duck skin taking centre stage with its beautiful smoky tea flavour. Along with the hoisin sauce mixture and fluffy butterfly shaped steamed buns, this dish is sensational and a definite must try. 
Fresh lobster, dried scallops, egg white, massago and chinese broccoli in fried rice

Affectionately called “rich man’s fried rice”, this was perhaps the most indulgent fried rice we had ever eaten. Combining generous morsels of lobster and only using egg white, the fried rice was beautifully cooked with each grain of rice retaining its integrity and the individual flavours of the premium ingredients shining through. 
“Foong Sha” baked chicken

A classic Cantonese dish, the Red Emperor version of “Foong Sha” baked chicken consisted of a whole chicken that had been marinated overnight with smashed ginger, herbs and spices then baked and finally, served de-boned with lotus root chips and garlic sauce on the side. Continuing the trend for the evening, the chicken was beautiful. Of particular note was the tender chicken’s velvety texture and crisp skin.
Peking shredded beef fillet

The beef was beautifully battered and doused with liberal amounts of vinegar and plum sauce. It was, as expected, a rich combination of flavours and one which provided the requisite balance of sweet, salty and savoury notes to please the palate.
Stir-fried Snow pea shoots

Only the most tender and flavourful section of the shoots are hand plucked and sorted by the kitchen. We adored this vegetarian dish. The pea tips were immensely flavourful and possessed a taste reminiscent of snow peas themselves, but with a grassier, fresher flavour that is unique to the plant. This dish was further enhanced by the addition of goji berries.
Chinese pancakes filled with red bean paste and thinly sliced banana served with vanilla ice cream

A simple dessert that amalgamated the best aspects of banana fritters and red bean pancake, the pancakes were folded over delicately sliced banana and luxurious red bean paste. The pancake had a pleasant chewiness which contrasted nicely with the soft banana and its crispy exterior.  It was a simple but truly superb dessert.
Red Emperor offers fine Cantonese cuisine with dashes of flavour from Hong Kong and other mainland regions. With expertly prepared dishes that are presented to the highest possible standard, it is no wonder Red Emperor has long been considered one of Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants. 

Location: Level 2, Southgate Precinct, 3 Southgate Ave  Southbank,
Phone: 03 9699 4170
Cuisine: Chinese, Asian, Yum Cha

Red Emperor on Urbanspoon

Man Mo Completes Dining Precinct at WTC Wharf

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Man Mo.
The newest addition to the northern banks of the Yarra River, Man Mo WTC offers traditional Chinese cuisine at its best.
Upon entering Man Mo, we were captivated by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience.
Designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion, the expansive dining room is adorned with traditional Lucky Charmed Tassels and paintings, and with red and gold lashes of colour throughout the restaurant. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting.
The menu features traditional and modern Chinese dishes. Unlike its sister restaurant in New Quay, which has a more Malaysian fusion offering, Man Mo WTC provides a more traditional Chinese cuisine including a strong focus on live seafood and clay pot dishes. 
Left: Scallop & Egg lettuce leaf
Right: Baked Crab Shell

We loved the cheesy baked crab shell which featured deliciously sweet blue swimmer crab meat with onion, bacon and mushroom. 
Peking duck

A highlight of our meal was the Peking duck with pancakes. Each portion was carefully prepared to ensure that each was fresh and warm when consumed. With a generous slice of duck breast, fresh spring onion, warm pancake and ample sauce, it boasted a crisp skin and unctuous fat.
Garlic butter and king prawns with jade noodles

The prawns were very fresh and the herbs provided punchy fragrant flavours.  The accompanying noodles were slippery and coated in a delicious garlic and butter sauce. It was a good dish that was highlighted by the natural sweetness of the prawns and complimented by the noodles which retained a pleasant elasticity. 
 Cape Grim tenderloin with truffle oil and special fried rice

The eye fillet was delicious, exhibiting the characteristic charred flavour that normally accompanies a wok-tossed item.  Well-seasoned, the warming pepper was very welcoming on a cold Melbourne day. 
Crème brulee 

The consistency of the custard in a crème brulee was velvety smooth and delicate and featured atop the decadent custard, the requisite sugary hard shell.
Banana fritter with ice cream

Man Mo’s take on the traditional banana fritter was delicious. The banana had an ethereally light and crispy batter and was soft and sweet inside. Served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, this was a pleasant end to our meal.  
Man Mo is a brilliant addition to the WTC Wharf dining precinct, sitting perfectly alongside the existing premium restaurants and further enhancing WTC Wharf‘s position as a world-class dining destination for Melbournians and international visitors alike.

Location: River side of World Trade Cntre, 38 Siddeley Street, Docklands
Phone: 03 9077 9598
Cuisine: Chinese, Seafood

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