Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Uncle Birry's

Uncle Billy's Chinese Restaurant
Shop 9, Chinatown, 66 Roe Street, Perth
(08) 9227 9388

Uncle Billy's is just one of those mysteries of life that elude me, rather like algebra. Or crop circles. Why the hell do we always end up there? Why not Billy Lee's, Utopia, or the Korean place next door? What is it about Uncle Billy's that draws us all the way from the Club-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to Chinatown, at 3am on a Sunday morning, even if our feet are absolutely screaming in pain, even if we have to drag our friends who are contributing to the pavement along the way, and even if we have no compulsion whatsoever to pay good money for Chinese food and terrible service? We may never know. It's times like these I refer to one of my favourite quotes from the O.C:

Go with gravity, man.

 Figure 1: The head promoter at Uncle Billy's.


Figure 2: The classic Japanese Sizzling Tofu

Okay okay, I take back the comment about the service I said before. Sure, it ain't 5 star service, but Uncle Billy's is one of the only places that will accommodate for loud 'n' rowdy uni students that late at night. Working at a high-volume, high-stress environment; serving customers who are sweaty, stumbling, rude, panda-eyed or have just yacked outside the premises would not be an easy job. The waitstaff there are thick skinned - you can earnestly call for service again and again, but for the crap that they have to put up with, they will serve you when they are good and ready, xie xie ni. 

Figure 3: "Cut chilli! Cut chilli. Cut chilli. Cut chilli? Cut chilli? Cut chilli." - Mingi Hong

Figure 4: Mongolian Beef

Figure 5: Vinegar Chicken

Everyone has a favourite at Uncle Billy's, partly because there are many quintessential Chinese Restaurant dishes that they do well, and partly because they do almost every Chinese Restaurant dish you can think of. There are well over 100 dishes on the menu, as well as specials stuck on the back wall, printed on A4 paper. My to picks would have to be:
  • Japanese Sizzling Tofu
  • Salt & Pepper Squid
  • Soft Shell Crab
  • Any of the Spare Ribs
But basically, if you don't really know what to order, either have a peek at what the table closest to you is eating and see what looks good, or ask the lady owner (she's short, middle aged and always smiling) who will gladly point out what they do best, and sometimes, ask you what you study and try to marry you off to her son.

Figure 6: Salt & Pepper Squid

Figure 7: The Wah Liao James Teh Special

Figure 8: Chinese tea (assists liver function)

Figure 9: Good things come in threes 

 Figure 10: Sweet & Sour Pork

Memories (fuzzy ones) at Uncle Billy's usually consist of ordering too much, but still managing to finish it all, lots of laughing and shouting, dirty looks from surrounding sober tables, wondering where all your cash went, getting more food on the tablecloth than in the little porcelain bowls (I'm looking at you, Richie Wu) and thinking to myself, "I have no idea how I'm getting home". But since those who congregate at Uncle Billy's all seem to know each other, everyone always manages to get a lift off someone else, we all pile 3 people too many into someone's Toyota (I'm always designated ducker) and are off on our way.

 Figure 11: Stir Fried Kai Lan with Garlic

Figure 12: Garlic King Prawn 

Figure 13: Attempting to vivify a Garlic King Prawn (the people across the table stared)

I wish I had more to say about the food at Uncle Billy's. Unfortunately, I don't think I've ever had a meal here sober, so my opinion would be completely unreliable. 

Uncle Billy's Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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