This neon-lit Parramatta restaurant is whipping up tom yum dumplings and black garlic mie goreng.
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If you've ever had a coffee at Cuckoo Callay, a Middle Eastern brunch at Nour or a charcoal chicken feast at Henrietta, you'll find Lilymu familiar. There's pink neon on the walls, hibiscus in the cocktails and friendly staff on the floor. But, it's also markedly different to any of Ibby Moubadder and Jorge Farah's other restaurants. To start: it's not on Crown Street. In fact, it's on the other side of the city, in Parramatta Square. And it's not Middle Eastern. This time, the duo is, with the help of ex-Mr Wong chef Brendan Fong, serving up contemporary takes on Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes.
As you'd expect from Fong, the dumpling are great. So good, we suggest ordering a round of the tom yum prawn dumplings swimming in bright refreshing soy, lime and chilli dressing (five for $27) as soon as you sit down. While you're ordering entrees, the crispy fried quail ($25). This crispy golden bite-sied bird is bursting with enough flavour to put your favourite fried chicken joint to shame.
Larger dishes continue with pipis in XO sauce (market price), beef cheek massaman with the requisite kipfler potatoes ($38) and roasted duck with Laos sausage ($49–95). But the dish you've likely heard the most about (and seen pop-up regularly on the 'gram) is the mie goreng ($26). Coming loaded with black garlic and bean sprouts, and topped with an egg yolk, it's rich and indulgent. It'll also leave you almost too full for dessert — almost.
You can round out your meal with mascarpone parfait ($19), coconut sorbet ($21) or one of the liquid desserts, including a Lilymu espresso martini ($24) and an affogato martini ($22) with vanilla ice cream. Those who prefer their cocktails slightly more savoury — and earlier on in the meal — will find solace in the spiced margarita ($24) or the sour plum negroni ($24), made with Four Pillars' always-popular Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Images: Nikki To
Updated Monday, October 24, 2022