“Where do you go for really great Cantonese food in the city?”
It’s a question posed by Lantern on the Quay‘s co-owner Surin Dhami, who makes a great point. While Northbridge is chockas with cheap ‘n cheerful Chinese dining options, the city’s options are few and far between – particularly if you’re looking for something with a more formal flair.
“We truly hope Lantern will strike the balance between classic Cantonese cuisine and the kind of wine and cocktail bar culture Perth loves, packaged in a way Perth hasn’t seen before.”
Nestled at the base of the Quay’s newest riverside tower, One The Esplanade, the restaurant’s red and gold-dominated design – by Adelaide-based architecture practice Faculty – has been inspired by the warm, inviting glow of lanterns.
“From the outside looking in we want patrons to know this is premium Asian cuisine,” explained Faculty’s
principal Mike Darvill. At Lantern’s centre, a sleek bar serving playful cocktails is surrounded by concentric, glowing lights, while sheer curtains of red mesh divide the 140-seat dining room – a plush velvet curtain can create a private dining space in an instant.
“We went big on the statements in a smaller interior. Warm timber details and custom pattern carpets helped to soften the space and create a truly comfortable, inviting environment.”
So while the interior is plush, what can be expected from the menu?
Headed up by executive chef Ricky Kwok, formerly on the pans at beloved Mounts Bay Road eatery Canton Bay, it’s perhaps best summarised as contemporary Cantonese with a plenty of old-school finesse.
A huge focus is on seafood, with local crab, lobster, abalone, scallops squid and prawns populating the substantial menu section alongside sustainably harvested Patagonian toothfish.
Knife-smacked cucumber salad or osmanthus-topped radish pickles await warmer days, while classic Peking duck bring together the Cantonese-leaning roast meat menu and the perennial Beijing specialty. Meanwhile, wasabi fried prawns and oysters with ponzu and soy bring in an unexpected yet welcome Japanese lilt.
“The plan is to give Chef Kwok’s kitchen everything it needs in terms of exceptional produce to achieve the kind of food usually reserved for Hong Kong’s finest hotel restaurants,” Dhami tells us.
“It’s only speculation, but I think our version of Peking duck crepes has the potential to become a Lantern signature very quickly.”
Lantern on the Quay is scheduled to open on Friday, August 10, and will be located at One The Esplanade, Perth.