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With a timeless interior and consistently good food, Jimmy Liks is one for everyone's radar.

Justin Maloney, owner of Vicky Street institution Jimmy Liks, has been in the business for yonks — for the most part running this popular bar/restaurant with an undeniable energy born from that rare pleasure of loving one's craft. Before that he helped open Longrain in Surry Hills.

Oh, and Maloney doesn't like the word 'fusion'.

A justifiable angst we do concur, especially as many have falsely labelled his menu thus. Jimmy Liks' menu is inspired by simple Thai hawker food and influenced by South East Asian neighbours. And there's good news for all that have been before: the mass menu has now been simplified even further. Punters have now got small, bigger and big dishes to choose from, but don't worry because when it comes to the cocktails, Liks still means business. A long and enticing list offers classics, like pina colada ($16), through to more exotic blends such as the Thai Tea ($18), which is a finer blend of lychee and lemongrass. And booze (vodka and sake), of course.

The 'small' food, named "Hawker" on the menu, is ideal for identical appetites and the steamed duck dumplings ($4 each) and barbecue pork belly skewers ($4 each) both make for top notch nibbling. Moving up to something bigger ("Lighter" on the menu), the wok-tossed, fully shelled scampi ($24) goes very well with a glass of the Aubuisieres Chenin Blanc ($10 glass, $33 500ml, $49 bottle) as well as its coating in the two gospels of flavour: chilli and garlic. Ask for a finger bowl.

We unashamedly wolfed down a menu newbie for our main — the lamb shoulder yellow curry with cucumber pickle complete with two portions of proper chargrilled roti — and finished with the dessert tasting plate consisting of an array of Asian classics like tapioca pudding, young coconut and vanilla bean jelly and duck egg custard. There's only one word for that custard and it really is "wow".

Jimmy Liks is one for everyone's radar. With a timeless interior and consistently good food there's only one thing left for you to do: pay Maloney and Jimmy Liks a visit. It's as simple as that.

*Jimmy Liks offers large tables and has ample space, but does not take bookings. If dining with a group please be advised to arrive early.

Published on April 08, 2013 by Jack Arthur Smith

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