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Best Modern Asian Restaurants in Sydney

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by rujihw (subscribe)
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
Published July 28th 2014
Where is your favourite modern Asian restaurant in Sydney?
Growing up in Asia means I can't go a week without rice or noodles. Sad but true. Luckily for me, I live in a city with a myriad of restaurants that take pride in challenging the notion of traditional Asian cuisine by producing sophisticated food with a modern twist.

Below are my favourite modern Asian restaurants:

1) Ms. G's - South East Asian / Chinese

If I have to name one restaurant that I will always go back to for modern Asian cuisine, it will be Ms. G's. The menu changes quite regularly, so you can never run out of new things to try. On Sundays, they do a $50 banquet from 1pm to 5pm, which includes 8 courses and a glass of wine / beer / slushie. I have yet to try it out, but sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

My favourite dish was the mini bánh mě. Although not tummy filling, this $6 bite-size bánh mě is packed full of flavours and hard to resist.

Ms. G's Sydney
mini bánh mě - chicken katsu & crisp pork belly

2) Sake - Japanese

My love affair with Sake began before Masterchef brought the crowd in. While I love the savoury dishes there, the chocolate fondant I had years ago won me over. Apart from the unforgettable fondant, another standout dish for me was the steamed prawn dumplings. It cleverly uses layering of individual skin strips to create a unique textural effect, and when paired with that spicy ponzu sauce, it is possibly the best modern interpretation of traditional shumai.

Sake Sydney
steamed prawn dumplings - chinese-inspired shumai with spicy ponzu

3) Mr. Wong - Chinese Cantonese

Similar to Ms. G's, this is also a Merivale restaurant with Dan Hong as the chef. Initially I thought it was going to be overpriced Chinese food, but I couldn't be more wrong. Well, yes, it was relatively pricey, but that's because it is not an easy feat to turn classic Cantonese dishes into something extraordinary, and it is apparent that the chefs have put a lot of thought into it. If you happen to not like the food, just order a cocktail and enjoy the bustling yet intimate atmosphere.

4) Cho Cho San - Japanese

I went to this restaurant rather recently. We were starving and decided to give this place a go. I love that the interior and exterior of the restaurant reminded me of Manhattan, but that's just me. In terms of food, the dishes are designed for sharing, so expect smaller portions. My favourite dishes were the Hokkaido Scallops and King Crab Omelette. My friend had the Silken Tofu and according to him it was the best tofu he ever had.

Cho Cho San Sydney
hokkaido scallops, corn, house-cured katsuobushi

Cho Cho San Sydney
king crab omelette, Japanese curry

Cho Cho San Sydney
silken tofu in tomato dashi

5) Muum Maam - Thai

This is my favourite restaurant for modern Thai cuisine. Sorry Longrain lovers. I have already covered Muum Maam in my previous article, so I won't elaborate further.

There are plenty of other good modern Asian restaurants in Sydney, including Spice Temple, Billy Kwong, Red Lantern, Jimmy Liks, Madame Nhu, Xage, and Aki's, but the above 5 stood out as my favourites.

So, what is your favourite modern Asian restaurant and what is your must-have dish?
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Why? The real question is... why not?
Cost: $40 - $50 per person
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