Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mr Wong & Princess Coco Chocolaterie

Mr Wong

Hello! First time doing a proper restaurant review and I've already noticed my first mistake - I didn't keep the receipts from our dinner, which lead to a scramble around the Internet looking for the dish's names and prices. I can't believe how hard it is to figure out what a dish is called by simply look at them. Its even harder when the menus are unavailable online. Anyways here I go - be nice please and enjoy or at least enjoy the pictures! 

Oh rightie! The reason I'm doing this restaurant reviews is because I'm moving interstate for work in February and I'm planning to stay at a boarding house with a shared kitchen, so I'm not 100% sure how its all going to work, first getting all my equipment, tools, ingredients and all that down to Canberra, then theres the issue of sharing a kitchen, I don't think the others will be too happy with me using the kitchen for hours on end, hogging the oven, stoves, pots and pans. And I'm enjoying this blog so much I don't really want to go on a hiatus so soon. So if I can't work anything out on the baking side, I will be blogging about my eating adventures in a whole new town. Yeah I know Canberra is a little boring but I'll try my best and well Sydneys only 3hours alway. My plan is to come back every couple of weeks anyways. 

Bar area at the beginning of dinner
We made reservations for Mr Wong last Wednesday @ 5.30PM. Apparently according to my friend who made the bookings, a group smaller than 6 and reservations were unavailable, more than 8 and there would be a 10% surcharge. By some sort of luck we had exactly 7 people. 
When I first entered I was impressed, the decor was modern and quirky yet it had a Chinese twist to it. The service was as expected and superb. 
The stands out of this restaurant for me were, the rows and rows of fresh and cooked ducks near the cooking area, seriously if you need to go to the bathroom - Just follow the ducks, you can't go wrong.  

There was also a very interesting cocktail menu, all the drinks were named after China's different provinces and each drink featured a province's specialty. Each drink was about $16 - $18, unfortunately we didn't have any, reason why: I have no idea. Actually I think there were just too many choices for drinks that I felt a little overwhelmed and went with water.

Chinese Roasted Duck H$34 W$60 Peking Style
Steamed Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Garlic Oil $12 
Shortly after ordering we received our Peking Duck, personally I didn't have any as I am pescatarian however my friends seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, plus the duck smelt just devine. After receiving our Peking Duck, it took absolutely ages for the remaining food to come, I think we sat around talking for about 45 minutes before everything else came. They were very busy, by 7PM the restaurant was absolutely packed. I really wasn't expecting that as I thought the hype for Mr Wong had already died down, however my friends did say that they did attempt to go 2 weeks before this, they got their at about 6PM and were told that the wait time was about 2 hours! On a Wednesdays!!
Stir Fried Egg Noodles with Dark Soy, Garlic Chives and Beansprouts S$14 L$19
Stir Fried King Prawns with Black Pepper, Garlic and Butter $32
Most of the food (all that I could eat) in my opinion was very nicely done and seasoned as I expected them to be, the broccoli was crunchy, the prawns were delicious, the stir fry reminded me of home and the fried rice like the end of every Asian wedding (missing picture, sorry my friends dug into it before I managed to take a picture) nothing was overcooked or undercooked, nothing was overly salty or bland. It was perfect I guess, however my only complaint would be the prices, yes everything was yummy but I still can't find a way to justify the prices, most of these dishes I could get at Chinatown for half the prices and in Cabramatta for a fraction. So yes yummy food but nothing outstanding. I guess it was more about the service, atmosphere and reputation. I guess, if you ever go to a restaurant of our own background's cuisine and 90% of diners are of a completely different or opposite ethnicity its a sign, you could properly find better elsewhere.  
Roasted Five Spice Pork Belly $25
Black Pepper Beef with Asparagus, Snow Peas and Baby Corn $29
I'm guessing you're now asking: Why on earth did you guys go to a Chinese restaurant when you could get the majority of this food at home? Well the reason was, we have a friend who has a preference for Chinese food, and hence here I am writing this review. In the end of the day, I guess if your unfamiliar to Chinese cuisine than this is a great starting place, however I recommend you check out other places, plenty of options all around Sydney: Chinatown, Hurstville, Ashfield, Earlwood and Cabramatta just to name a few suburbs. 

Mr Wong on Urbanspoon

Princess Coco Chocolaterie 
After dinner we naturally needed desserts, but where? A little bored with the usual options we decided to go for something different, something new. And well look at this cafes name: Princess Coco - how could we (well actually I) say no?

This chocolate cafe is actually right behind the new Commonwealth building in Darling Harbour, I've probably walked pass this place a hundred times in the last couple of months, yet I've never noticed this place. Sad aye, I wish I found this place earlier. The whole cafe was so beautifully decorated, and the staff were so sweet and nice. We actually got there at 8PM on a Wednesday night, so unfortunately we couldn't try any of the waffles or fondue.  

So much effort seems to have been placed on making the atmosphere of this cafe perfect. From the seats to the decor to the art and features. I could seat in this place all day, those chairs are amazing. I kinda wish I found this place whilst I was stills studying. Could have waltz up to darling harbour sat here all day, studying and slipping on hot chocolate. 

The circular ball on the left is one of the cafes specialties, its a Tiramisu Sphere which you pour warm chocolate on and it melts the sphere away. Its priced at $17. Because we arrived relatively late unfortunately they had ran out, definitely trying that next time and maybe some of those petit fours as well, if I remember correctly they were $8 take away and $10 eat in. 

Jivara Chocolat Au Lai C$7.50
I had this chocolate cold drink, it was 35C that day so absolutely wasn't going to try it hot but maybe next time when its winter. This drink was malty and delicious, definitely sweet so you probably want to be a sweet tooth to try this. It also came with two adorable and yummy coconut marshmallow. A couple of other friends had some refreshing hot green tea (I have no idea what they were thinking, its was 8PM, twilight and still 35C and there they were sipping on boiling hot tea). Someone else had the coffee based cold drink and commented that it was a little darker than expected but nevertheless still delicious. 

I'm really sad that I didn't get to stay longer and try more than this one drink here, I will definitely be back again next time, maybe I'll have some fondue or some of those pretty looking pastries. Already planning my next visit. 

Princess Coco Chocolaterie on Urbanspoon

Oh and a bonus. Look humongous Rubber Duckie by Florentijn Hofman in Darling Harbour as a part of the Sydney Festival 2013 

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