Slices of Grade 9 Wagyu Beef - supper special
843 Doncaster Rd
Doncaster VIC 3108
Chrysanthem House is one of my family's favourite restaurants, located in deep suburban Doncaster, right opposite a KFC. I don't normally blog about my regular haunts, but I feel that this is too good not to share!
There was a period in time where we'd go almost every week, feasting on fried chicken ribs with salt and chilli, special XO beef with gai laan and mai fan noodles, and fried yong tau foo (that's tofu stuffed with prawns, fried, and smothered in a fabulous savoury sauce).
Seeing as we don't read Chinese, we'll usually either order our favourites, take a sticky-beak at what the neighbouring tables are eating, or ask the boss (AKA Fay Lo) for recommendations.
Note to self: Make friends with someone who can read Chinese.
Chrysanthemum House does the supper thing, staying open til 2am. I've noticed that lots of Melbourne's restauranteurs from the Eastern suburbs will come in once they've closed up their own restaurants for the night. One guy I know who runs an Italian restaurant in Kew usually comes here for lemon chicken and beef in black bean sauce (yes, really!) So if you want some classic "kwai lo" dishes done well, Chrysanthem House will be able to sort you out.
I hadn't been back to Chrysanthemum House since I moved out of home, until last Friday, when we went for supper with the parentals. My dad recently tried their wagyu beef supper special and thought we'd all love it. He wasn't wrong! I also really needed a good meal. You see, I thought I'd be leaving work on time on Friday arvo, but somehow got called into a 6pm meeting and then had to walk home in the cold and rain. I was absolutely starving and exhausted by the time I got home. The following dishes definitely hit the spot!
Deep fried chicken ribs with salt and chilli. In front of the ribs, you can (just) see a plate of Kung Po Chicken.
Stir fried snow-pea shoots with garlic.
And now the wagyu. For some reason, if you order it during dinner time, it's $90, but if you come for supper (9:30pm onwards), it's only $45. Bargain! You get a big plate with thinly sliced beef sitting atop some raw spinach (see the top of this post for the breathtaking picture). Fay Lo tells us that the beef is 9-grade wagyu, which means the marbling is even throughout the meat, which enhances the taste and texture.
You also get a bowl of soy sauce, with thinly sliced chillies, and a super-cool steamboat scoop.
And most importantly, you get a big pot of broth on a gas burner.
You can choose whatever broth you'd like - chicken, beef, even lamb - but we chose beef to match the wagyu.
Let's take a look inside the intensely beefy broth.
There are little red dates, coriander, thick pieces of soft-fatty beef (not-wagyu) and some sort of potato. So rich and delicious. ***EDIT*** Apparently those little dried red things aren't red dates, but wolfberries!
Here's what the fatty, tender non-wagyu beef chunks look like. They might not be wagyu, but they taste good too, and are very tender from being slowly cooked in the hot soup.
So basically you just do it like steamboat, picking up your wagyu slices and raw spinach, and letting them cook in the hot broth.
Oooh... fatty wagyu goodness...
I don't normally even like steamboat, but this was awesome! The soup just gets more flavoursome and more beefy as you go. It was absolutely perfect on a cold and rainy night, really warming and fortifying. As I drank down the hot soup, all the worries of the week just melted away.
And then, whoops... all the meat was gone!
Hot tip - if fatty fatty wagyu isn't your thing, (though, can I ask - Why not?) they also do a great barramundi congee, and it's cheaper during supper too! I can't remember the exact price though. If you order the barramundi congee, they'll catch a fresh one for you, put some in your congee, and fry or steam the rest of the fish for you.
This meal was total awesomeness, which just proves my theory that Melbourne's best Chinese food is found in the suburbs.
What are your favourite suburban Chinese restaurants?