Treasure Restaurant

Treasure Scallop deluxe.
Treasure Scallop deluxe. Photo: Ken Irwin KEN

482 Springvale Road Forest Hill, VIC 3131

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Opening hours Monday to Friday, noon-3pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm; Sunday to Thursday, 5.30-10pm; Friday and Saturday, 5.30pm-11pm.
Features BYO, Licensed, Wheelchair access, Accepts bookings
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Phone 9803 2388

More than two decades have passed since Treasure Restaurant opened its doors atop a short rise off Springvale Road, and the tides of fashion have failed to affect its utilitarian looks, its stalwart Hong Kong-Cantonese menu and its no-nonsense service. But fashion is hardly the point: overlook the drab window dressing and Treasure is a reliable choice in an area that's not over-endowed with great eating options.

Vogue Living isn't going to trouble this place, with its maroon carpet, green vinyl chairs with black steel frames, and salmon-pink paper napkins. The hum of the fish tanks housing lobster and barramundi is what passes for ambience. There's a 7-Eleven to the right and the car park to the left - but, on the positive side, there's plenty of room (and parking spaces), while bigger groups can enjoy the spin of the lazy Susan.

The wine list comprises mostly well-known Australian labels at prices that won't hurt. BYO wine; corkage is $2 a head.

Treasure Chinese Restaurant.
Treasure Chinese Restaurant. Photo: Ken Irwin KEN

The translucent skins for the prawn dumplings are a little on the gummy side, but the filling of whole tail meat is unimpeachable. Another winner on the dim sum front is the juicy pork-filled pot-stickers with a light chilli sauce. Some dishes are presented with a quaint Canto flourish - crunchy pieces of the fragrant Shan Dong duck, served with a light soy dressing and a sprinkling of roasted peanuts and chilli, arrive with a faux "head" made of sliced apple. The Treasure scallop deluxe doesn't sell itself short: rough pucks of coarsely chopped prawn meat embedded with scallops in a sweet soy-based sauce bulked out with bok choy. Treasures may well lurk among the Japanese and Thai dishes, but it seems sensible to stick to the Cantonese side.

A busy three-generational mix of Chinese families celebrating with lobster tossed with ginger and shallot noodles and coaxing the little ones with dumplings; Anglo groups with prawn toast and Peking duck.

Solid cooking with good produce underpin the fundamentals of this old stager; careful sifting through the lengthy menu should also unearth some more unusual dishes.