Walking into Win’s (in a small plaza of Chinese restaurants at the top end of William Street) you could have gone into a time warp and ended up in a 1960s country town Chinese – the décor is that underwhelming – a little bit of red velvet and a few red and gold posters to break up the beige. So we came with few expectations. And we were the only customers, too.
The menu, with over 200 dishes, also gave us pause – this is also a feature of many of your suburban Cantonese, lots of choice, but not done too well– but we came away surprised and pleased. The food was well turned out, good value and the service was excellent. This latter feature was confirmed when the cork in our aged bottle of wine (they are unlicensed) crumbled hopelessly – our waiter took charge and she whisked it away, returning a little later with the wine strained, decanted and ready to go – we were impressed.
To the food – we ordered three mains plus steamed rice – the first Szechuan style prawns – well there was not a lot of Szechuan pepper involved, but a pleasing amount of chilli in the red sauce – and the prawns were fresh, crunchy to the bite, sweetly fleshed and soaked up the chilli and other spices well – it was an enjoyable start.
Our second choice – stir fried Chinese vegetables with salted fish and shredded chilli- was a large serve of lightly cooked, crisp and garden-fresh bok choy – pimped up with dots of salted fish, sliced chilli and ginger – perfectly cooked, full of fresh crunch, the fish adding a salty note and the chilli and ginger aromatic zing.
And on to the last of our lunch time dishes – dried fried squid with salt and chilli was my choice of the three – squid with a light, wispy batter, tender and moist, cooked with onions, spring onions, chilli and sitting on a bed of crisp noodles – the flavours melded well – another well-cooked dish, nicely spiced, and the squid spot on.
So there you go, some pleasant things turn up in the most surprising of places – I am not suggesting this is the best Chinese restaurant in Perth – but Win’s is well worth a visit – as I said good, well turned out food, fine value and service with a smile. Look past the tired décor and you could be in for an enjoyable time.