Welcome to Joy Kitchen
I could go on and on about Joy Kitchen. In fact I have. During my time as a food reviewer at the Fremantle Herald I wrote six reviews of Joy Kitchen between 1997 and 2005.
When I'm asked for tips about dining out in Fremantle I always mention Joy Kitchen first. In one of the reviews I even admonished then Fremantle Mayor Richard Utting who had been quoted in The Sunday Times saying that Fremantle didn't have a first rate Chinese restaurant. I respectfully pointed the Mayor in the direction of Point Street. Interestingly enough Mr Utting has been at Joy Kitchen at both of my last two visits. When Wei Lin and Harry opened their restaurant in an out-of-the-way Fremantle spot in 1996 they had a plan. They would serve the kind of food they would want to eat using the best of fresh ingredients. They wanted to create healthy Cantonese meals as they would at home with the emphasis on quality and freshness. Once when I was speaking to Wei Lin about Joy Kitchen she paused and then said: "Actually it's not a restaurant it is a kitchen."
In 2008 Wei Lin and Harry made a big move from Point Street where they'd set up in 1996 to Marine Terrace. The new Joy Kitchen is bigger, more attractive, beautifully located and, incredibly, even better than it was before. Diners at the new location can enjoy sunsets over Fishing Boat Harbour as well as the fine food and friendly atmosphere. Harry looks after the kitchen where he preaches the need for passion when it comes to preparing and presenting every dish. Wei Lin is at the front of house where she ensures diners are well looked after. Staff members are well trained and some have been there for a long time. Since the move Wei Lin has even turned into a wine buff. Joy Kitchen now has a small but well-constructed wine list. "I thought if we were going to serve wine I should get to know about it," Wei Lin said. Beer lovers are also well catered for while those who prefer a Chinese tea with their meal will love what's on offer. My love affair with Joy Kitchen began over the most simple of dishes. Soon after the restaurant opened I tried special chilli fried rice. It was love at first bite and soon Wei Lin was writing down my order as I walked through the door.
As time went on my Joy broadened. I recall gasping as a sizzling black pepper beef dish was placed on our table; loving the country fu shan chicken with its explosion of ginger and garlic; enjoying the sheer fun of sang chow bow or duck crepes as entree; becoming obsessive about the steamed barramundi fillets with ginger and spring onion; and, after seeing it delivered to another table recently, anticipating the first time I try fish cooked in two ways. Once or twice we've even tried sweets - the red bean pancake with ice cream is a winner and the deep fried ice cream is something special.
Yes I can go on about Joy Kitchen but perhaps I should leave the last word to Fremantle photographer Michael Wearne, who said during one of many visits: "The thing about Joy is that it's a beauty forever."
- LES EVERETT