Friday, August 16, 2013

Mr Wong, Sydney

One good thing about having to make regular trips to Sydney for uni over the next few months is that I get to do what I do best; go out to eat. This past weekend I dined at Mr Wong, one of the more recent additions to Justin Hemmes's Merivale empire.

Mr Wong has taken over the space where Tank nightclub used to be; a large two story space that has been converted to an exquisitely impressive restaurant. As per the case with many restaurants in Sydney these days, getting a booking here is more painful than it needs to be; a pain that I was willing to tolerate as a result of the good things I had heard about the food. Because of the no booking policy for groups under six, we arrived for an early dinner and just managed to nab the last remaining table for the 6.30pm time slot. 

Images via

I was immediately impressed by the fitout of Mr Wong. The shabby chic Asian decor was a standout as it was quite unusual. The vast space has been used to an inch of it's life and the outcome is a busy, loud and buzzing restaurant that is oh-so-hip. 

The service was friendly enough considering this is Sydney and a bit of attitude is standard. I didn't quite appreciate the constant hovering by the waitstaff and we felt somewhat rushed through the meal as it was blatantly obvious that they were doing their best to turn over the tables at record speeds. The food, however did make up for the "over-service".

We ordered four dishes to share. 

Peking duck pancakes with roast duck ($34) was mind blowingly delicious. The duck had the most perfect crispy skin on the outside and it was unbelievably moist on the inside. I just wish they were a little more generous with the serving size.

Steamed scallops with ginger, shallots, XO sauce and silken tofu ($32) was another 10/10. I'm not sure if I've ever had steamed scallops before; if I did they certainly were no where as memorable as these. Both the scallop and the tofu quite literally melted in my mouth and the added kick of the XO sauce made this one amazing dish.

Four types of braised mushrooms with sautéed baby spinach and lettuce ($24) was exactly what it says. The baby spinach and the lettuce were deliciously garlicy and the the mushrooms were cooked perfectly.

Hotpot of braised beef cheeks, honeycomb tripe, bamboo and shitake ($28) was another standout. The beef was tender and full of flavour from being soaked in that delicious broth and although tripe might not be to everyone's taste, I certainly enjoyed it. Apologies about the terrible photos; the dimly lit restaurant was every food bloggers nightmare!

We also had three desserts to share.

Clockwise from the top:
Chocolate cream, coconut sorbet, macadamia praline and rasberries ($14)
Mango pudding, passionfruit granita, fresh mango, pomelo and pearls ($14)
Mandarin ice cream, jasmine yoghurt, mandarin, peanut and black sesame crunch ($14)

I won't attempt to describe all of these seperately except to say they were all amazing. I'm not much of a fan of Asian desserts but these all had unusual elements to them making them indulging sweet treats as well as perfect palate cleansers.

So the verdict: Great vibe, beautiful people and more importantly, fantastic food! Out of the seven dishes we tried, there weren't any elements about any of them that us four picky fine diners disliked. I had read mixed reviews about Mr Wong along the lines of criticism for serving over-priced stock standard Chinese cuisine but I beg to differ. The food was delicious with a modern spin on traditional Chinese and at $55 each for seven shared dishes plus a round of drinks this was definitely money well spent!

Mr Wong on Urbanspoon

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