Neptune Palace has been around forever. At least it seems that way to me. Every once in a while, I’d stop in and use an Entertainment Guide coupon, usually as a quick meal before an event at the Opera House. This time, it has been so long since I’ve been that I thought I’d already done a blog on this (and hence, took no photos). But the food was actually better this time than the last; I think because I had a Malaysian dining companion to point towards better dishes.
The Sayur Goreng Balachun was a perfect vegetable dish to order, all green vegies: okra, broccoli and beans, with a delicious shrimp paste.
The soft-shelled crab Mantega was not the way Lai Heng makes it at home, though described as fried in butter with curry leaves. It was more like a salt and pepper fried dish, but I thought it was quite tasty.
We finally had Kelantan chicken in a coconut shell, a nice mixture of turmeric, coconut milk and tender chicken pieces.
All of this with rice meant we could send some leftover chicken home for Seb’s school lunch tomorrow, and the Josef Chromy Pinot Gris was delicious.
Service is the slightly formal, trying to hard, old-fashioned Asian restaurant, where they dish your rice and pour your wine, and were very attentive but in a slightly abrupt way. Gone are the terrible waistcoats of a few years ago. The place has a funny old-fashioned feel to it. And between Circular Quay and Sydney, the prices are high… I think my family would faint at the idea of a vegetable dish in a Chinese restaurant costing over $20. But that’s the way things are around here. I think I’m finally getting used it…
Here’s the review from 2 June 2005 (with just under 5ooo views)… on Zomato. It might have been Urban Spoon then. This blog review above I think will automatically replace it.
‘Revisited Neptune Palace after a long while. We ended up ordering 3 quite similar dishes, the trout in banana leaf, scallops, and crispy boneless duck all had the same turmeric and coconut sauce. It’s absolutely delicious (especially the duck, that’s my high recommendation of the day) but we should have ordered for more variation. The roti chennai was average or slightly below. The menu has been updated since the last time I was there and I think is even more expensive. The prices are really ridiculously high here. And the vests are different and are even worse. Almost as bad as the wallpaper. Consider the awful colours as entertainment. With an entertainment card and 25%, it makes the place better value, and there are some standout dishes.
I think that the decor is quite tacky and garish and so are the waiters’ vests! But that’s part of the fun. The first time I went here for a quick pre-theatre meal, the food was a 5, the beef rendang and scallops in turmeric were perfection. When I went back with a few friends, the appetizers were great, the dry fried okra very nice and the soft shell crab yummy. But the rendang wasn’t as good. I think I’d give the food a 4. It’s pricy for Asian food but it is very good. Worth a try, I’d say.’