PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
Choi’s has made quite a name for itself over the years, and with good reason. It’s in an unusual location, set away from the Auburn Road shopping strip and with a newsagent as a neighbour. The restaurant itself is quite striking from the outside because of its bold blue and lilac colour scheme and a large, imposing door. But don’t let that deter you. Inside, Choi’s is rather regal, with an impressive flower arrangement in pride of place in the dining room. Well spaced tables dressed in white linen are dotted throughout the restaurant, upon which sit large modern bowls waiting to be filled with steaming morsels from the menu.
Choi’s is very popular with folks living in Hawthorn and Camberwell, so the atmosphere is decidedly more genteel than other Chinese restaurants that can be a tad noisy. The food is so good you might choose to order your own individual dish but for those that prefer to share their food, banquet-style, you will find skilled waiters at the ready to serve food at the table. The menu consists of pages of chef’s specials, with a supplementary menu of classics, but the specials are definitely the way to go. The garfish, boned, rolled, battered and fried, makes an admirable first dish. The crab dumplings are tender and succulent, and the vegetable dishes are beautifully prepared to crisp perfection. The wine list is simply outstanding. There is a provision for BYO, but the wine list is so comprehensive and well priced that it is hard to imagine even the most discerning wine snob won’t find a drop to please them.