CHINESE chips. I am openly addicted to them. They are a signature dish at China Plate Kingston, which opened on Kennedy Street a couple of weeks ago.
These chips are made with eggplant, lightly battered and garnished with five spicy salt and fresh chilli ($16). While a friend I regularly dine with screws up her nose at the thought of having to eat this vegetable, she simply had to admit that this dish is fantastic. So much so, we were back two days after we had it the first time for more (dare we admit it?).
China Plate has relocated from its city location and is adding spice to the inner-south dining scene. In charge are Lin Pun and Amy Lo, who have the art of making you feel welcome down pat.
The modern fit-out features long, bench seating and silk pillows in stunning royal purple, shimmering gold, emerald green and ruby reds. The snow white dishware is meticulously sourced from Hong Kong, the hanging lights contemporary and the fresh table flowers very pretty indeed.
China Plate’s chef, Jun Wu, came with the team from the Melbourne Building. His dishes are exceptionally delicious, but very reasonably priced. A dish already high in popularity is the pan-fried, tender fillet steak with the perfect amount of house-made wasabi sauce to add a bit of kick ($22). Another big hit are the Shanghai dumplings ($6 for three) and we agreed that the marinated lamb cutlets, with the chef’s secret ingredients, were mega stars ($28).
The whole lemon sole, another specialty (market price), was perked up with the side dish of cucumber and smashed garlic in XO sauce ($8), a pickled-type dish loved in North China.
On the next visit I’m going for the roasted “duck in the pool”. It takes 45 minutes to create and is marinated in Chinese herbs ($28). And I have no doubt the chef makes a mean laska.
Another China Plate Kingston special touch is the way they offer the “old favourites”. You choose your meat, seafood or veggies and then select how you want them prepared (for example, satay, Mongolian, chilli, black bean – prices from $13).
Next up on the menu is the yum cha banquet, which will likely start in November (with bookings required), and Lin and Amy are mulling over offering Hong Kong-style breakfast (how does an omelette stuffed with bbq pork sound as a kickstart to your day?).
China Plate Kingston has a function room that comfortably seats 10, so if you are looking for privacy do not hesitate to ask Lin and Amy to book it for you.
China Plate, Kennedy Street, Kingston. Not yet fully licensed (soon). Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Call 6260 7555.