Crystal Seafood Restaurant Carlingford NSW

The stand out was the steamed fish.  The soft juicy bite combined well with the gentle but flavourful light gravy, gracefully with aromatic sensations of the ginger, shallots and succulent seafood.  I must say it was a master piece, more than what I have experienced in most other Cantonese restaurants in Australia.   Steamed fish is the outcome of technique, the quality of the fish itself and knowing when to serve and stop steaming.   There are choices in Morwong, Barramundi, Parrot fish or Silver Perch.   My fellow diners had the Red Morwong this time around.

The much favoured claypot of vermicelli for southern Chinese dinners perhaps is a significant  test for Cantonese cuisine.  Usually cooked with seafood like prawns, lobster or Mud crab, the texture of the noodles combines with the flavours of the ocean  to produce an exquisite yet wholesome experience for the palate.    XO sauce is utilised but the freshness of the sea produce is also on test.

I did find the vermicelli  smoky flavoured from the clay pot but the Mud Crab meat was without question yummy.  I was told the version with lobster for this dish was not as good at a previous dinner.

Another interesting option to consider is having King Crab in two courses - first served as deep fried and then in another dish as stir fry of the crab roe with yummy E-Fu noodles.   The seafood is often just swimming around in the restaurant's aquarium tanks not  more than a few minutes before being served.   Freshness and liveliness of the sea produce is associated highly with taste  and nutrition in the mindsets of the Cantonese.

I saw Menu Item 168, roast pigeon!

When faced with a selection of braised, steamed, deep fried, marinated or honeyed, I definitely prefer the first two options.  The overall satisfaction of the sensations and the more healthy the cooking style, is when they preserve better the inherent flavour and freshness of the produce.

I liked the braised seafood with a variety like prawns, scallops and calamari, cooked with the sweet snow beans.   We also had the always popular crispy-on-the-bite deep fried squid marinated with salt and pepper.  Also good with many non-Chinese diners are the braised beef in oyster sauce, the beef already cut into bite sized serves.  Most Asian diners would order the seafood bean curd in a hot pot.

Lobster galore, served Cantonese style.

What looked aesthetically pleasing was snow like really snow white crab meat laden over fresh looking green broccoli.   The steamed rice that evening also stood out in quality - young Marissa loved it just by itself.

I have yet to try the yum cha sessions under the new chefs and ownership.  Again I observed this peculiar habit of Chinese restaurants to pack and rearrange dining tables to smaller lunch ones even when diners were present and it was not even eight o'clock.haha, this seems to be my pet irritant when we are all making conversation at our table and the staff are working like in a godown.

That evening when nine of us were there, we did not go upstairs but were content with the ground floor seating, given a spacious round table and we did not have to put up with the noise that is compulsory at Chinese dining places.   Interesting fish formations were used to decorate the lower dining area wall.  I was amused that the waiters used a variety of languages - Mandarin, Cantonese and English - to communicate with us.  Vehicle parking was easy at the shopping centre car park on a relatively quiet night for Carlingford - perhaps many diners were at nearby Eastwood?

The interiors at Crystal here have been redesigned by the HC Group.   There is an ambiance of being surrounded by dynastic symbols, simple but meaningful lines and a sense of contemporary chic as well.

Australian diners must be reminded of the complimentary welcome soup and dessert platter (usually red bean soup, biscuits and cut slices of fresh oranges) if you are having a course dinner meal.  This is de rigour practice in southern Chinese restaurants, especially those with a Hong Kong background. 

The Crystal Seafood Restaurant in Carlingford is located at on the ground floor, Carlingford Court, at the corner of Carlingford Road and Pennant Hills Road in Carlingford NSW.
Opening hours are from 11am to 10pm every day.  Yum cha available at lunch time.
Contact + 61 2 8845 8200
Crystal Seafood also operates restaurants in Blacktown and Strathfield NSW.

My impressions of the Crystal Seafood Restaurant in Carlingford:
Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5
Customer Engagement: 3 out of 5
Culinary Delight: 3.75 out of 5
X Factor:  3 out of 5
Overall:   13.25 /4 out of 5

Recommended Menu choices:
Crabmeat over stir fried broccoli
Steamed fish of your choice with clear light garnish
Mud Crab with vermicelli in claypot
Hainan steamed chicken with ginger condiments
Royal Peking Duck served in two courses, with entree wraps and Hoisin sauce and then as a stir fry or Sang Choy Bow.

Crystal Seafood  Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


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