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Jurisdiction: Cantonese

Outcome: Majority Verdict

Ratio decidendi: Great value for ‘rice and share-dishes’ dinner. Even better value if you come for the supper special.

Salient features: XO Pippies (with crispy vermicelli)

Scope of discovery: Crispy Taro Crusted Duck, Claypot Eggplant, Beancurd & Brocolli, Sweet & Sour Pork Ribs. Total bill: $127.

Case Note: The winning dish sampled was the XO pippies. Make sure you order it with crispy vermicelli though – as its a clever way to make sure none of that precious XO sauce goes to waste.

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I also quite liked the eggplant claypot, which wasn’t as oily as others I’ve tried but you still need a balancing element – plain steamed rice works fine – to enjoy it. No complaints with any of the other dishes in the sample, they comfortably sit around the mean and I’d be keen to return to try some others.

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One of the best things about this place is the value – $21 a head (the sample fed a group of 6) is incredible given we ordered 2 ‘premium’ dishes in the form of the XO pippies and crispy taro crusted duck.

Obiter Dicta: I have yet to try a version of the crispy taro crusted duck which offers some semblance of a 50-50 distribution of taro and duck. The most generous I’ve seen was 30% duck 70% taro and this didn’t better that at around 20-80. I have always wondered why restaurants can’t simply scale up the Wu Kok that you find at dim sum – which is basically the same concept (with pork in place of duck) but so much better balanced.

Also in case you’re wondering, this place doesn’t serve Thai. A friend’s guess is that the owner just decided not to change the name of the restaurant when they took it over.
Masthai Seafood on Urbanspoon

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