By Greedy Financier
Ever since Dan Hong’s pandan cake featured on MasterChef last year, I have been wanting to go eat at his restaurant. And finally, one balmy Friday evening, I found myself being lured into Ms. G’s by the glowing pink neon sign out front, like an insect being lured into a buzzing light trap.
We stepped into the restaurant, and as it was pretty early, the place was almost empty. However, as the night progressed, the restaurant quickly filled up. The tables are fairly close to each other, and as it got busier, I found myself being bumped into quite a few times, by both arriving guests and waiters. But fine dining is not what Ms. G’s is about.
Ms. G’s is a fusion Asian restaurant with four split levels of dining. It has a funky vibe about it - from the décor to the food. Each table has a box of cutlery and a bottle of the Vietnamese chilli sauce placed on it – much like your little Vietnamese eatery in Bankstown or Marrickville. You can tell the service will be speedy and the food fresh and delicious.
Pina ‘Pearls’ Colada
We kicked off the Friday night with some cocktails. Ms. G’s puts a spin on traditional Asian drinks and cuisine – something very evident in my Pina Colada. The cocktail is served in the pearl milk tea packaging complete with a thick bubble straw. It tasted like the usual Pina Colada, except that it had pearls in it! But not the normal thick chewy black pearls – instead the small clear tapioca pearls that were green in this case. It was an interesting and fun drink; however I found the alcohol a tad overpowering.
Sydney Rock Oysters, Lemongrass Vinaigrette
First dish of the night was oysters with lemongrass vinaigrette. I love eating oysters, but only with a great dressing. I don’t usually like lemongrass, so was a little hesitant about the oysters. However, the vinaigrette was surprisingly nice – it was refreshing and tangy, with only a subtle hint of lemongrass.
Mini Banh Mi - Crisp Pork Belly and Chicken Katsu
Our next starter was mini Banh Mi (Vietnamese rolls). We ordered one of each type – a crisp pork belly and a chicken katsu. I absolutely adore Vietnamese pork rolls (with the little hole in the wall shop in Marrickville serving the best rolls in Sydney, in my opinion!), so was looking forward to tasting Dan Hong’s play on this popular Vietnamese sandwich. They were tasty little rolls, and the pork belly and chicken katsu were lovely substitutes for the usual commercial pork slices, however the bread wasn’t as crispy and the pate not as flavoursome as I hoped they would be. While they tasted good, I have to admit that I still prefer the cheaper Marrickville pork roll.
Crispy Lamb Sweetbreads, Coriander Salsa Verde
The final starter was lamb sweetbreads with a coriander salsa verde. Sweetbread is something that I’ve always wanted to try and when I saw it on the menu, I just had to order it. I’m not exactly sure what sweetbreads are, but it’s some sort of offal that is taken from a gland in the lamb’s throat/neck or pancreas area – probably not the most appetizing protein to be eating. And honestly, I didn’t really enjoy eating them. They had this funny chewy texture and an unusual flavour – but it was probably just my brain taking over, and telling me that I was eating offal. The coriander salsa verde also did not help the dish – it was more like an oil dip and I couldn’t really taste the coriander.
Fried Baby Chicken, Kimchi Mayonnaise
We ordered two larger main dishes, fried baby chicken with a kimchi mayonnaise and duck egg noodles. The fried chicken was scrumptious – reminiscent of eating KFC, but with a fancy kimchi mayo. The kimchi mayo was creamy with a hint of chilli, but the kimchi flavour didn’t really come through. The duck egg noodles were delivered unmixed – you have to break open the poached egg and mix the yolk with all the additional garnishes and noodles. The yolk added this lovely creamy kick to the XO sauce, the noodles were silky soft and the duck tender.
Egg Noodles with XO Sauce, Braised Duck, Soft Poached Egg
And out came the famed pandan cake, and boy was it divine! The pandan cake was light and fluffy, the coconut ice cream had a great flavour, and the pineapple and tapioca sitting under it all was fantastic – and it all combined together to create a spectacular dessert. It was the best Asian dessert I’ve ever had!
Pandan Cake, Coconut Ice Cream, Pineapple and Tapioca
The Stoner’s Delight dessert, while also delicious, just couldn’t match up to the pandan cake. The doughnut ice cream certainly tasted of doughnuts, the peanut butter and raspberry jam were perfect complements, the mars bar rice crisp slice was very sweet, and the banana fritter was nice, but I felt there was too much going on, on the plate. Additionally, there was a piece of candied bacon on top of the ice cream, and I couldn’t get my head, or my taste buds around eating a candied piece of meat.
"Stoner’s Delight 2.0", Doughnut Ice Cream, Peanut Butter, Raspberry Jam, Candied Bacon, Mars Bar Rice Crisp, Banana Fritter
Overall, I was pleased with Ms. G’s. It was what I expected – funky, fast and fantastic food. I saw some other tables get their fingers into some sticky lamb ribs, and next time I’ll definitely be adding them to our order.
Lunch: Friday 12.00pm – 3.00pm, Sunday 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday 5.00pm – 11.00pm, Sunday 5.00pm – 9.00pm
Ph: +61 2 8313 1000
155 Victoria Street