To us the words "Billy Kwong" are interchangable with "duck." Oh how we love Billy Kwong's duck...
We normally don't blog our upmarket eating adventures but Billy Kwong is right up our alley. We love the Billy Kwong concept of Chinese food with a fresh, organic, Western twist. We love sitting around little tables on little chairs just as you would in a street stall anywhere in Asia.
A quick survey of the the dining room reveals a sweet sixteen family birthday bash in front of us, tv celebs to our left, bogans to our right, there's couples on lovey dovey dates, foodie snobs with attitude, a token table of Asians, and behind us is a table of Beautiful People, one of them freaking out as she comes down hard from her disco pills, magically cured by a visit to the loo. Gotta love Surry Hills...
There's no Kylie Kwong tonight but that doesn't matter, we'd just blush and giggle anyway, we're big fans of her My China series. And we've read that sometimes restaurants work better when the celebrity chef isn't in the kitchen, their rusty kitchen chops disrupting the established order of things.
And onto the duck... The duck is magnificent, a perfect mixture of Asian and Western sensibilities. Our duck seems to have had liposuction to remove the fat, the skin is crunchy, a textural wonder. The mandarin sauce is sweet with a tart punch, the cinnamon & star anise are a magic touch. A dish like this takes a lot of preparation and we're happy to shell out $47 for this bird, even if he is a bit on the scrawny side.
Grouper with ginger and shallot. Alison and Doris were disappointed with the lack of flavours, there really wasn't much ginger and shallot, and not much fish for that matter. Shawn loved it, thinking the chef had let the simple, gorgeous flavours of the fish speak for itself.
Steamed veggies - $15.Steamed veggies are steamed veggies, not much to say.
We were still hungry so we went for the one dessert option: poached pears with cream, praline shards and dark chocolate on the side. The waiter very wisely suggested sharing one between the three of us. It was delicious but we would have liked something more exotic and Asian inspired, ala Spice Temple.
We've considered returning to further explore the menu, but gee wiz it's pricey. So Billy Kwong is still "duck" to us, and probably always will be.
Billy Kwong is at 355 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9332 3300.
The Dolphin Hotel across the road is a perfect spot to while away a beer waiting for a table.