I LIKE to (jokingly) claim that I am relentlessly superficial.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve now lunched twice at Miss Chow’s in Claremont.
I like the vibe, the décor, the service; they know how to use an apostrophe and the food is good too.
My ex-colleague and I were overdue for a catch up and she had an appointment in Subi, and Claremont seemed convenient for both of us.
Gillian liked the menu, so in we went. So nice to be greeted promptly and with a smile!
We ordered four dishes and the duck spring rolls with Hoisin sauce ($9.50) arrived first.
They were crunchy as they should be, but with a fairly substantial filling.
Very reminiscent of those served at Barque, East Fremantle in the good old days.
Next to arrive, the “Chef’s selection” of dumplings ($15). They were not as tender and juicy as my favourite local cheap and cheerful Yum Cha joint, but to be fair they were consumed rapidly.
For once, the vegetarian dumplings were the tastiest.
Kai-lan with oyster sauce ($15) is my absolute favourite, but usually eaten to assuage my guilt over the fried food I’ve just ordered.
I’ve eaten a lot of kai-lan but this was probably the best I’ve had. It was a bit pricier than usual, but the kitchen used very young and tender stalks and the dish was garnished with fried shallots and sesame seeds and just went down a treat.
Finally Miss Chow’s spicy fried chicken with Asian-style mayonnaise ($14). As crunchy as the Colonel could make it, but tender and moist chicken pieces inside. No grease, no fuss.
Miss Chow’s is part of a chain with outlets in South Perth and Whitfords and take-away outlets The Pantry by Miss Chow at Bicton and City Beach.
So there is a formula being followed here, but one that works very well.
I will admit the dumplings were a bit of a disappointment and $8 for a pot of jasmine tea is a little steep. It did make Gillian’s $12 glass of Pinot Grigio seem like very good value.
But what I really liked about Miss Chow’s was that I didn’t have to perform feats of semaphore in order to attract the waiter, as is so often the case, and those smiles just kept on coming.
Miss Chow isn’t the best value Chinese food in town but, it’s not noisy, there’s no frustration waiting for the trolley to arrive, and its classy décor and friendly service make up for that.
Shop 119 Claremont Quarter, Claremont
by FELICITY NEWMAN