My family’s connection with Happy Star goes a long way back to the Chinese restaurant’s humble beginning in 2007 when it was first known as Myaree Chinese Restaurant. Then the business was sold and the new owners named it to what is now called Happy Star. And then the business was yet again sold but the current owners kept the name, which is a brilliant idea as this little restaurant has a long list of happy clients thanks to the second owners.
This restaurant is the go to place for a quick takeaway, a lazy day when you don’t feel like cooking, a Sunday lunch or a big celebration. Being close to my house, needless to say, we are regulars here. As much as I love this place, I won’t lie – the chefs have their off days too. Taste has considerably changed when the current owners tookover, and not in a way. We missed the tastiness of what was served up by the 2nd owners and there was something clearly lacking in the dishes prepared by the new chefs. That, coupled with the fact that they messed up our orders for Chinese New Year’s dinner, convinced me not to go back unless really necessary. They messed up our family’s favourite “Yam Duck” by giving us tasteless yam with no visible duck meat (only skin and bones). It was a busy night with everyone dining out to celebrate the new year and the kitchen was terribly busy but this was no excuse to produce crappy dishes.
Alas, last night, things changed. I have not stepped into this restaurant since that awful Chinese New Year experience so I was hesitant to go again. But so much has changed. First thing I noticed was the menu. The owners have had new menus printed out in glossy book-type menus instead of the brown file inserts type of menu that they used to have, passed down from the 1st owners. More importantly, the dishes have greatly improved! Everything came out to restaurant standards. We ordered a few new dishes too.
“Yam Duck”, definitely 100% better than the ones we had before. The yam was smooth and tasty and the duck was virtually fat-less with a crispy skin.
“Deep Fried Eggplant with Salted Egg”, the goodness of deep fried veggie with a hint of salted egg coating. Absolutely divine!
“Steamed Chicken with Soy Sauce”, this is more than just an ordinary steamed chicken with soy sauce. This version here is loaded with sesame oil and fried onions so it was much more fragrant than, say, Hainanese chicken dish.
“Tofu with Minced Meat Sauce”, silky tofu with minced meat in a sweet tangy sauce.
“Peking Pork Spare Ribs”, the sauce was just great! Sweet and vinegar-y that works really well with pork.
“Lo Han Zai”, a vegetarian dish. There wasnt really nothing special with this dish..tofu, mushrooms, black fungus, brocolli. We just needed a vegetable dish and this was an alternative to the usual spinach with garlic that we usually order.
We may have ordered too much food but every dish was polished! I’m just glad that Happy Star is back to serving great and accessible food.
My rating: 8/10