Another birthday rolled around and we went along to Camellia to celebrate as it is a firm favourite of the birthday girl – well all of us really. We have been coming here for years and always come away satisfied with the quality and value of the food on offer.
It is an unpretentious place with a good, although not too extensive, range of Cantonese style food and I have to say a couple of us have our favourites – so they were the first chosen – Satay Seafood and Chilli King Prawns; then we opted for Lemon Chicken and Ginger Scallops. With rice that was enough for us.
Satay seafood included squid, prawns, fish and scallops in an aromatic and sticky peanut based sauce, and a boost from some zingy chilli. All the seafood components were– firm to the bite, nothing overcooked here, and the vegetables also showed the skill of the kitchen – crisp, retaining all of their flavour, and combining to an excellent dish of Chinese style satay.
The Camellia is well known for its Lemon Chicken – with customers travelling quite long distances to either eat in or have it as a takeaway – and the meal served up to us justified its reputation. The chicken was crispy skinned, tender and moist inside and coated in a most delicious sauce, lemony, sweet, sharp, by degrees and all melding into a splendid dish. Not much left on the plate!
The Chilli prawns came as a good number of shelled king prawns, and as is always the case here, cooked just right – I find that prawns cooked well have almost a squeak as you bite into the flesh, sweet, tender, juicy – and this is what you get at the Camellia. Scattered dried chilli flakes provide a pleasant chilli buzz – and you can order the dish with as much or as little as you like – but nothing overpowers the flavours of the seafood which shines through as it should. This was another well executed dish.
The scallops always impress and once again was another very good example of the skill the kitchen exhibits in its seafood production. The scallops, a good number of them, were tender, juicy and delicious, but retaining firmness that all too often is missing with scallops which can easily be overcooked. The ginger sauce was a fantastic accompaniment the molluscs, clinging to the flesh and bringing a clean, refreshing lift to the whole dish.
One again we had a very enjoyable meal at Camellia – by the way they are BYO – and I am sure we will be back before another year rolls by.