Sydney

Mekong – Chippendale

Mekong is the latest addition to the buzzing Kensington Street food scene and like its namesake, the restaurant meanders through different countries.

Food

As I’m browsing the menu, an amuse bouche of baby carrots is served. The chilli jam and pork floss that covers the carrots provides a stimulating start to the meal.

Amuse bouche of baby carrot, pork floss and chilli jam

Amuse bouche of baby carrot, pork floss and chilli jam

The menu is designed to mimic a journey along the Mekong river and covers Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese, Cambodian and Laos cuisine. You start with entrees such as the signature squid ink dumplings, which is finished off with a teapot of broth. The crab and prawn stuffing pairs harmoniously with the chicken broth, which has been carefully cooked for 6 hours.

Squid ink dumplings

Squid ink dumplings

The Chef’s Share-plate has four distinct dishes – fresh grilled scallops, Thai grilled pork neck wrapped in betel leaf, little fish and coco & chick. Little fish consists of crispy Thai anchovies mixed with lime, lemongrass, chilli and peanuts. Coco & chick is a Burmese style pancake filled with chickpea, tomato, coconut slivers and chilli chutney.

Chef's shareplate

Chef’s shareplate

As we move along to the main course, we visit Cambodia with the Sweet Lemon Rumdul, a beef rib curry cooked in a lemongrass paste with chunks of sweet potatoes scattered throughout. The Truffled Garden is a must have side dish that’s bursting with umami. It features grilled cabbage and sweet brown mushrooms, topped with soy sauce and truffle oil.

Sweet lemon rumdul

Sweet lemon rumdul

Truffled garden - grilled cabbage & sweet brown mushroom topped w soy sauce & truffle oil

Truffled garden – grilled cabbage & sweet brown mushroom topped w soy sauce & truffle oil

We finish the culinary cruise with the Instagram worthy Bangkok Ice Cream Bowl. Served in an open coconut shell, the coconut ice cream is sprinkled with palm seeds, pomegranate, roasted peanuts and corn. Initially, my palate is weirded out by the corn but after a few more bites the kernels make sense providing texture and freshness to the dessert.

Bangkok ice cream bowl

Bangkok ice cream bowl

Drinks

Mekong has a very compact wine list with 3 reds and 3 whites, all from Australia and New Zealand. There’s 2 beers on offer -the 333 Lager and Tiger Beer.

Service

We are greeted warmly by the jovial maître d, who is attentive throughout the service. Explanations for each dish is given clearly and succinctly.

Atmosphere

Interior of Mekong

Interior of Mekong

Mekong is situated above its sister eatery, Lower Mekong, so make sure you are in right restaurant by heading up the stairs. The team at Giant Design have lined the green walls with bamboo stalks and installed fish net lights, creating an intimate environment.

Verdict

Normally, I’m skeptical of restaurants that feature several types of cuisine but Mekong has masterfully blended Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese and Laos cuisine without diluting the distinct traits of each. The sheer variety of the dishes will definitely having me coming back.

This review was based on an independently paid for meal.

Mekong
Upper Level
14 Kensington St
Chippendale
Mekong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    chocolatesuze
    June 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    the squid ink dumplings sound amazing!

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