Mekong is the latest addition to the buzzing Kensington Street food scene and like its namesake, the restaurant meanders through different countries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are greeted warmly by the jovial maître d, who is attentive throughout the service. Explanations for each dish is given clearly and succinctly.
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.
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.
14 Kensington St