Restaurant Review: Shun Fung on the River

Eh. It was ok.

A bit of context. A group of nine of us met up at Shun Fung for a low key work-related networking dinner at 7.30 on a Saturday night. I booked it. Shung Fung was a hasty second choice (based at least in part by the fact it’s in the entertainment book), after my first choice wasn’t available for such a large group. I was a little apprehensive based on poor reviews I found *after* I booked (see here, here, and here) but decided to leave it to fate (particularly as I wasn’t paying!!) and the evening was fine.

We picked a good variety of mains (including steamed greens, beancurd and mushroom crockpot, ginger chicken, garlic prawns, salt and pepper prawns, honey ribs, and sizzling beef). The restaurant was not very full (I’d say 50% at most), and music was ambient and, both these and the round table we were seated on, enabled everyone to be able to talk/hear everyone else, which lead to a very pleasant group conversation.

Mains ranged from ~$17 for the steamed greens to $35 for the prawn dishes. I thought dessert at a uniform $10 a pop was overpriced, even more so when I saw what we ordered (particularly the deep friend rice balls, which turned out to be 3 bullet shaped nuggets, about 4 cm by 2 cm). Still, to be fair, Chinese restaurants are not normally known for their desserts. We were probably asking for it…

All in all, Shun Fung was an ok experience, although nothing about it would particularly tempt me back to try again – there’s better Chinese to be had in Perth.

Details: Shun Fung On the River Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Old Perth Port, Barrack Square Jetty, Perth 6000 WA. Phone: (08) 9221 1868

Service: For some reason, a table of 12 was only allowed to have 2 menus!! (plus the drinks menu). Having thought about it, perhaps this was an artefact: the first couple to arrive were given menus, and then couples who arrived later were not given them, rather than a general sharing-of-menus policy. Still it was a oversight on the restaurant’s part. Service was generally on the slow side (although not to the point of annoying us). They did stagger the arrival of new mains quite well, but they brought the wrong wine when we asked for a second bottle of red, and we had to remind them a few times about the bill.

Food: It was fine. It was nice! It wasn’t *fantastic*. The menu is heavily seafood based, and the best dish ordered was probably the salt and paper prawns. I was a bit worried about vegetarian options, but there were sufficient variety and, actually, the braised tofu and mushroom claypot was also very good (i heart tofu).

Mark-up: The table chose the Madfish Premium White ($37.50), and the Miles to Nowhere Cabernet Merlot ($39.50). I didn’t note the vintage dates on these, but these wines appear to be avaiable for $13-$16 and $15-$20 respectively. Let’s say there’s an average of 140% mark up – one of the largest mark ups on any restaurant reviewed to date.

The Discount: Shun Fung is in the Entertainment Book, offering 25% off up to $35. The total bill for 9 people was $429.20 ($394.20 with the discount), consisting of ~$125 for drinks, $230 for 9 shared mains and rice, and $75 for jasmine tea and 6 desserts. (I think it would have been better value had we skipped dessert).

Conclusion: Barrack Street Jetty has a lovely view and I’m sure this forms part of the cost, but to be honest, you can’t see that much of the view from inside the restaurant. There is a balcony, but inclement weather on the day we were there meant nobody was seated outside. We had a good meal, but the night was probably made by the company rather than the restaurant. I’m sure many other chinese restaurants around Perth could have also provided reasonable chinese food and a round table to share it from (and possibly at a cheaper price).

Rating: 5/10

Shung Fung on the River on Urbanspoon

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