I love going to different eateries in Sydney. Walking up George Street, I noticed a dark alleyway with a stylishly dressed couple walking out of it. I then noticed the opening of the alleyway was stamped with a sign for ‘Mr Wong’s’. So this was the popular Mr Wong’s! Curious, I walked in to see what was hidden. Around the corner in the alleyway was the entrance to the restaurant at the back of a tall building with a queue of eager diners. I didn’t have time to check it out that day, but my friend made a booking during another recent trip to Sydney. Having heard great reviews about this place, I couldn’t help but feel excited about trying the restaurant out. Walking back down the alley, (this time from the other direction), I was little relieved to find some people walking through the alley (thoughts of muggings kept springing to mind).
At 5.30pm, there was already a long queue outside (about 12 people). This must be the line of walk-ins as we were advised by the restaurant that tables under 6 people couldn’t be booked and to try coming in early. The line moved quite quickly and before long, we were seated in the left wing of the huge establishment. I wish I had a better camera to capture the interior and mood. The inside is dark with exposed brick running one length of the establishment, wooden pillars and beams across the ceiling, and wooden floorboards. There is a long illuminated bar running one length of where we were sitting with plenty of stools for those wanting a cocktail or other beverage. There are several pendant lights hanging down to cast some light, but overall, the theme is dark and secretive almost like you’re back in the alleyway.
Our waitress informed us of the specials they had that night. We ordered one of the specials – the truffle xiao long bao (I forget how much it was). It was delivered about 15 minutes later in a bamboo steam basket but with only two spoons for the three of us?
Lifting the top, we found three glorious xiao long bao topped with truffle. These were quite large and I’m happy that I didn’t accidentally pop one when transferring onto my spoon. The mince was delicately flavoured and the soup nice and hot, but I still prefer Din Tai Fung’s version.
For the mains, we ordered the hot pot of prawns, vermicelli and XO sauce ($34). Absolutely delicious! Large fresh prawns and decent portion of them. I loved digging out the vermicelli which had absorbed a lot of the XO sauce and flavour from the prawns. I could easily order this again.
Given that Mr Wong is famous for its duck, we wanted to order some duck dish. We were originally going to order the Peking duck pancakes but the $45 price tag for just 8 pancakes was just too high. So we thought the half Chinese roasted duck ($34) would be better value. We weren’t disappointed. The beautiful aroma wafting up from the duck that was smothered in plum sauce was absolutely drool worthy. The duck itself was well cooked, succulent with delicious skin. You can’t go wrong with that.
Overall, I enjoyed dining at Mr Wong. Our waitress was well acquainted with the menu and could answer all our questions about different dishes. Before long, we noticed a gradual increase in noise levels, which turned to high levels at peak dinner time. Not the cheapest option for eating Chinese food in Sydney. Be prepared to spend a lot of cash.
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