I don’t have Chinese food outside of home that often.
Familiarity is great but so is eating for free at home whilst watching the latest episode of Survivor without pants home (this scenario might have played itself out last week).
However, I’m always excited when I can eat with some non-Chinese folk just so I can see how they react to some new experiences.
Which is what led to me having my monthly company lunch at Mr Wong’s.
Our office was conveniently located behind the Ivy (we’re moving close to a foodie favourite, stay tuned) so it’s almost like the stars had aligned. This is actually my first visit to a Merivale restaurant so I was quite excited to have the opportunity to do so.
We went late on a Friday afternoon and the place was completely packed. We killed a little of time at the bar as our table was getting ready. I looked around at the crowd and didn’t see any fellow yellows. This usually means one or a combination of the following:
– Everyone just looks the same to me and everyone in the restaurant were actually pelicans.
– The food is a bit more expensive than it is in usual Chinese restaurants.
– The food wasn’t ‘authentic’ Chinese.
– Everyone looks the same to me and everyone in the restaurant were actually giraffes.
Let’s find out if the giraffes had picked a nice restaurant.
Disclosure: I was at lunch with three other full grown men who hadn’t even snacked during the morning. We were all incredibly hungry and I rushed most of the photos because I didn’t want my stomach to request a trade to someone else’s body.
Back to the food: These wontons were a great way to get the ball rolling. The crunch could be heard by the patrons sitting downstairs. The filling was pretty sweet as I’m a fan of both ingredients. The best component of this starter was the sauce. It was sweet soy infused with a spicy kick that just set everything up perfectly.
Cue ugly photo number one!
The quality of the xiao long bao was the exact opposite of the quality of my photo. These were surprisingly awesome. Another surprise was the sheer size of these dumplings, they were maybe 150-200% larger than run of the mill xiao long bao. The soup encased in the dumplings was piping hot, tasty and resulted in the four of us drinking from our bowls like James Franco drinking water after being rescued in 127 Hours.
The soup that the scallops were swimming in was an absolute treat. There was a sour dynamic to it that made me want multiple spoonfuls. The scallops themselves were cooked nicely, not under/over cooked like you can occasionally encounter at sub-par restaurants. Ginger isn’t listed as an ingredient but it was infused into the scallops, I didn’t mind it but it might be slightly overpowering for those unaccustomed to large amounts of ginger.
I can’t be the only one who starts humming THIS song every time I order rice.
The fried rice was solid, it was a tad on the oily side but that was my only complaint about it. It didn’t stand out like me in my year one spelling bee but it was a lot tastier than I am so it has that going for it.
This was a rather divisive dish on our table. My colleagues thought it was delicious (albeit chewy) whilst I was underwhelmed. I’m biased (because clearly this stuff is completely objective!) because I live five minutes away from one of the best BBQ spots in Sydney and their pork is on the same level as the following things:
– Anna Kendrick visiting my blog and telling me she thinks I’m funny.
– Michael Jordan saying he likes my jumpshot
– Doing nothing on the weekend after a harrowing week at work
Mr Wong’s pork wasn’t quite on this level for me.
I hope you understand.
Here’s the TL;DR for the people in the restaurant that came up to me and asked me if I was Mr. Wong’s son:
– Giraffes are just weird
– The xiao long bao is an excellent choice
– Mr Wong might actually be related to me. I’m not sure.
Mr Wong (CBD)
3 Bridge Lane, Sydney
Closed on Mondays
Lunch: 12:00 – 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:30 – 10:00pm
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