Billy Kwong Sydney Review

We are in Sydney to chill out this weekend. Made a few restaurant reservations and wanted to try out a few new places as well. We have been to Billy Kwong’s restaurant a few times but never in their new location in darlinghurst. We had to weave through the strip clubs and bars to get to this place and you’d think what a strange location to have one of the most famous chef’s in Australia.

After walking for about 10 mins from Kingscross station, you get to Billy Kwong’s restaurant. The one in Surry Hills was small, which only fitted a handful of tables. You always wonder if they expand of have a second restaurant whether it will kick off or not. Kylie obviously had contingency plans and this was no exception. It was busy but the staff seemed extremely experienced and dealt with everything very well.

DSC_0532
Outside Billy Kwong

Kylie was in the kitchen with her hands free set on to bark orders if need be. She seemed commanding and calm throughout.

DSC_0533
inside billy kwong

The menu is the same old, the cursive handwriting where you have to look twice to make out some of the specials. s usual the deep fried duck and orange and Davidsons plum is on the menu.

DSC_0534
Specials menu

There is a long bar table which probably sits 30 odd people. If you’re lucky enough you get to see Kylie at work. They all have these headphones on, staff gliding through the restaurant keeping an eye on you. They seem extremely experienced and service was impeccable.

DSC_0536
Patrons at the bar

Needed a beer badly and the waiter recommended the in house beer only available at Billy Kwong. I asked is it a lager and he said it’s “in its league of its own”. It was a bit sour, but refreshing & a bit creamy.

DSC_0541
Billy Kwong’s in house beer

We usually order this when we come the Billy Kwong’s restaurant. The tofu is soft and just the simplicity of flavours. I do think there was a bit too much sauce.

DSC_0544
Steamed Silken Tofu – with Kombu, chilli and Shiro Shoyu

Probably our favourite go to dish each time we come. I think the portions were a bit bigger last time but we love the flavours. I stole the duck leg and IK wasn’t happy! Goes well with jasmine rice.

DSC_0546
Deep Fried Caramelised duck with orange and Davidsons Plums

Chinese love to eat their fish whole. I loved these flavours. You could potentially eat the whole fish if you wanted. This time the portion of sauce was just right. Very addictive and perfect with rice.

DSC_0547
Deep fried sand whiting with Chilli, coriander , soy

We also had a dessert ; a pannacotta with ginger sauce. I thought it was average as you get the “skin” of the pannacotta. It needed to be wobblier, softer and smoother. I missed out taking the photo as we were pretty tired.

Overall, it was great to come back to Kylie’s restaurant. It was an essential move to grow and move into a larger premise. The quality was still there but maybe not as good as when we went to her previous restaurant.

Rating : 15/20

Dish of the day : Duck no doubt.

Service : experienced & smooth

Billy Kwong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hawker Hall Review

I always tend to go try out these new places and despite average reports so far, I wanted to give it a shot. Location wise, I thought Chris Lucas and his team found a gold mine in the new hippy part of Chapel St. This strip has the names like Tokyo Tina, Saigon Sally, Fonda, Messina and other restaurants as well.

DSC_0506
Hawker Hall Interior

We managed to grab a seat outside for 5. It was 6pm and it was packed already. Typical Lucas Group restaurants.

DSC_0511
Hawker Hall

Plates were printed with Hawker Hall. I like how each of Lucas Group’s restaurant have a different theme and cuisine. Rather than having like Chin Chin in different suburbs.

DSC_0515
Hawker Hall Plate

There were alot of beers and a decent sized menu with so called “hawker malaysian food”. They have the feed me menu but we opted for just ordering a la carte.

DSC_0507
Menu

I had the Mildura Honey which was sweet and easy to drink. So good.

DSC_0509
Drinks Menu

IK ordered the coconut watermelon drink.

DSC_0510
Drinks

I don’t know what this guy was doing but he was scribbling on each line for each table. Talk about being frugal. I hope he can read his own writing.

DSC_0512
Waiter scribbling on his notepad.

First up was Nyonya Popcorn chicken with a sauce. I thought maybe some more meat in some of them would have been nice.

DSC_0517
Popcorn Chicken

Food was quick, everything came almost at once which was good. As mentioned we sat outside which was probably good as there was plenty of lighting for my camera.

DSC_0520
Our meal

Gado Gado Salad. CABBAGE‭, ‬SPROUTS‭, ‬SWEET POTATO‭, ‬TOFU‭, ‬EGG‭ & ‬PEANUTS. Vegetarian dish. Perhaps a bit more saucey would have been nice.

DSC_0522
Gado Gado Salad

Here were some satays. Mamak definitely do better satays unfortunately.

DSC_0524
Chicken Pork Satay

Had some Morning Glory with sambal. Again I would have preferred Malaymas for its morning glory. Bit more sambal and wok taste.

DSC_0523
Morning Glory

Very mild tasted curry with vegetables and chickpeas.

DSC_0526
FRAGRANT CURRY OF CHICKPEA & VEGETABLES W. CUMIN YOGHURT

As per the good food website, this was probably one of the better dishes – Economy Noodles. They just used different noodles to cook this and some sambal on the site.

DSC_0527
Economy Noodles

I thought there was way too much sauce for this duck and too little rice. Definitely a bit pricey for this dish. Sauce was also too salty.

DSC_0528
BBQ pepper duck

The roti wasn’t bad, but I feel Mamak is the gold standard in Melbourne.

Overall, it was quite pricey for such “hawker dishes”. However, theres alot of hype and people will still rock up for Lucas’s group. they have created a formula which works. There is a bit of tinkering with the dishes but there are other places where you can get a Malaysian fix.

Rating : 12.5/20

Dish of the day : Economy Noodles and Mildura Honey Beer

Tip : Go early like with all Lucas Group’s venues and wish you luck with finding parking. Also dishes are a bit small. You need to order quite a few dishes.

Hawker Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato