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Thursday, May 05, 2016

Restaurant Hubert, Sydney

Bar Normandy at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney

Restaurant Hubert. Everyone's Instagramming it. Chef Dan Pepperell's follow-up gig to 10 William Street seemed to have gotten the thumbs up from everyone within its first days of opening. Could it really be as good as everyone said it was? We arrive with high expectations, surprised by the very plain entry door on the street. There's a brief moment before we push it open gently. And you know what? We're immediately entranced as we step through.

Vintage mini spirit bottles at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Vintage miniature spirit bottles, some dating from the 1920s

The only illumination in the darkened entryway comes from a few wall lamps, but our eyes are immediately drawn to the display filled with miniature spirit bottles. There must be about a thousand of them, all different, and covered in a thin layer of dust.

Descending the spiral staircase to Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Descending the spiral staircase to Restaurant Hubert

We descend one flight of spiral stairs where we discover a mini bar and yep, more miniature spirit bottles.

Mini spirit bottles at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Display cabinets filled with miniature spirit bottles

There are about 4,000 spirit bottles in total, deliberately exposed during construction so that a fine layer of dust would creative some authenticity. 

Bar Pincer at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Bar Pincer

Down the stairs on the right is Bar Pincer, serving a bar menu that includes the Normandy burger and steak frites. The bar menu is also available in the adjoining Chester Lounge with curved leather booths.

Drinks ready at Bar Pincer at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Drinks ready to go at Bar Pincer

Beatrix Dining Room in front of Bar Normandy at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
The Beatrix Dining Room in front of Bar Normandy

Down the stairs on the left is the main Beatrix Dining Room facing onto Bar Normandy. Both areas offer the formal dining menu. The booth seats for couples opposite the bar are definitely ones to seek out for a Friday night out. They are super cosy.

Diners in the Beatrix Dining Room at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Diners in the Beatrix Dining Room

The folks behind Hubert is the Swillhouse Group, the same people behind Frankie's Pizza, Baxter Inn and Shady Pines. The heavy timber, imposing archways, balcony overhead and intricate details everywhere would suggest this space was unearthed from a just-opened time capsule. Except it's not. This spot used to house the very 1980s Celestial Chinese Restaurant that included mini pagodas, a red carpeted bridge and a pond with live carp that are said to have been living there for the fifteen years the restaurant had been open.

Mr Creosote Stage with the baby grand piano at Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Mr Creosote Stage with the baby grand piano

There's no natural light down here but that only exemplifies the moody French post-war dining experience that the owners hoped to create. Noone's playing the baby grand tonight but a steady stream of 1940s jazz and the tinkling of wine glasses by candlelight is all the music we need.

Pork and pistachio terrine at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Terrine du Jour $18
Pork and pistachio terrine with marinated prunes

The sharing menu runs from snacks to larger style mains. We start with the terrine of the day, a melange of pork littered with chunky pistachios that provide crunch. A marinated prune adds a deepened caramelly sweetness.

Duck liver parfait with maple syrup jelly at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Duck parfait $17
Liver mousse with maple syrup jelly

A basket of baguette slices is rapidly vanquished once we start using them as carriages for the liver mousse with maple syrup jelly. The duck parfait is deliriously light and smooth, accented with a subtle sweetness that I greedily approve.

Malakoff fried gruyere at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Malakoff $12
Fried gruyere with Dijon mustard and dill pickle

We order two malakoffs to share between the five of us, but in hindsight, we should really have ordered one each. Don't make this mistake!

Melted gruyere cheese inside the malakoff at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Melted gruyere cheese inside the malakoff

Inside the gruyere - deep fried to a rich golden brown - is a molten puddle of mustard and gruyere cheese. The cheese oozes languidly on the plate, stretching into the thinnest of ribbons when we try to prise apart each portion.

A bed of Dijon mustard adds an extra tang to the puff. You need to eat this immediately. And quickly. But just long enough to luxuriate in every mouthful of cheesy goodness. Finish with a wedge of dill pickle to cleanse your palate.

Tomato tart at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Tomato tart $18
Tomato confit, onion jam, black olive and puff pastry

The tomato tart is one of my surprise favourites of the night. At its essence, it's a simple dish. Pastry and tomato. But the puff pastry is a masterpiece of distinct flakiness. The tomato confit on top is like the intense distillation of a hundred tomatoes in one mouthful. The thin layer of onion jam only enhances the sweetness, contrasted with the occasional salty burst of black olive.

Prime beef tartare at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Prime beef tartare $22
Wagyu topside, classic condiments and French fries

There's an impressive pile of French fries that cascade across our mountain of wagyu topside beef tartare. The hand-cut beef is pre-mixed with egg yolk chives, capers and cornichons but served quickly so the beef is still a brilliant hue of red.

We like the generosity of fries but find they're not quite thick enough to be crunchy. It's also difficult to eat them with the tartare.

Bavette steak at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Bavette steak $42
350g grilled Rangers Valley flank with Bordelaise butter

The Bavette steak is cooked to the perfect shade of medium rare. It's flavoursome and tender. We tease the disc of Bordelaise butter so it melts its red wine and bone marrow richness into each slice.

Murray Cod a la grenobloise at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Murray Cod a la grenobloise $84

We go with the special of the day: Murray Cod a la grenobloise. The whole cod is wood roasted in a brown butter sauce with capers. It's a huge serve that would probably equal three mains given the amount of protein.

The flesh is a marvel of softness and succulency. The kitchen has even removed all the bones, bar the spine, so it's easy to eat. We try eating the skin but it's more chewy than crisp. And of course we eat the treasured cheeks as well. It's a beautiful eating fish prepared with great skill and respect. I love that they keep the head and tail on as well.

Chicken fricassee at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Chicken fricassee $62
Whole chicken, mushrooms and tarragon sauce

We can't help but be impressed by the presentation of the chicken fricassee too, complete with menacing claw. The whole Holmbrae chicken is served with head and feet on the plate, a sight that some may find confronting. I appreciate this honesty of our meal's origins - it's a thoughtful reminder of the privilege we have in what we eat, and why it should never be taken for granted.

Chicken fricassee at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Chicken fricassee

The chicken has been brined, dried, steamed and deep-fried. It's incredible. I rarely order chicken in restaurants but this is the tastiest chicken I've ever eaten. Each mouthful is juicy, the flesh is silky and the skin has crisped up in some spots to an enviable crunch. I even eat one of the chicken feet (carefully avoiding the nails) and it's delicious.

Tumbled across the top are all kinds of forest mushrooms. The buttery sauce is worth mopping up too.

We also order the side of Pommes Anna ($10) which sadly was only captured in a blurry photo. It's another highlight of the night for me, layered potatoes baked and then turned on their side to crisp. Peeling them apart and dunking them in the buerre blanc sauce is like the gourmand's version of chips and gravy.

Creme caramel at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Creme caramel $18
Egg custard with bitter caramel

There are three sweet options on the dessert menu plus a cheese platter. We pass over the religieuse au chocolat in favour of the creme caramel, a dense but satiny smooth custard enrobed in a bitter caramel sauce.

Melon en surprise at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Melon en surprise $22
Santa Claus melon with finger lime, sorrel jelly and young coconut sorbet

And we can't resist everyone's favourite dessert right now, the melon en surprise.

Santa Claus melon with finger lime, sorrel jelly and young coconut sorbet at Restaurant Hubert by Dan Pepperell, Sydney
Santa Claus melon balls, finger lime and sorrel jelly beneath a layer of young coconut sorbet

Beneath the layer of young coconut sorbet is a treasure trove of fruit. We find Santa Claus melon balls (they taste reasonably similar to honeydew), sorrel jelly and fizzy bursts of tart finger lime. It's a terrific palate cleanser although I'm in love with the creamy young coconut sorbet the most.

And once you finish the filling, keep going. We end up scraping the frozen Santa Claus melon bowl to create a second dessert of melon slush. It's so tasty!

We had a couple of service lags: our drinks (two wines, one Aperol Spritz and one gin and tonic) were ordered at the start but took about 40 minutes to arrive even with a reminder, by which time we'd already finished our entrees; and there was at least a 40 minute wait between our entree plates being cleared and our mains arriving. Perhaps the latter was due to our fish and chicken order but there was no prior warning nor a reassuring update from floor staff that the kitchen was temporarily backlogged.

But these mishaps are no doubt part of a new restaurant still finding its feet, and we left still rather entranced by a memorable dining experience in quite magical surrounds.

The good news is that you can now book for Hubert with some tables held for walk-ins. I'd recommend you arrive at 5pm if you want to chance a table. We arrived at 5.30pm and scored one of their last free tables.

Bring a handful of mates so you can make some headway into the menu. I'm planning on making a trip to the bar. There's a steak frites (and ok, the burger too) with my name on it.

DSCF5714-1604


Restaurant Hubert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Hubert
15 Blight Street, Sydney

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 5pm-1am


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/05/2016 02:00:00 am


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kensington Street Social, Chippendale

Pouring bacon dashi over breakfast rice with slow cooked hens egg at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale

When Kensington Street Social opened in Sydney in January 2016, it marked the arrival of Chef Jason Atherton's 19th restaurant. It joins an international network of restaurants that includes Pollen Street Social in London, The Clocktower in New York, Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong, Social Commune in Shanghai and Marina Social in Dubai. Atherton doesn't stop. Since then, he's opened a 20th restaurant, an izakaya-style restaurant, Sosharu, in London.

Kensington Street Social is his first foray into Australia, offering a menu that has been variously described as Modern British or British-Mediterranean. Atherton worked with Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White and Ferran Adria before a 10-year stint with Gordon Ramsay that included opening five Maze restaurants.

This is the third - and biggest - restaurant to take up residence in the The Old Clare Hotel. The 120 seat venue is significantly larger than Automata and Silvereye next door.

Dining room at Kensington Street Social Chippendale
Kensington Street Social dining room

Soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows mean the entire dining room is bathed in light by day. It's a cleverly designed space that lines up group tables along the window and high stools for couples and single diners around the bar and and open kitchen.

A mix of concrete columns, metal fixtures, warm timbers and leather furnishings soften the industrial chic effect. I'm particularly enamoured by the little touches like green glass water tumblers and copper cutlery stands on every table. The water tumblers are actually made from the bottom half of wine bottles!

Cutlery stands at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Cutlery stands on each table

Today we're dining during the Sunday brunch session, probably the best time if you're after choice. Brunch includes the full breakfast menu plus sub-sections of snacks / sourdough flatbreads / raw and cured / vegetables / and fish, shellfish and meat.

Grass fed veal tartare at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Grass fed veal tartare, egg yolk jam, radish salad, sourdough $19

Our group of five means we can make some headway through the menu but even then we barely cover a third of all dishes. We start with the grass fed veal tartare, mixed through with cornichons and capers and garnished with radish batons. Buried in the centre is a 65C egg yolk, sous vide for two hours so the yolk has a thick and sticky consistency.

We mix it all up and savour dollops on crisp toast. The hand-cut veal is sweet and soft yet still has some resistance to the teeth. The blanket of rich egg yolk is countered by acidic pops of cornichon.

Trout roe and cucumber with squid ink crackers at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Trout roe and cucumber with squid ink crackers $10

The trout roe and cucumber is a light-as-air dip of cucumber foam dusted with dehydrated cucumber and pearls of trout roe.

Squid ink crackers at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Squid ink crackers 

The colour contrast against the squid ink crackers is striking, wild curls of rice cracker tinted black with squid ink that look like they're blooming out of a wooden planter. The thin and fragile crackers tend to disintegrate easily but that only makes eating them more fun. Some of the crackers are a little on the oily side, but once they're piled generously the cucumber foam (with salty treats of trout roe), it's a ridiculously addictive snack.

Tongue and cheek croquettes at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Tongue 'n' cheek croquettes with piccalilli $15

Tongue 'n' cheek croquettes are a contrast of crunchy panko crumb surrounding tender shreds of cheek. We eat them with whisper thin slices of tongue and the most elegant assembly of piccalilli artfully strewn across the plate.

Tataki Hiramasa kingfish at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Tataki Hiramasa kingfish, dill, kale togarashi $19

Kale might feel ubiquitous these days, but I like the twist on togarashi here, converted to powder form and incorporated into a traditional Japanese pepper mix. It's sprinkled across plump slices of Hiramasa kingfish, seared tataki-style for what must have been the briefest of kisses on the grill. This turned out to be one of my favourite dishes of the meal.

Lightly smoked mackerel omelette at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Lightly smoked mackerel omelete, bacon, spring onion $17

From the breakfast menu we choose the lightly smoked mackerel omelette, an umami bomb of smoked mackerel bound up in a fluffy eiderdown of egg. Bonus finds of bacon add a smoky meatiness, tempered by a pile of crunchy beansprouts and finely shredded spring onion.

Mushrooms on rye at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Mushrooms on rye, avocado, house Jersey milk ricotta $19

We also order the mushrooms on rye from the breakfast menu. It's a vegetarian-friendly mix of field and button mushrooms with a deliriously smooth puree of avocado on sturdy rye brad. But the real highlight of the dish are the smooth and creamy dollops of house Jersey milk ricotta.

Breakfast rice with slow cooked hens egg at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Breakfast rice, slow cooked hen's egg, oyster mushroom, smoked bacon, bacon dashi $18

Breakfast rice is the most luxe version of congee you can imagine. A bed of rice porridge is laden with oyster mushrooms, a 65C egg and thick slices of intensely smoky bacon. Bacon dashi is poured at the table enveloping everything in an umami smokiness. I hadn't expected to be so taken by this dish but it just goes to show the power of bacon. It's so flavourful yet masterfully balanced.

Rangers Valley Black Angus rib eye at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Rangers Valley Black Angus rib eye, fried egg, chips, tarragon bearnaise $36

There's no such thing as a humble steak and chips here. Instead we get Rangers Valley Black Angus rib eye cooked to a textbook shade of medium rare pink. The meat is succulent and tender, flooding our mouth with fat and juices with each chew. We pierce the fried egg on top and mop up the oozing yolk.

A tumbler of chips are every bit as crunchy as we could hope for. Need more fat? We dip those chips into the tarragon bearnaise for extra goodness. The grilled tomato offers acidic salvation.

Sourdough flatbread with pulled lamb at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Sourdough flatbread with pulled lamb, basil pesto, baby zucchini, Jersey milk ricotta and pecorino $17

There are three different fillings to choose on the sourdough flatbreads. We go with the pulled lamb, smothered in grated pecorino and dotted with Jersey milk ricotta clouds.

Jesey milk ricotta on the pulled lamb sourdough flatbread at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Jersey milk ricotta and pecorino on the pulled lamb sourdough flatbread

The flatbread eats much like a pizza but has none of that heavy doughy consistency. I like how the richness of lamb is lightened by the inclusion of basil pesto and grated baby zucchini.

Counter seating at the open kitchen at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Counter seating overlooking the open kitchen

Yoghurt mousse, lemon curd, malt meringue and basil dessert at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Yoghurt mousse, lemon curd, malt meringue, basil $16

There are five desserts on the menu and there's a moment of glee when we tell our waitress "We'll have one of each".

The yoghurt mousse is the lightest dessert, a snowball of whipped yoghurt mousse hiding a core of lemon curd, basil and malt meringue. The sweet spiciness of basil is a little strange to get used to at first, but it makes for a terrific palate refresher once your brain catches up with your tastebuds.

Chocolate and peanut butter with caramel and banana ice cream dessert at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Chocolate and peanut bar, caramel and banana ice cream $16

The chocolate and peanut bar, on the other hand, is much more familiar territory. There's some clever nuancing here that saves this dessert from being the usual sickly sweet overload. Bitter chocolate, salted peanut and caramel work so well together. A quenelle of creamy banana ice cream is soothing.

Buffalo ricotta, lemon thyme peaches and honeycomb dessert at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Buffalo ricotta, lemon thyme peaches and honeycomb $16

Our buffalo ricotta dessert is completely hidden by a huge sheet of golden honeycomb.

Buffalo ricotta and lemon thyme peaches benneath the honeycomb shard at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Cracking the honeycomb sheet to reveal the buffalo ricotta and lemon thyme peaches beneath

One vigorous thwack later and the broken shards reveal the dessert beneath. We take a dab of peach sorbet here, a dab of buffalo ricotta there. Thin slices of lemon thyme peaches are a last echo of summer, and every now and then we nibble on the sweet honeycomb, as pretty as sunlight streaming through a stained glass window.

East Ryde Grove arbequina olive oil cake at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
East Rydge Grove arbequina olive oil cake, coconut sorbet, spiced mango and passionfruit ice $16

The East Rydge Grove arbquina olive oil cake is a celebration of yellow, spanning multiple shades of sunshine in mango cubes, passionfruit and cake itself. The olive oil cake is particularly fragrant, and noticeably tasting of olive oil, as though it had been drenched with an olive oil syrup.

Meringue shards and a coconut sorbet add contrasting shades of white. It's like a collision of the Mediterranean and the tropics - in the best way possible.

Baked caramelised apple puff pastry dessert at Kensington Street Social in Chippendale
Baked caramelised apple puff pastry, cider vinegar ice cream and pickled apple $17

We finish with the baked caramelised apple puff pastry, served upside down with the most tantalising crust of golden toffee. We break through the toffee to reveal buttery layers of pastry and soft cooked apples. Adding multiple layers of apple applications - a zingy cider vinegar ice cream and paper-thin scrolls of pickled apple - is both delicious and palate-cleansing.

There's plenty to like about Kensington Street Social. I may have have devastated that the English breakfast tea and toast wasn't available when we visited but I've just noticed it's back on the menu again. Bone marrow butter on toast... I'm coming back for you.

Kensington Street Social in Chippendale


Kensington Street Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kensington Street Social
3 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8277 8533

Opening hours
Breakfast (no reservations)
Monday to Friday 7am-10.30am
Saturday and Sunday 8am-10.30am

Lunch
Monday to Saturday 12pm-2.30pm
Sunday 11am-2.30pm (reservations from 12pm only)

Dinner
Monday to Saturday 6pm-10pm
Sunday 6pm-8pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/28/2016 01:22:00 am


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Yang & Co, Castlecrag

Chicken skin crackling at Yang and Co Castlecrag

Chicken skin crackers. It's like an even better version of pork crackling. Chef Lex Wong takes the skin off the chicken bones he uses for stock and transforms it into thin sheets of crunch, pressed flat between cast iron sheet pans and cooked in the oven until crisp. They're sometimes added as a bonus to the confit chicken lettuce cups but Wong admits that half the time they get eaten as chef's treats. Who can blame them? I would too.

If you've ever wondered what happened to Yang's food truck, here's the good news: Wong and team have set up permanent digs at a bricks and mortar restaurant. Yang & Co opened in Castlecrag in November 2015. And yes, you can order the truck's signature Singapore chilli soft shell crab - and sit down with proper cutlery to eat it too.

Mural on the dining room at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Yang & Co dining room

The menu at Yang & Co is like a mix tape of Wong's favourite Asian dishes. That means a whirlwind trip through Vietnam, China and Malaysia with stops that include deconstructed banh mi pork rolls, General Tso's popcorn chicken and roti paratha with dahl. Home is still his anchor - Wong spent his early years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - and a larger than life mural of his grandmother on one wall of the restaurant is a touching tribute.

On a Tuesday night, the place is heaving. Castlecrag locals have taken to this pan-Asian eatery like ducks to water. Glass windows onto Edinburgh Road don't offer much of a view but there's still a calming vibe in the dining room, accented by the warm professionalism of restaurant manager Tina Nguyen on the floor.

Chicken skin crackers at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Chicken skin crackers

Disclaimer: We're all friends with Wong and Nguyen, first watching them realise their dream of Yang's food truck and now, finally, a restaurant of their own. It's a friendship that provides a glimpse into life on the other side of the pass. And tonight it comes with the best surprise of all - a whole bowl of those chicken skin crackers served with a side of sriracha chilli sauce. We crunch through the brittle paper thin shards and can barely hide our grins.

Twice cooked masterstock lamb ribs at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Twice cooked masterstock lamb ribs with nahm pla dressing $17

The twice cooked masterstock lamb ribs are a huge portion. The ribs are first cooked in masterstock and then deep fried, creating a sweet and salty contrast between the crisp skin and the fatty succulent flesh beneath. Nahm pla dressing on the side provides an acidic foil to the richness of the lamb. They're meaty ribs, sourced from local butcher Castlecrag Meats, supplier for most of the meat on the menu.

Singapore chilli soft shell crab with man tao at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Singapore chilli soft shell crab with man tao $17

It's a pleasant change to eat their food truck favourite, Singapore chilli soft shell crab, off a plate and not out of a bamboo takeaway container. The soft shell crab is packed with sweet flesh, fried to a satisfying crunch and served on a lake of that wickedly addictive Singapore chilli sauce. Four mantou buns, deep fried until golden brown, are perfect for ripping apart and dipping into the sweet and spicy sauce.

Roti paratha with chilli caramel pork belly and kimchi at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Roti paratha with chilli caramel pork belly and kimchi $16

Roti paratha acts as sauce-soaking vessel for chilli caramel pork belly. There's no shortage of fatty goodness running through the pork belly cubes, glazed in a sticky chilli sauce. Kimchi offers some palate-cleansing respite but it's still a heavy artery-clogging dish.

Picked spanner crab with bone marrow and spicy Hennessy sauce at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Picked spanner crab with bone marrow and spicy Hennessy sauce $29

We order one of the blackboard specials too - picked spanner crab with bone marrow and spicy Hennessy sauce. "I knew you guys would order that dish as soon as I put the word bone marrow in there," Lex tells us later with a laugh.

The dish is much saucier than I expect but there's a generosity of spanner crab meat dotted with fatty discs of bone marrow. The spicy Hennessy sauce includes soy, chilli and sugar. Watercress and rosettes of daikon are a pretty touch.

Crab and bone marrow on buttered baguette at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Crab and bone marrow on buttered baguette

As if the globules of fatty bone marrow aren't intense enough, we're given heavily buttered baguettes on the side. That burst of bone marrow plus melted butter is enough to make my arteries shudder. If there's anything Wong is guilty of, it's giving you a good thing and then doubling it. Restraint does not appear to be in his vocabulary.

Tea smoked duck with roti at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Tea smoked duck with roti $39

The tea smoked duck is less fatty than the ones you'll find in Chinatown and although there's a charred look to the skin, there's not a strong flavour of smokiness. This is a fun and interactive dish though, presented with condiments that include fresh lime, hoisin, mustard, black vinegar, chilli sauce, cucumber spears and shallots. Panfried roti on the side can be used to wrap it all up. I probably would have preferred the traditional and lighter Peking duck pancake instead of the heavier and oilier roti, but if you're looking for a hearty main, this would be it.

Poached QLD banana prawn and corn wonton with ramen broth and onsen egg at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Poached QLD banana prawn and corn wonton with ramen broth and onsen egg $17

We're already struggling with fullness by this stage but Wong still sends out the poached Queensland banana prawn and corn wontons in ramen soup on the house. It's a striking dish with three wontons bobbing in a fragrant ramen broth.

Onsen egg and prawn and corn wonton in ramen broth at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Breaking open the onsen egg

Piercing the onsen egg to release the sticky yolk only increases the richness. The prawn and corn wontons are delicate and sweet but the robust intensity ramen broth does tend to overwhelm. It's like Wong has relentlessly set the flavour dial on everything to maximum.

Lemongrass marinated T-bone with Vietnamese salad at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Lemongrass marinated T-bone with Vietnamese salad $37

Which is probably why I love the lemongrass marinated T-bone with Vietnamese salad so much. The steak is cooked masterfully - seared until caramelised on the outside but maintaining a juicy succulency in the middle. I relish the Vietnamese salad, just a simple medley of bean sprouts and Thai basil leaves, but the bean sprouts themselves are spectacularly plump and crunchy. The Thai basil leaves add a freshness, bathed in a sweet nuoc cham fish sauce dressing.

Sago, compressed rockmelon, poached peaches, honeycomb and rockmelon granita at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Sago, compressed rockmelon, poached peaches, honeycomb and rockmelon granita $12

We've ordered way too much so can only fit in one dessert between the three of us. We go with the lightest one - a rockmelon granita with sago, compressed rockmelon, poached peaches and honeycomb.

Coconut mousse and sago beneath the rockmelon granita at Yang and Co Castlecrag
Coconut mousse and sago beneath rockmelon granita

Fine shavings of rockmelon granita melt instantly on the tongue. We pick at at treasure hunt of honeycomb shards, compressed rockmelon and poached peaches. A foundation of coconut mousse and sago pearls is cooling on the tongue.

The damage? $65 each including a beer each. We did score the chicken skin and the wonton soup on the house but we paid for everything else.

There were more dishes I wish we could've tried, including the goat curry and Yang's fried rice. It's only after we order that we notice the fried rice comes with Wong's own housemade pastrami. The fried rice is also garnished with crushed potato chips. I can't think of a crazier mash-up. Or a tastier one.

Yang and Co by Chef Lex Wong in Castlecrag


Yang & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yang & Co Restaurant and Bar
79 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9967 5913

Opening hours
Tuesday to Wednesday 6pm-10pm
Thursday to Saturday 4pm-10pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/21/2016 12:04:00 am



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