Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mr Wong, Sydney

"Foodies", "Hipsters", and "Foochebags" 

These are the terms I got from this food article I ran into.
Love them or hate them (albeit, us), is it true that they along with "gangsta chefs" are elevating the revival of street food and trending our taste buds?

With all the hype from Ms G's, us Yummers were intrigued by what Dan Hong's new venture, Mr Wong will bring to Sydney's food scene.

As there were 8 of us I thought I'd do the right thing and make a reservation.  After jumping through the Merivale empire's corporate hoops and signing my life and credit card away for a meal, we were booked in.  The dinner reservation form stipulated that a table of 8 guests had a mandatory 10% surcharge, a minimum spend of $70pp including beverages, $500 cancellation fee if less than 24hours notice, and $70pp fee for no-show guests.  Whilst I understand the frustrations of last minute cancellations I personally thought it was a bit steep and took the shine off the event.  On a brighter note, the Merivale reception were very prompt and professional with the reservation.

Mr Wong can be found at 3 Bridge Lane, Sydney.  It's a tiny, dimly lit lane-way that resembles the dark alley ways of Gotham city.  Once you step past the Mr Wong archway you are transported to a 1930's Shanghai tea house.  The fitout of this multilevel ex-night club is superb.  Splashes of industrial chic with exposed brickwork and iron fittings work really well with the rustic Asian decor.

Another small gripe before we start our meal ... you would think that after the special service we received above from Merivale that we would get our own table.  Instead we were placed downstairs (away from the open kitchen action) on a communal table (well, 3 reserved tables joined together), which made the seating quite tight.

Steamed Dim Sum Platter ($32) - (available for dinner only)

Scallop Shumai, Har Gau, Jade seafood dumpling, Mushroom dumpling.

Maybe we were too in awe of the decor, but I was kicking myself when I found out that we'd ordered two steamed dim sum platters rather than the a steamed and a fried, therefore missing out on my much anticipated introduction to lobster mei si roll and foie gras prawn toast.
What I did enjoy from the steamed selection was scallop shumai.  Plump, juicy, stacked with at least 2-3 scallops and encased in a delicate pastry skin.

L: Roasted 5-spice Pork Belly ($25)   R: Steamed Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce and Garlic oil ($12)

L: Mr Wong's special fried rice - Large ($24)   R: Twice cooked green beans, pork mince & XO sauce ($16)

L: Crystal Bay Prawns with black pepper, garlic, and butter ($32)   R: Wagyu beef with rice vermicelli - Large ($26)
Who doesn't like a succulent pork belly with a crunchy crackle or a non-oily fragrant fried rice with prawns.  But personally, I guess I was expecting a Dan Hong twist to the dishes - Ms G style!!  Don't get me wrong each dish was executed well and served as a great meal, but I guess the "hipster" in me was expecting a little more.

L: Salt & Pepper Lamb Cutlets with Fennel and Cumin ($32)   R: Sweet & Sour Crispy Pork Hock ($28)
The winner for me was the lamb cutlet.  Succulent lamb cutlets with a crunchy outer coating fused with fennel and cumin brought together with a squeeze of lemon.  It was so good we debated ordering seconds and YaYa tried to replicate this at home the following night.

Sweet and Sour Crispy pork hock was also top notch.  Maybe a play on the traditional Sweet and Sour pork, this dish is far superior with no comparison to the westernised version found in most Chinese take-away shops.  De-boned crispy pork hock with flaky innards that's permeated with a good balance of flavours - and no sign of extra large capsicum and pineapple chunks in a fluorescent sauce!!

L: Mr Wong's deep fried ice-cream with butter scotch sauce ($14)   R: Roast white chocolate ice cream, yuzu curd, logans, and raspberries ($14)
Dessert time, and as you can see, even the food blogging Yummers couldn't hold back for photos before digging in. First to go was Mr Wong's interpretation of the well known deep fried ice cream.  I liked the addition of coconut strands in the crispy coating and the butterscotch sauce was thick, gooey and surprising not too sweet.

The roast white chocolate ice cream was well constructed with multi-levels of flavor and textures.  I couldn't quite taste the yuzu though.

L: Green apple ice, osmanthus jelly, water chestnuts and coconut sorbet ($14)   R: Seasonal fruit plate (serves 2-3) ($18)
For you folk that don't like heavy desserts the Green apple ice is very light and refreshing, although the osmanthus in the jelly was heavily masked by the other flavours.

Yes, we even ordered the fruit platter and were somewhat relieved to find that it wasn't your standard complimentary plate of dry oranges, tasteless honeydew and powdery watermelon that you generally expect after a Chinese meal.  The platter was spruced up with the addition of fresh strawberries, raspberries, golden kiwi, and our new found love ... Jack Fruit!!

Strawberries, meringue, macadamia praline, cream cheese ice cream and Thai basil ($14)
The cream cheese ice cream dish really hit the spot for me.  Just the word cream cheese ice cream had me drooling.  I thought the addition of both meringue and praline would push this dish over the edge in regards to sweetness, but the tartness of the fresh strawberries livens it up and the Thai basil just takes it to another level - man I love micro herbs!!

Overall I think the mains are slightly overpriced.  Definitely good for that special treat and I'll definitely be back to try Yum Cha, and the foie gras prawn toast.

Till next time...we eat!!


Mr Wong on Urbanspoon


  1. Yummers, indeed! Your dishes look great, but it's not hard to spend that $70 per person, is it?

  2. Don't tell anyone but they ended up not imposing the minimum charge anyway, hehe! For me the food was of an excellent quality, less greasy and much fresher tasting than your average Chinese local (and I support my local Chinese a LOT)so not an everyday feast but perfect for that occasional treat, must go back for the yum cha soon! And although $18 is really high for a fruit platter, we did get FRESH jackfruit and if you ever tried to open one of those babies you know how hard it is wrestling with a 4-5kg spikey football!

  3. Sadly we only had room for one dessert when we went but it's great to see what the other ones are like! Hehe imagine if they just brought out a plate of orange slices :P

  4. I wondered what the fruit plate was like, thanks for sharing. I thought it was probably going to be oranges or rockmelon, as you get gratis in a lot of Chinese restaurants, nice to know it is a bit more than that.

  5. Dear YaYa,

    I loved my meal here and we were quite determined to order something that we would not otherwise find in traditional yum cha and as it turned, the dishes were so creative and flavours were such a refreshing change. I would go back again sometime.