It always amuses me that we go to Chinese restaurants when we eat out with the extended family. You'd think we'd choose some alternate cuisine, given the wide variety available in Australia. However, for my grandparents and even people in my parents' generation, a lifetime of eating Chinese cuisine means their tastes just don't generally align with Western dishes. So Chinese food it usually is.
We paid a visit to The Eight for dinner, which is at the top floor of Market City. It was a Sunday night, I think, so it wasn't as crowded as it usually is during peak hours (generally yumcha lunchtimes or busy Friday/Saturday evenings). The dinner menu was fairly similar to Zilver, the 'sister' restaurant of The Eight and I don't think we ordered anything groundbreaking. It's still a great menu, albeit on the expensive side.
**We arrived after my uncle had already ordered so I'm not 100% sure about each dish name (I'm referring to the menu found on their website and guessing).
I usually don't eat spring rolls, but these ones were roasted really well and had a lot of filling.
If for nothing else, go for the indulgence of the honey glazed king prawns. They were freshly roasted, crispy on the outside and crumbly, not too sweet and the prawns are amazing.
I'm pretty sure this was the Wok seared diced beef fillet with black pepper sauce, which was incredibly tender. The accompanying broccoli was a little undercooked for my tastes but I loved the mushrooms and the sauce.
This was after our Peking Duck had become sang choy baw. There is actually not a lot of duck in there and it's pretty filling, but it's very flavoursome, filled with bamboo pieces and other vegetables.
They made the duck pancake for you. I personally prefer self-service but I can understand why it'd be neater for the waiters to make the pancakes. Not sure if you can request self-service when ordering, though.
Deep fried salt and pepper bean curd (aka. fried tofu) had a lovely, delicate fried skin to it. Pretty much like agedashi tofu without the soup/sauce
Braised, preserved vegetables with bamboo piths (I think). Nothing much to say here. I can understand why some people might find it bland because there's virtually no seasoning, but it was a refreshing palate cleanser at times, given the richness of the other food.
We had a very lovely and attentive waiter, which was rare because when we paid fairly frequent visits to Zilver, the waiters were usually too busy or, when we went during off-peak hours, there are too few of them. It's a huge restaurant too, so it might be hard to be noticed if you're sitting in a more secluded area.
The Eight and/or Zilver is definitely worth paying a visit to if you want some good quality Chinese food - I think the place is run by mostly Cantonese people, so concentrate on food from that region in China. Go for the yumcha as well.
You should definitely be prepared to make bookings well in advance if you're going during 'peak hour' though, as it is a very popular restaurant.