Welcome to Supper Nights! What is it? A group of friends who went to uni together, they meet up one night each month for a late-night 'supper' meal or late-dinner. If dinner's too early some of us struggle to make it in time due to work so a late dinner works out well. And we get to try out some late night dining options too. We started supper nights in 2010 and I for one really enjoy them. So welcome to the first 'Supper Nights' post at Masthai Seafood Restaurant in Beverly Hills.
I've been coming to Masthai with my family for many, many years - proof of this is the fact that I have a print out of their menu which I found online back in 2004. Yes, I still have that printed copy. The prices have increased a little (inflation anyone?) but the dishes remain the same. And that's a good thing, because they have a lot of really good dishes here. Another good thing is that 'supper' starts at 9:30pm and that means we can order congee!!!! Yes, I love congee!
Repeat - I love congee. Especially the 'Preserved egg and salty egg congee' which is the best congee at Masthai. Preserved egg (a.k.a century egg) and salted egg (a.k.a salted duck egg). Two simple ingredients that give the congee a depth of flavour - fantastic comfort food and a must-have at supper. Another menu item here which is great for supper is 'Deep fried pigeon'. Oh boy, it is good! In my opinion, Masthai's pigeon is one of, if not the, best in Sydney. For the unfamiliar, pigeon is like eating duck - only it's smaller, more flavoursome and with much leaner meat. It's messier cause it requires one to use their hands but I think it's well worth it. A dish of 'Fried soft yifu noodle' rounds up our "supper staples" - it's a simple dish but it's tasty and goes well with congee and pigeon.
|Congee, pigeon and noodles - 3 of the best comfort foods ever!|
Then we kind of got a little crazy and ordered a few not-really-supper-dishes. Starting with 'Stir-fried tofu with dried scallop'. This was my request cause I love, love, love this tofu dish. The chequer-piece shaped tofu is soft and silky inside, the fried exterior gives it a nice flavour along with the dried scallops and vegies. The flavour is probably a little strong for supper, i.e you need rice. But not so with our other vegie dish of 'Kangkong with preserved tofu and chilli'. This was good! It's a very standard dish but the vegetables themselves were really fresh and not over-cooked.
|That's right kiddies, vegies that taste really, really good.|
'Pan fried bitter cucumber with egg' is another good supper choice. Well, for those of us in the group that like the bitter taste!! The egg is cooked through with lots of pieces of bitter melon. To top it off we got a 'Steamed eel', there's a choice of sauces and from memory this was garlic with something (maybe shallots? ginger? I can't remember now.). It was steamed nicely, the pieces of eel had a bit of bounce when biting into it, it's texture firmer and not flaky like regular cooked fish.
|Bitter melon for the bitter folks and eel for the seafood-adventerous.|
And the best end to the meal? Well of course it's dessert, which is complimentary at Masthai and usually comprises some cut fruit and tong sui (糖水). Yum!!! I love tong sui so I always look forward to this and they have a few different ones, all of which they make really well. Today's is red bean soup complete with peanuts and a black sesame glutinous rice ball. A warm and sweet ending to a very nice meal shared with very good friends.
|Sugar and heat, it makes my heart sweet!|
What: Masthai Seafood Restaurant
Where: 495 King Georges Road, Beverly Hills (02) 9580 5609
How much: Apologies but for some reason I didn't write the prices down before they took the menu away! Pigeons are $19.80 each, the total bill came to $153.30, which gives an average price of $20 for the dishes.
Need to know: Bookings are definitely recommended, especially if you're coming for dinner. You should also pre-order pigeons to avoid disappointment as they often sell out fast! Supper starts at 9:30pm and the restaurant stays open til around 2am in the morning.