If nothing else, Merivale sure knows how to throw a fantastic party. After the resounding success of the first ever Coogee Foreshore Festival – a little rain can’t stop them! – they’re following it up with another showcase of their renowned restaurants, this time in the form of Wok On! held this time, at the Establishment.
Part of the annual March into Merivale celebrations, Wok On! transforms the Establishment into a marketplace, where Mr Wong, Sushi E, Sunee, and Ms G offers up samples of their best and most popular, saving you the hassle (and budget!) of visiting every restaurant individually to try their wares.
Clockwise from top left: Salt and pepper chicken wings with tofu mayonnaise (4 wings), Ocean trout, green papaya, green nahm jim, guacamole, Stirred egg noodles with barbecue pork, cucumber and coriander salad, Snapper sashimi with white soy dressing
Standouts for me include the Sweet and Sour Lamb Ribs from Ms G’s, the BBQ Prawn with Chilli and Lime
dressing from Sunee, and the Steamed Wild Mushroom with Waterchestnut dim sums from Mr Wong. The Lamb Ribs were shiny and sticky sweet, with a fragrant freshness of the coriander it was topped with. The tender meat clung to the bone in a futile attempt to resist, while the crisp outside stoically provided much needed texture to cut through the sweet soy glaze. The BBQ Prawn, while simple, used the firm sweet meat of the prawns to their full potential, with a bright, acidic dressing to provide a foil to the smoky, lightly charred exterior. And the Wild Mushroom and Waterchestnut dumplings were a surprise favourite. I was so gunning for the Prawn and Scallop Siu Mai because it was just so epic when I had it at the Coogee Foreshore Festival, that I was blindsided by mushroom dumplings that just exploded with a rich savoury flavour, before giving way to the light crispness of the waterchestnut pieces. And in a David vs Goliath sorta situation, the Mushroom dumplings very cunningly and slyly slid into first place.
But really, when the giants of Merivale come together in an event like this, there are only winners. And I’m coming out on top because I have dumplings.
If you’d like to join the festivities and check out what else is going on for March into Merivale this year, you can pop on over to their website for more information.