Posts tagged Merivale

Move aside, Mrs Jones: Mr Wong, Sydney

Review of Merivale's Mr Wong, in Sydney's CBD

I first heard about Mr Wong when I attended a talk by Brendan Fong at the Sydney Living Museum. He said cool stuff, and there were fish tasters.

I was sold.

Roasted Angus beef shortrib “Shandong style”, soy, chilli and shallot dressing $38Roasted Angus beef shortrib “Shandong style”, soy, chilli and shallot dressing $38

I love the whole “you think it’s something but it’s not” experience, and the menu at Mr Wong is fantastic, creative representation of that.

“Char-Siu” roasted Australian toothfish $38“Char-Siu” roasted Australian toothfish $38

The Roasted Angus Beef Shortrib had an amazing sweet/sour sauce to be had on rice, but the Char Siu Roasted Toothfish was a clear favourite of the night. It was pretty much all the char siu flavours, but on amazingly soft and flaky tooth fish, which was reminiscent of cod. They even had the signature red ring around the white meat that char siu usually has!! Very well executed.

Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter, $19Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter, $19

And of course, veggies, because EAT YOUR VEGGIES! This simple dish of Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter was light and delicious, and was light enough touch to balance out the richness of the other dishes. It did feel a touch out of place in a mostly Asian-influenced menu, but it was still a delicious fit to the meal.

Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb $15Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb $15

And what do you do on a lady date? Order two desserts, of course! The Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb reminded me of the Taiwanese milk ices, and was just so refreshing! Strange thing to say because a dessert is meant to signal the end of the meal, but for some reason the strawberry ice acted as a palette cleanser and I was just ready to eat more food.

Huh. Maybe it’s just really good strategy.

The food was absolutely excellent, and the service was pretty good too. Not in a “they clearly love food” sorta way, but a “they’re really trained so well” sorta way. AND we weren’t charged for rice, which is a nice surprise since, well, it IS Sydney, after all.

Amazing experience, and actually worth the Sydney price tag. Yum.

This meal was independently paid for.
Mr Wong
3 Bridge Lane
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9240 3000

Mr Wong on Urbanspoon

WIP me into shape! Work in Progress, Sydney

WIP, Sydney, Restaurant Review

We know that Merivale does good things, and as a dining powerhouse, their food will always hit a minimum, consistent standard. Combine that with experienced, star chefs, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for trendy restaurants that makes food-lover’s mouth water, and eyes glaze over.

The latest project is Patrick Freisen’s Work In Progress (WIP), and they have been drawing extended crowds in with a menu of Fried chicken, and Lo Mein.

Curry Wagyu Brisket Lo MeinCurried beef brisket noodle soup, $16

I’ve never been a huge fan of noodles in watery soup, but there’s a very thin line between soup and gravy, and this curry sauce with its tender beef brisket pieces and yellow strands of noodles is my very definition of comfort food. This serving of Curry Beef Brisket Lo Mein looks a bit on the small side, but the bowl contained a good amount of food, and I wasn’t actually left wanting.

And then, fried chicken! Because who can resist fried chicken?

Half and Half ComboHalf & half ginger fried chicken & chilli fried chicken, $18

Pnom Penh Chicken WingsPnomh penh wings, lime white pepper, $16

The Ginger Fried Chicken tasted like plain fried chicken to me – not a bad thing! – and the Chilli Fried Chicken brought a really nice punch. My favourite part is licking off the sticky glaze from my fingers, and the juxtaposition of the crunchy, sticky and juicy in the one delicious bite.

The Pnom Penh Wings also made a fantastic impact on me, mostly because the lime and white pepper dipping sauce provided a refreshing palate cleanser of sorts that kept me going back for more chicken!

It’s a great non-committal way to try out new dishes, and providing new lunch options to those working in the CBD. Sure, the meals aren’t exactly what I would call “value for money”, but it is good food executed at high standards, so…you get what you pay for.

Give it a try next time you’re in town – we don’t know when this pop up will ship out.

This meal was independently paid for.
Work in Progress
50 King St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9240 3000

Work in Progress on Urbanspoon

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March into the Coogee Foreshore Festival!


If Jordan Toft wasn’t going to be a chef, he would have been in drama, admits the executive chef of the Coogee Pavilion, somewhat sheepishly. “Not Drama as in Beverly Hills Housewives drama, but drama as in high school Drama. It was a big part of my life.” And it’s this eye for drama that has helped him shape the dining experience of Merivale’s newest addition, located right by the roaring waves of Coogee beach.

Merivale certainly is known for their complete experiences, curating restaurants with very distinct personalities and food to match, in order to transport you into a different world. The Coogee Pavilion boasts a three story building – with a dedicated raw bar and oyster counter – and the vision is to create an environment where dining and the beach merges into one relaxed balmy day in the sunshine.


Jordan comes back to Merivale – he previously worked at Est – after a long stint in America and Europe. He says that Europe really opened his eyes up to the beauty of the seasons, and how that affects the produce. “I started going to the markets and it was the first time I saw real seasonal changes. And that has transposed to what my real ethos is now. And that’s not just the food, but the story behind it.”

It then goes from the produce, to the menu, even before he heats up a pan. This is really where the experience shows, because to Jordan it’s very important to consider how the menu reads to the customer who is making their choice for dinner. “You might be able to cook something beautiful, but if it’s not interpreted to the customer properly on the menu, then it’s never going to get ordered”.


So what’s going to be on the menu for the Coogee Foreshore Festival? Cuttlefish with with chilli, garlic, and lemon, and Hot roasted leg ham with salt and white pepper crackling and a soft bun are just a couple of what the Coogee Pavilion will be serving up, alongside some of Merivale’s brightest chefs in this two-day bustling one stop shop for foodies.


I can’t wait to see the Coogee Pavilion transformed into a marketplace (with jugglers and stilt walkers oh my!), and with chefs like Jordan behind the pass, I know I’ll be in good hands. If you’d like to book tickets to the festival ($45 will get you 8 tokens for food and drink), you can pop over to the March into Merivale website, where you can also find the full menu.