This neon-lit Parramatta restaurant is whipping up tom yum dumplings and black garlic mie goreng.
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 not on Crown Street. In fact, it's on the other side of the city, in the new Parramatta Square. And it's not Middle Eastern. This time, the duo has, with the help of ex-Mr Wong chef Brendan Wong, journeyed east and is serving up contemporary takes on Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes.
As you'd expect from Wong, the dumpling are good. So good, we suggest ordering a round of the tom yum prawn dumplings (five for $26) as soon as you sit down. While you're ordering entrees, the charcoal wagyu beef tongue skewer ($11) is another highlight. It's delicate, juicy and a particularly good choice if you were a fan of the not-too-dissimilar tongue skewers at Alberto Lounge.
Larger dishes continue with pipis in XO sauce (market price), lamb massaman with the requisite kipfler potatoes ($35) and roasted duck with Laos sausage ($46). But the dish you've likely heard the most about (and seen pop-up regularly on the 'gram) is the mie goreng ($22). 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 the Thai milk très leches cake ($16) or one of the liquid desserts, including a Lilymu espresso martini ($20) and an affogato ($22) with coconut ice cream. Those who prefer their cocktails slightly more savoury — and earlier on in the meal — will find solace in the spiced margarita ($19) or the tamarind-spiked Petaling Breeze ($19), which comes topped with a bubble.
Images: Nikki To
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