Windsor has fast become the hot spot for foodies, with more restaurants than you can poke a stick at. It's party town every weekend when Chapel street fills with a long line of cars, bumper to bumper, travelling at 5km an hour, looking for parking. Everyone has come to 'the hood' for Friday night dinner and entertainment, and breakfast, lunch, dinner and the Sunday sesh over the weekend.
Dotted along Chapel street covering the suburbs of Windsor, Prahran and South Yarra, is a huge choice of eateries and bars to frequent or discover. It seems as if there's always a new restaurant popping up, or just been freshly renovated, with a new menu to sample.
Susie Wong Restaurant & Bar occupies a pocket of this scenery, though situated that little bit further up, closer to Princes Highway. Take that 1.5 min walk from the Union Hotel at the corner of James Street, and you'll find the restaurant at 12 Chapel Street, Windsor, with its unmistakable dangling blue tinged fairy lights out the front.
Set apart from the crowded sector, Susie Wong Restaurant & Bar holds its own with great food reasonably priced, and great service. There's no need to jostle through the crowd for a good night out.
Kate, the Restaurant Manager doubles as the perfect hostess. It's such a breath of fresh air having someone so attentive, which makes for a very satisfying dining experience. She's professional, welcoming, and knowledgeable about the menu, with ready suggestions, should you need it. Her service is second to none.
The music is at the right volume and doesn't invade your conversation. The decor it simple and has an air of Asia with robust red lanterns hanging above, along with timber birdcages that used to symbolise wealth, style and sophistication. The crisp, white, linen napkin on the table adds that special touch, and looks so crisp and clean, you barely dare to soil it.
The menu has more than enough variety, with a chef's selection banquet of 6 or 8 courses for 2 people or more, dumplings, bao buns, appetisers, share dishes, larger share dishes, sides, dessert, and the orient express. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and low gluten content options are also catered for.
Judging from what I'd eaten, I'd have loved to have tasted a larger variety of food, but plain Jasmine Rice to mop up the delicious gravy of the Yellow Curry Tempe with Okra and Spring Vegetables; the Salt and Sichuan Pepper Squid with Green Chilli Nuoc Cham; Lily Bud, Shitake, Tofu and Bamboo Shoot with Shitake Dumplings; Mango and Passionfruit Panacotta, and a great hot latte was all I could manage, shared.
Owner and Chef, Peter Carpurso is in the house! He's busy hand rolling my light and delicious dumplings and is basically quietly working his magic in the background, belying the impact he's going to have on your palate.
With just the right amount of heat in the chillies, the Salt and Sichuan Pepper Squid was crisp, light, and delicious. For those who are not familiar with tempe or its texture, and have only eaten it fried, you might find it a little dense In the Yellow Curry Tempe. However, the sauce/gravy was to die for; perfect and light. When the Mango and Passionfruit Panna cotta came out, I gave it a little wobble test, which it passed with flying colours. Light and fresh on the palate, it was the perfect accompaniment after a meal.
A good night had by all, I'm not going to wait too long to revisit this experience. Susie Wong is open from 5pm to late, Tuesdays through to Saturdays, and their prices are more than reasonable and comparable for the excellent quality of food and service you receive.
Appetisers, dumplings and buns range from four to twelve dollars, with share plates between twelve and fourteen dollars. The larger share dishes run from sixteen to twenty-two dollars and sides like rice and roti between four and five dollars. Dessert is just twelve dollars and a banquet of six to eight courses for two people or more come in at fifty-five to sixty-five dollars per head. Sizes are perfect on the scale of healthy portions, and the taste is well worth the dollars spent. I have no hesitation in recommending this gem of a place, so walk on the wild side a further minute or two, to experience Susie Wong.
They also cater for all kinds of functions in a beautiful room that can be arranged in a number of configurations for your next event. Give them a call on (03) 9510 1875 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll tailor a menu to meet your needs.
Conveniently located close to main thoroughfares and public transport, it's definitely the sweet spot for your next breakfast meeting, family celebration, or corporate affair. They're more than able to provide a competitive package and they'll even arrange the nuts and bolts for your plans from coffee service through to AV hire and set-up. Stay in touch via their Facebook page. Meanwhile, get out there and experience a night to remember with Susie.