MELBOURNE | Chopstick Delight is a small Chinese restaurant, located down an unassuming suburban side street in Mulgrave. It’s frequented by a loyal stream of locals, who keep coming back for the honest, high quality, (predominantly) Cantonese fare on offer.
The current owners purchased the restaurant a few years ago, making the wise move of taking a ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach. In fact, the original owners still pop in regularly for a feed. There’s not much hype or info online about the restaurant, with the owners preferring to let the food talk for itself, and word of mouth do its thing.
When I asked the owner what their goal was with the restaurant, the response was a simple one “to make sure that everyone eats well and is happy with what they’re eating”. You can’t argue with that, right?
Leading the kitchen is a head chef who recently turned 70, and has been working in Cantonese kitchens since the age of 18. Those many years of experience, a passion for feeding others, and the use of quality market fresh ingredients combine for some of the tastiest Cantonese food in town. I visited with a group of hungry, discerning diners recently, and we all left very happy (with lots of leftovers to enjoy the next day).
The Cantonese style roasted pipa duck requires you to order it with 24 hours notice, and it’s worth it. It’s that perfect trio of succulent meat, melt-in-your-mouth fat, and glistening crispy skin. Another dish that requires 24 hours notice is the winter melon soup – a light, comforting starter served from the melon with seafood and soft chunks of melon.
Snow crab, cooked with long, flat noodles and lathered with an unctuous goose liver sauce is sublime, as is the lobster with creamy garlic butter sauce. A serve of fried and sliced bao-like bread to mop up all of those delightful sauces is a must.
Less baller but equally delicious dishes include the olive leaf tofu, thin sliced BBQ pork neck, and morwong (a snapper-like fish) cooked and served two ways (steamed and deep fried), with vegetables and a gelatinous sauce. Accompany it all with a serve of the light, flavoursome fried rice.
If you still have space, finish things off with ice-cream, deep fried with a dense, almost cake-like batter. My advice? Over-order so you can try lots of different things, and take whatever you can’t finish home, for lunch and dinner the next day.
Are there any hidden suburban gems where you are, that you love to eat at? Let me know in the comments below and a TAG a friend who you’d love to share a low key suburban meal with.
79 Mackie Road
Telephone: (03) 9560 3688
Wed – Sun: 11:30am to 2:30pm; 5:15pm to 9:45pm