8/240 Victoria Street, Richmond VIC
(03) 9427 8225
BYO: Yes, $2 per person
Prices: Dishes around $20
My mum celebrated a milestone birthday recently, but as with all my family’s birthdays, it was pretty low key. There was no big birthday bash, just a quiet dinner with family and cake at my place afterwards. (She went out with a few of her friends separately.) Both my brothers are not in Melbourne and true to my mum’s character, she insisted they not waste money to fly down for the occasion. They ended up coming down anyway and giving her a wonderful birthday surprise!
I’ve never had an ideal relationship with my mother. We’ve never been ‘friends’ like some other mothers and daughters are, and she can be extremely frustrating at times. Throughout all this though, she has always put her children first and made sure we had everything growing up that she missed out on. She sacrificed her own needs and wants for our needs and wants and for that I will always be grateful. I hope she had a special birthday with her family all together in Melbourne.
My parents have simple dining tastes, preferring home cooked Chinese meals to a fancy dinner out a nice restaurant. We wanted to take my mum out for dinner to a restaurant of her choice and of all places, she chose Pacific House because we hadn’t been for a while. I was going to override her decision, but since it was her birthday, I went along with it.
We got there on time to find out our booked table wasn’t ready yet. There were at least 10 people waiting outside the restaurant, along with another 15 squeezed into the small section at the front of the restaurant. Everyone that is seated at a table is seated so close together as to maximise the number of diners that can fit in the restaurant. Why you would want to eat in such an environment is beyond me! Especially if the food is average. At least if the food was fantastic, you could justify putting up with it.
Another thing Pacific House does is cook the food super fast and bring out all the dishes at once. And they are just as fast clearing the almost empty dishes from your table and bringing you the bill. There is no hanging around for conversation at Pacific House, unless you want to be given the evil eye from the waiters or from the hungry people waiting!
I had another food blogger fail moment and don’t have the prices for the dishes like I usually do. That’s the second week in a row… I need to pick up my game!
The roast pork was probably the best dish of the night. The pork was moist, wasn’t too fatty and the crackling was sufficiently crunchy.
We got half a Peking duck, which consisted of 8 pieces. The duck didn’t have a crispy skin which was a bit of a letdown, but there was a generous piece of duck inside each pancake.
The seafood in claypot had a variety of seafood pieces, as well as deep fried tofu rectangles. The dish was lacking in flavour for me.
This dish of green beans and mince pork in a belachan sauce wasn’t from the menu. We asked the waiter for it. I liked the addition of the crispy fried ikan bilis (anchovies).
My dad likes to order combination rice noodles whenever we go out to a Chinese restaurant but it’s annoying when there is not enough sauce for all the noodles. It was good to see this was a decent serve and there was enough sauce.
I love shredded beef and it’s a dish I would never be bothered making at home because the beef is deep fried first. This was quite a good version of it – the sweet and sour sauce was nice.
The last dish was another dish I love, chicken ribs with the golden egg yolk. The one at Pacific House was really disappointing. It was so oily, we literally used at least 1 serviette per chicken rib to try and squeeze out all the oil… and even then it was still too oily!
Overall: I wouldn’t come back to Pacific House by choice. BBQ House Seafood Restaurant two doors down does the same food but without the rushed and crowded environment and I think the food is better.
Over & Out, April xx