After hearing that the new addition to the Merivale family, a contemporary Cantonese restaurant - Mr Wong, I was super keen to try it out last night.
Hidden down Bridge lane, down the dark alleyway, blink and you'll miss the non-descript entrance. The restaurant is huge, seating 240 over two levels. The decor is sleek, with a colonial touch.
We sat next to the kitchen which enabled us to see all the action happening, such as dumplings being made and dessert being plated up.
The service at Mr Wong is friendly and attentive, our waiter giving us very thorough recommendations. The menu presents some familiar Cantonese favourites, some with an interesting twist or variation. At the beginning of the night, I'm especially looking forward to the lovely sounding dessert menu.
But first things first for a Friday night, drinks! The wine list is impressive, with a menu thicker than the food menu. The mocktails also sound pretty fab too, with a black sesame frappe and a coconut and kaffir lime martini amongst other creations.
No. 9 Hebei Province - Sake, strawberry liqueur, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, fresh basil and strawberries
The cocktail list doesn't disappoint and each cocktail is named after a province in China, with the fruit, herb or spice used in the drink being renowned for that region.
No. 8 Shandong Province - Plymouth gin, apple liqueur, lemon juice, sugar syrup, apple juice, champagne and wasabi foam; No. 9 Hebei Province, and a mocktail; No. 3 Pomegranate and Green Tea Lemonade - Green tea, pomegranate syrup, cherry bitters, lime juice, lemonade, tapioca pearls and fresh mint
No. 2 - Shaanxi Province - Sochu, mandarin liqueur, lemon juice, fresh nashi pear, cardarmon and grapefruit bitters
Deep-fried dim sum platter - crispy beef roll, lobster mei si roll, pear taro croquette, foie gras prawn toast.
A step up on your average dim sims - I especially loved the cute pear shaped croquettes!
Alaskan snow crab, chrysanthemum leaves, nashi pear and ginger
Such a refreshing salad with chunks of the juicy, sweet Alaskan crab and crunchy strips of nashi pear
Peking duck pancake
One of the best versions in Sydney, the peking duck came out nice and hot, with delightfully crispy skin
Sichuan style eggplant, dark soy and chilli - another highlight dish for the table
Red braised pork belly with fresh apple salad - tender pieces of pork served in a hot pot, perfect comfort food for the gale force winds we've been experiencing!
Mr Wong's special fried rice (vegetarian version)
"Mapo tofu" - stir fried pork mince with chilli and Sichuan pepper served on freshly steamed soy milk custard - This was a lovely take on the traditional mapo tofu, with the Sichuan pepper giving it a pretty spicy kick. I loved the soy milk custard which was down the bottom, so silky smooth and a pleasure to eat with mouthfuls of rice.
We all saved room for dessert, and so it was one of each option to share:
Roast white chocolate ice cream, yuzu curd, longans and raspberries
This was my favourite dessert. It was fantastic, with the sweet and nutty roast white chocolate ice cream and the citrus tang of the yuzu curd, and fresh berries and longan. I'm definitely coming back to have this all to myself...
Mr. Wong's deep fried ice cream served with butter scotch sauce
Green apple ice, osmanthus jelly, water chestnuts and coconut sorbet
A lovely, light and refreshing dessert
Strawberries, meringue, macadamia praline, cream cheese ice cream and Thai basil
A close second favourite, this dish reminded me of a strawberry cheesecake.
Mr Wong is open 7 days a week from 12pm, so I can definitely see myself paying more visits to try out the yum cha and more of the dishes.