A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published June 7th 2017
Take your palate on a journey
From the Indochine provinces Meking Restaurant, in hip Kensington Street at Chippendale, stands out with its colourful cuisine and elegant decor as a diamond does amongst other gems. The flavours of Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand surprise you in fusion dishes and share plates reflecting the region, providing mouth-watering experiences.
Mekong is the newest venture for chef Tiw Rakarin, formerly of Mama's Buoi (Surry Hills) and Alphabet St (Cronulla), and an adventure is what it is. Like the boundary-crossing Mekong River, your palate is taken on a journey and my journey was with the Confit Duck Red Thai Curry. An explosion of flavours and textures is the best way to describe it. The duck centrepiece, wonderfully cooked, was surrounded by a curry of cherry tomatoes, pineapple sticks, sweet potato and a number of flavours both spicy and sweet. An amazing and surprising dish as part of the new winter menu, it is a must try. I added a bowl of rice on the side to soak up the soup-like consistency of the curry but really didn't need it as the tasty curry goes down well on its own.
Other curry combinations you can order include a Burmese Braised Beef Rib with carrot and sweet potato, Tofu and Tamarind with zucchini and eggplant, and a Spicy Barramundi with Rambutan. Hubby loves a curry but decided to take a journey elsewhere with the Seared King Prawns and its accompaniments of fried garlic, onion and shrimp paste chilli dipping sauce. The prawns were juicy and tender with the sauce having a kick to it. It hit the spot and got a tick of approval.
Also on the menu is Stir Fried Crispy Pork Belly, Chargrilled Pork Ribs with Vietnamese Salad, BBQ Turmeric and Lemongrass Chicken, Wagyu Beef Salad and Clams Poached in Hanoi Beer. We saw the latter delivered to a table nearby and they looked fantastic. Everything is well presented in Mekong and a cut above most Asian fare.
Our parking limit cut short our visit and thus we didn't sample any entrees or desserts although these options look interesting too. Crab Taco and coconut in a crispy Espresso crepe, Squid Ink Dumpling with Chicken Pho and a Vegan Tasting Plate are some of the entrees whilst desserts include Taro Custard and Pistachio Mochi.
Prices are in the mid range with entrees $18 and under, mains around the $28-38 mark and desserts $16 and under. Drinks include soft drinks, tea and coffee, beer and cider, wine, spirits, mocktails and cocktails. We both went with the Cranberry Zinger mocktail, presented with a tiny flower floating on the top.
The refinement and sophistication in the cuisine translates to the decor as well. Bamboo curtains allow the natural light to filter through whilst interesting light shades, deep green walls, dark chairs, leather bench seating and a bronze-panelled bar add to the elegance of this establishment.