Yum Cha at Shark Fin Inn Keysborough
Shark Fin Inn
328 Cheltenham Road
03 9798 8788
It’s not often the family goes out to celebrate – we prefer the casual laid back approach of a roast or a BBQ. However, occassionally – we realise that it’s time to give Mum a break from the kitchen (she does such an amazing job looking after us all!!) and so that’s when one of us says: Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve done Yum Cha!! This always garners a rousing “Hurrah” – because 3/4 of this family love their prawns – and Yum Cha is really all about prawns – done 473 ways – so there’s no contest! Yum Cha!! And given we’re scattered all over the place – from Drouin to the CBD – we generally head for the gastronomic mecca that is Keysborough!! Yay!!
I realise that Keysborough was the first thought that jumped in your head as well! But in all seriousness – this outer suburban outpost of the Shark Fin Group does some really great dim sum, and it gives its inner city compadrés a bit of a run for their money. In fact, good friend of mine, T-bird – who loves her dumplings – rates this as the best yum cha restaurant in Melbourne. And one should never mess with the T-bird!
It’s hard not to love the Shark Fin Inn – it packs the crowds in over two sittings on each day of the weekend – and for special occassions such as Mothers’ Day – they will be doing 3 sittings of lunch! So, if you haven’t booked in already – you might be pushing it! There’s a real hustle and bustle in the air – and the trolleys come around thick and fast. The food is always hot and fresh – because they’ve usually got about 200 people sitting in that restaurant – and that’s a lot of dumplings to turn over!
So, without further ado… what did we have?
The prawn fest began with fried prawn rice paper rolls – fast becoming my favourite yum cha dish. Light and crunchy on the outside, and filled with gorgeous, fresh prawn. The same with the sesame prawn – all good crunchy, prawny goodness! Both served with some gorgeous sweet plum sauce… I was in heaven!
Some of the steamed dumplings – crab, and then prawn and chive. Just lovely – fresh, soft wrapper on the outside, with firm, fresh seafood inside.
We did have some non-prawn eaters with us (including the birthday boy – Andrew!). So, we made sure we looked after them as well by getting some spring rolls and satay skewers.
The calamari was an interesting dish - when I usually get calamari, it’s not battered and deep fried – it’s just fried. The batter added a lovely crunch – but perhaps was a bit of overkill on the oil. I would have preferred it without the batter. I think it’s the only time I’ve eaten battered calamari (apart from those terrible calamari rings you get in the fish and chip shop!… and I hasten to add it’s been decades since I had one of them!). The pork rice noodle roll is always a must do for me – however, it can tend to get a bit claggy and sticky, and this version was a little that way.
There’s a number of dishes I haven’t shown you – we dove so quickly into the steamed pork buns and some of the other dumplings… journalistic endeavours had to be sacrificed. In addition, we did order two items from the à la carte menu – to cater for those not all that keen on dumplings. Isn’t it great that there’s something for everyone!! We ordered a serve of lemon chicken for Little Miss, and it was so huge, most of the table was able to enjoy a piece or two. And Andrew enjoyed his Mongolian Lamb which was served on a sizzling platter. I don’t know – for someone who’s under the water a lot – he doesn’t seem to appreciate the fruits of the sea!! But, hey – it’s his birthday!
Overall, we had a fabulous time and got so full we could barely move! The family were all completely replete and happy!
So, for a feast of dumplings and Cantonese delights – how much did we pay? This is the amazing thing – bear in mind, we could barely move from the amount of dumplings we had eaten! It came to less than $260 for 10 people. That’s $26 each – amazing value! Especially when compared to some of the CBD eateries where you can barely get out of the restaurant for less than $40 per head. I would highly recommend Shark Fin Inn Keysborough – it’s worth the trek out to the ‘burbs!