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 July 11th 2016
Surprises in each delish dish at this local favourite
It was a cold winter's night when we ventured to Willoughby and Asian fusion restaurant, Origin Dining, but we were soon warmed up with the food in this small and friendly establishment. Modern Australian cuisine, sometimes a bit of European, some with Asian flavours and some without - the menu changes regularly and the owner, Weyman Leong, is always experimenting with flavours.
Long and narrow with an open kitchen, we were greeted and led to a table by our waitress who presented us with our 5 course set menu. Warming us up first was Pumpkin and Cranberry Soup. Not a combination I have had before but it worked. The colour was pumpkin orange and the cranberry shined through in its touch of sweetness. It had a few nuts in it adding to the texture and some herbs adorning it. We both agreed it was a wonderful start, with my husband claiming it to be the best soup he had ever had.
Our second course came out not long after – Seafood Dumplings with Enoki and Fried Leek. Now I'm not a fan of seafood or slippery things but, after trying them, I have re-evaluated my opinion. These were beautiful and went down so easy. The covering was not too thick and the seafood was not overpowering. The Asian noodle salad with it, complemented the dish well.
These Seafood Dumplings had me mesmerized so that I almost forgot to take a photo
Fourth course was Tempura-style Fish with Fennel Coleslaw. So fresh and light the fish was and, with the delicious coleslaw, it was a winner. In fact, all courses thus far were fresh and we couldn't fault any of them. They all came with enough for both of us to enjoy.
Another delight - Tempura style fish and delish fennel coleslaw
Last but certainly not least, was dessert – Coconut Jelly with Rhubarb and Strawberries. A thin layer of coconut shortcake balanced out the sweetness of the fruit. It was another winner amongst other winners. Rhubarb is a favourite of mine and with the other ingredients it was a perfect mix.
The timing of each course was spot on and great service from smiling staff contributed to a fantastic night. This 5 course set menu comes in at $60 for two, which makes it great value. Coffee completed our meal and, whilst not licensed, you can BYO alcohol.
Other menu boards on the night gave us a look at other options available. Entrees included Coconut Prawns and Green Papaya; Spring Rolls with Asian salad; and Pork skewers. Mains on offer covered Aussie favourites, such as Scotch Fillet Steak with Diane sauce and green beans, as well as the colourful Beetroot Risotto and the succulent Roasted Duck Leg with Red Cabbage and Pear. Prices range from $18-30.
Origin Dining is open Mondays to Saturdays, from 10am-2.30pm for breakfast and lunch, and 6pm-9pm for dinner. Whatever time you go, you're sure to enjoy something special that's fresh with an amalgamation of unique flavours.