Mr Wong, CBD
It took Mr C and I a little while to find Mr Wong, one of the latest additions to the Merivale empire and one that boasts two chefs hat. It wasn’t until we saw the ‘Mr Wong’ arrow sign painted on concrete wall that pointed us into an alleyway that we figured out it was there. I don’t think anyone would suspect that such a nicely designed restaurant would be hidden away in such a scary (at night) alleyway in the CBD. Mr Wong is quite the departure from the usual Chinese restaurant in that it’s more of a fine dining experience and seems to be catered towards a western taste palette, the usual Chinese classics are found here but the real gems are the innovative dishes that are unique to the restaurant and give it an edge.
The image above is of the Crispy royal king crab noodle wrap. We wanted to try something different because we’d heard the classics here were nothing special, the description for this dish was unique and very appealing so we went for it. I dipped it in the chilli sauce and took my first bite to find that there was so much delicious crab meat inside! I was honestly surprised they were so generous with the amount of crab meat. The fried noodle wrap was so crunchy too which meant it was cooked fresh and not left standing.
When this first arrived we were quite surprised because it looked very different from the yum cha dishes we were used to, the orange pastry is very unique! This was my favourite because it had pieces of mushrooms (morel) packaged inside. I loved how the dumpling was very open compared to a siu mai and you could see the ingredients. There was a lot of filling and the pastry had a bit of a chewy texture to it that I loved.
Mr C always says he wants to have a healthy dish with his lunch/dinner so he ordered this vegetarian dumpling, unfortunately I forget the name of it now as it was a special. In the end I have to admit this was pretty ordinary, something you could probably eat in other Chinese restaurants but it was definitely more refined perfectly steamed. Another difference which I noticed was the quality of the ingredients used in the fillings were more superior and abundant.
I haven’t had cheung fun in a very long time, last time would probably be my yum cha date with Mr C during work hours almost over a year ago! BBQ pork doesn’t seem to be a very popular for cheung fan in Australia, It’s just very different to what you would have in most yum cha places. The cheung fun doesn’t break on you as you pick it up with chopsticks, everyone hates that right? I was very happy to find that the rice roll was perfectly steamed but stayed intact. The soy sauce was so tasty with the cheung fun and the BBQ pork pieces were a great filler along with soy sauce and the chilli paste they provide.
Har gau has always been Mr C’s favourite but he did not order my favourite siu mai! Mr C said the har gau was pretty ordinary however I personally loved it! The prawn pieces were quite chunky, definitely worth the price for seafood. They weren’t amazing like the more innovative dishes but it will always be a favourite 🙂
As you can see above, the location is quite interesting and hidden from the usual hustle and bustle of the CBD streets, the interior is beautiful and reminds me of colonial style China with lots of western influences. The restaurant itself is always buzzing with heaps of tables, in fact Mr C was only just able to get a booking since he decided on booking the day before.
I will definitely keep Mr Wong in mind for dinner as they do a very different menu from lunch. The dishes they have for dinner seem to be also very unique and I feel like that’s a good thing even though the dishes aren’t considered ‘authentic’, they definitely deserve the two chefs hats for great service and great food. I forgot to mention, they also have quite an extensive Chinese tea selection to choose from!