Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flower Drum

Flower Drum
17 Market Lane

My folks used to take my grandparents to the Flower Drum when they first arrived in Australia about 30 years ago. Back then, it was still run by Gilbert Lau, who is now dabbling in a new venture, Lau's Family Kitchen in St Kilda.

I don't know how it quite happened, but us kiddies have never had a chance to experience this esteemed establishment. So it was with some excitement that we were treated to a banquet lunch in honour of my sibling's recent nuptials (Congrats bro!).

To the food perves:
The famous Peking Duck - the meat had a lovely texture and wasn't too fatty (the usual peril of eating roast duck!).
Stuffed Sea Conch Shell with CognacSaute Crayfish with Ginger and Spring Onion - classic Cantonese flavours, the lobster flesh was sweet and light.

Stir fried Lamb fillets with Leeks served with Rice Vermicelli - the flavour was quite heavy in contrast to the crayfish and...
...the Steamed Wild Barramundi Fillet ... which was dressed with a sweet soy sauce. This dish was also served with vegetables and rice. Also, as nice as it is to have someone to roll your peking duck pancakes, remove the lobster shells and de-bone the fish, it is always enjoyable to get in there for yourself!
And to cap off, fresh fruit and almond cookies.
The food was simple and clean, everything tasted fresh and mostly balanced (the filling in the sea conch shell and the lamb fillets seemed strong or heavy to my tastes). As expected, the service was efficient and attentive - we even had our tea replaced half way through the meal. I tend to associate eating with family a much more raucous and messy experience, so the atmosphere seemed a little austere in contrast to our usual gatherings. However, this meal was a great way to celebrate a new married life for my sib and new sib-in-law.

However, I agree with Ed in one respect: it's a pricey venue and perhaps best reserved for special occasions. If you did feel like a more affordable version of the Flower Drum experience, I would recommend a visit to Lau's Family Kitchen.


  1. Jfox, I was just reading about the great duck hunt today as well. Looks like I'll have to go to Flower Drum to try some Peking Duck too. I just need to find a special occasion as by all accounts, its quite pricey.

  2. hi thanh> that article made my mouth water! next one to try is quanjude i think...

    perhaps you could celebrate your 2nd blog-anniversary with peking duck at flower drum? [just trying to help...=)]

  3. I was thinking that the first place I should try would be QuanJude too. I don't really like roast duck but somehow when you wrap it in a flour pancake, chuck in some vegetables and slab some hoisin sauce, I love the stuff.

    I think the second blog birthday excuse will do. Hahaha.

    Can I ask what the meal that you described cost all up? How much did it work out to per person?

  4. hello thanh> if you do make it to quanjude, let us know what you think!

    i'm afraid i don't know how much our lunch was - you'll have to ask my mum. there were ~20 of us, i think we had a set banquet menu. it was great to eat with our grandparents there as they used to go to FD back when it first opened.

    have you been to old kingdom, smith st? if you have 3-4 people, you can share a duck and maybe another dish. it works out to be relatively affordable this way. very different atmosphere to FD and you get to make your own pancakes too (under strict supervision of course! you'll know what i mean if you go /have been!)

    good luck with your own peking duck hunt!


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