I was at an enjoyable function the other night at Mr. Wong. Its a Colonial era Canton style tea house in the Sydney CBD! It’s a beautiful event and the hosts are so lovely and the conversation flows over glasses of wine for what is set to be a charming night. Once we are seated the items from the set menu arrive and the wine continues to flow.
The wine on selection was a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend (If I recall correctly it was the Allegory from Western Australia). The wine had wonderful aromas of cherry and wildberries and some hints of chocolate notes on the nose. On the palate the cherry and redfruits continued to flow intensely with some hints of mocha creeping in. The wine has a beautiful velvety texture with a good tannin structure.
Mixed steamed dim sum selection
There is a lovely mix of prawn & scallop dumplings, shumai and some others for the mixed selection. I do try a couple of them and the prawn and scallop just stood out. I just love it (and you can read a prior review of that dumpling here! It’s a favourite). Today some of the other dumplings we had had a gluggy wrapping, overly sticky which did detract from the taste and was particularly an issue for my dining companion.
Salad of Alaskan snow crab, snow pea sprouts, bamboo shoots and ginger
This is one of those refreshing salads. There is the beautiful silky clean soft crab meat with the burst of the roe adding an intense salty flavour, while the crunch of the refreshing herbs and sprouts add some delightful textural contrast to the crab, while the bite of the garlic kicks into the finish to pull back the flow a little.
Yellowfin tuna, kohlrabi, sweet wasabi, soy and ginger dressing
The dish was probably my favourite of all the dishes. The succulent, flavoursome raw tuna with its rich tasting oils was perfectly balanced with the salt of the soy, the elegant bite of the ginger, the ying/yang interaction of the sweet wasabi and the mild tang of the pickled vegetables. A pure delight indeed – quality produce at its best!
King prawn wonton with soy chilli dressing
These are a delight. The beautiful succulent prawn is encased in a soft sticky wonton wrapper and is paired with some beautiful chilli which adds some lovely spice, but not too much such that the prawn is overpowered. The dish is then balanced with some light soy and other oriental oils to round out the flavour.
Steamed fish fillets with ginger and shallots
This is a dish of simple flavours and textures. The meaty white fleshed fish is a delight with limited seasoning and culinary effort allowing its natural flavours to be on full display. There is some interaction between the bite of ginger and heaty zing of the shallots to work alongside the fish. The pan juices which do include some light seasoning are a delight but everyone is in no dispute on the real star of the dish.
Salt and pepper calamari
The salt & pepper calamari was actually very executed for a dish which is typically difficult to get a clear edge or be particularly, this dish fires on all cylinders. My dining companion even notes to me post the dinner that it was one of the best salt & pepper calamari she ever tasted. The usual minerally rush from the salt and the pepper opens the way for light crispy dusting (it is not one of those gluggy batters) of “batter’ before the main character – the calamari graces the stage with its fresh, distinctive flavour on display. It is succulent, tender and provides a beautiful tasting experience that one tries to savour for an eternity.
Stir fried “Mongolian beef” with cashews, baby corn, garlic shoots and basil
A beautiful succulent beef which is coated with a savoury sauce. The flavours of a light smoked caramel, vinegar, soy and peppery spice dominate dish, while the juices of the beef intermingle effortlessly with the sauce for a well integrated dish. The lovely textural crunch from the cashew and vegetables round out the dish. It is a lovely experience.
Asparagus, broccoli and sugar snaps with garlic and rice wine
The crisp snow peas (or sugar snaps – I can’t tell the difference) and the broccoli are a beautiful side with a refreshing crunchy texture, although compared to some of the other amazing dishes they are somewhat uneventful.
Deep fried vanilla ice cream served with butterscotch sauce
This is a pure favourite of ours. I just love the sensory experience of this dessert. The warm batter battles the chill of the ice cream. The crunchy texture of the batter elegantly dances with the creaminess of the ice-cream. The gentle vanilla flavour of the ice-cream glides through the sweet, buttery, smoky caramelly butterscotch sauce. The contrasts, interaction and flow of the flavours make for a sensuous dining experience. One of my favourite desserts out there.
Mango pudding with coconut tapioca, lychee granita and mango pearls
The dish is lovely but nothing compared to the fried ice-cream. The pudding reflects the lush mango flavour, while the tapioca has soft creamy flavour with a starchy kind of texture. The mango pearls provide fruity burst on the palate to go with the sweetness of the lychee granita. It’s a very sweet dish but with some nice textures and of course the chilled granita which provides that shiver down your spine on a cold winter’s night.
We have a coffee to round off the night…. because injecting your bloodstream with a load of caffeine at 9:30pm at night is such a good way to guarantee a good night’s sleep!
Overall an amazing night with some broad array of tasting plates with variety of textures, flavours and culinary creativity. In general they were well executed and reflective of some very good and fresh produce.