SLURPING noises from contented diners and a babble of Chinese conversation; my companion and I could have been in downtown Beijing or any number of Asian cities.
Fitzgerald Seafood Restaurant in North Perth is a low-key sort of eatery that’s easy to miss, especially with a heap of more upmarket joints on the Fitzgerald Street strip.
But a quick glance at tables crowded with Chinese patrons including mums, dads, grandparents and kids, and we knew we were onto something.
Checking out the lunch special menu, we settled back to enjoy both the food and the experience.
The 80-watt smile of the friendly and efficient waiter didn’t dim as we ordered a heap of entrees and a couple of mains – although I’m sure he quirked an eyebrow at our pigginess.
But with prices like this we didn’t care, I mean where else can you get quail for $7.
In a crispy chilli and salt batter the meat was moist and the texture lovely, my companion exclaimed.
The sesame prawn toast ($7.50) was some of the best I’ve eaten, and not overly oily as some, and the crispy, battered squid ($6) was tender as a baby’s bottom.
With generous serves even we were beginning to think we’d gone a bit overboard.
But that didn’t stop us polishing off a heaped plate of scallop vegetable noodles ($13.80).
The scallops were so tender they almost fell apart, and the sauce was delicate but flavoursome, and the noodles delicious, with a slightly flame-grilled taste.
My mate ordered the lunch special spare ribs in black bean sauce for a ridiculously low $10. (The takeaway lunch special includes a can of soft drink for the same price).
The spare ribs weren’t on the bone as expected, but came as tender slices of meat with plenty of still crunchy capsicum and onion, in a punchy, classic black bean sauce.
But she had to throw the towel in and took most of it home.
For a mere $46 we headed off contentedly full – and for my mate with dinner that night sorted.
by JENNY D’ANGER
388 Fitzgerald St, North Perth
open 7 days 9am–10.30pm