The location – Bridge Lane, just behind the Establishment hotel in an old warehouse which is part of Sydney’s commercial history. Mr Wong is a themed restaurant – the look is 1920’s colonial Hong Kong/Shanghai – before the revolution. It has been harmonised perfectly with an army of staff to ensure the smooth flow of everything. The service staff dressed in white shirts, (overwhelmingly male – interesting for 2012?) black waistcoats and long aprons finish off the theme. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with themed restaurants – and, as a friend said to me, better a well-run themed restaurant than a poorly organised non-themed restaurant with shocking food. And let’s face up to some facts, there are too many of them around and Merivale’s can not be accused of that! They do what they do very well.
Mr Wong is a big restaurant – a 240 seater – which could be a problem but this is a well oiled machine with lots of money in its fitout. We decided our first visit would be lunch. On arrival the greeting was very warm and professional and we were taken to our table with little or no fuss, you get the feeling you’re somewhere special like you might experience in great restaurants in New York or Milan. say for example.
The food – a selection of Cantonese dishes – there are dumplings – steamed, poached, deep fried, fish, meat, salads and rice/noodles. We started our lunch with silver jasmine green tea then went for some items from the dim sum menu – prawn har gau – steamed dumplings of juicy prawn meat ($9.80), lobster mei si – rolls of lobster meat covered in spun fried fine noodles ($11) and poached pork and chive dumplings served in a light soy broth ($9). The standouts were the lobster rolls and the pork dumplings, beautifully presented and succulent. The prawn dumplings were not as full of meat as those we’ve had at other Sydney yum cha restaurants but still very good and full of flavour.
But this is not all a traditional Cantonese menu – there’s also some other popular Asian influenced dishes like raw yellowfin tuna with kohlrabi, sweet wasabi with a soy and ginger dressing ($19). This dish was very good – the tuna was top quality – a translucent reddish colour, no smell and just melt in the mouth. We had to order a second helping.
Our other choices – Mr. Wong’s special fried rice with pork and prawn ($18) and this was some of the best fried rice. There was lots of big, moist, flavoursome prawns, fine pieces of pork and the fragrance of spring onions – perfect. The stir fried egg noodles with dark soy, garlic chives and beansprouts ($14) was just as good.
The dessert choices – a seasonal fruit plate for 2-3 people ($18)
Mr. Wong’s deep fried ice cream served with butterscotch sauce, vanilla or chocolate ($14)
Roast white chocolate ice cream, yuzu curd, longans, and raspberries ($14)
Green apple ice, osmanthus jelly, water chestnuts and coconut sorbet ($14)
Strawberries, meringue, macadamia praline, cream cheese ice cream and Thai basil ($14)
We went for Mr Wong’s deep fried vanilla icecream with butterscotch sauce – there was nothing too special about this. Mr Wong is open Tuesday to Sunday – midday to late.
Mr Wong is a new cool Sydney restaurant and definitely worth a try.
3 Bridge Lane Sydney 2000