I try not to return to the same places too often but Mr Wong is definitely my exception to the rule.
I’ve actually eaten there twice this month already.
So what’s so special about Mr Wong?
Part of the Merivale family and led by Executive Head Chef Dan Hoang, Mr Wong is in a great location sitting on Bridge Lane in Sydney’s CBD.
Stepping into the two level brick warehouse building you are greeted by smiling hosts and as you wait on the stairs you cant help but look in and over the rail downstairs at all that is happening inside. It’s a large restaurant, seating over 200 people and it has a hip 1930’s vibe. Upstairs are two main kitchens – stacks of dumpling steamers sit directly in front and to the right is the main kitchen, full of chefs and surrounded by glass cabinets lined with rows and rows of hanging roasted ducks.
Large timber beams stand tall throughout the restaurant and the exposed brick walls have been decorated with old Chinese paintings, feature walls and shelves full of beautiful vases and ornaments. Shades of lime green compliment the marbled tables, French bamboo woven chairs and bare unpolished timber floorboards.
It’s a fusion of old and new at Mr Wong. The old Chinese art and decor is juxtaposed with shiny new kitchens, swish bars and glass cabinets stocked with hundreds of wine bottles. Wait staff in bow ties move swiftly through the restaurant as if it’s a dance floor. Throw some jazz and swing music into the mix and you have a very trendy dining space.
As cinnamon sticks slowly burn on top of cocktails, dim sum steamer lids open for the first time and aromas of roasted duck dipped in plum sauce linger throughout the restaurant, Mr Wong entices you from the moment you sit down.
The menu is designed for sharing. I recommend starting with a platter of steamed dim sum. The platters have 8 pieces are available for dinner only ($32) or if you are there for lunch you can purchase plates e.g the pork and prawn shumai ($12 for 4 pieces).
The dumplings at Mr Wong are fresh, delicate and topped with fish roe and other delicious garnishes. They are tiny colourful bites of dim sum perfection.
For mains there is an impressive, large menu to choose from with some incredible Cantonese flavours.
I highly recommend the sticky pork ribs ($34). The meat is succulent and the marinade is very moreish. With chilli garnish this dish it has quite a nice spicy kick to it.
Twice cooked green beans with pork mince and XO sauce are also a must ($19). The beans are served with a generous amount of pork mince and the house made XO sauce is packed with flavour.
Stir fried snow peas, snap peas and broccoli with garlic and rice wine ($19) are served nice and crunchy and are a perfect side dish to share if you are ordering one of the deep fried dishes e.g. the crispy fried Balmain bugs with spicy salt ($38).
Peking duck pancakes are another favourite. The half serve (8 pancakes) is not cheap though at $45. A whole service with 16 pancakes is $88. The duck is definitely worth it and the pancakes are served with cucumber, shallots and a beautiful hoi sin sauce.
Mr Wong’s special fried rice with pork and prawn is also a great side dish ($26).
The menu also features live seafood from the tank at market price. The selection includes mud crab and rock lobster as well as pippies wok fried and served with your chosen sauce. The house made XO sauce is a perfect choice for the pippies.
Mr Wong’s deep fried vanilla ice cream served with butterscotch sauce ($16) is a classic and has always been my go-to.
In my most recent visit, thanks to the staff, we also tried the raspberry and sheep milk yogurt parfait with vanilla meringue and fresh raspberries ($16).
Fruity, creamy and ever so fresh – it reminded me of a gourmet Weiss bar. The vanilla meringue really did top it off. This is the kind of dessert that’s so good you just can’t leave any behind (even when you thought you were too full to order it in the first place).
I love dining at Mr Wong. The service is excellent, the food is full of sensational flavours and the restaurant simply just has class. Whether it’s a work meeting, a celebration with family or friends or a romantic dinner for two Mr Wong won’t disappoint.
Dining at Mr Wong is like taking a quick holiday. You can’t help but sit back, relax and absorb the smells, music, culture and of course the exquisite cuisine.
Whether I drink from the extensive wine list, sip on cocktails (or mocktails ) or even Chinese tea with my meal, I always leave feeling invigorated with a happy belly and a spring in my step. Perhaps that’s why Mr Wong is my exception to the rule.
The final say
Standout dishes : For mains – sticky pork ribs ($34) and pippies wok fried with XO sauce (Market price)
For dessert: Raspberry and sheep milk yoghurt parfait with vanilla meringue and fresh raspberries ($16)
Positives: Excellent service, great ambiance, impressive menu and delicious Cantonese food
Negatives: For dinner you can only make bookings for 6 or more
Tip: If you have to wait for a table (or if you have a booking I suggest you get there earlier) and head downstairs for a drink at Palmer and Co, a trendy prohibition bar underneath Mr Wong. When your table is ready ask one of the staff to take you up in the lift – it’s an old lift that takes you right into the main dining area of the restaurant
Website – http://merivale.com.au/mrwong
Mon – Sun 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Mon – Wed 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Thurs – Sat 5:30pm – 12:00am
Sun 5:30pm – 10:00pm