UPDATE: MAY 19, 2020 — Bridge Lane's Cantonese favourite Mr Wong is accepting dine-in customers once again. It's opening for two seatings a night, every night, with a minimum spend of $150 a head. If that's a little steep for you, it's also serving up ready-to-eat takeaway dishes. To make a reservation or pre-order takeaway, head to the Merivale website.
Merivale's Mr. Wong further dispels the myth concerning Sydney's lack of serious post-midnight dining options and in epic proportions. With room for over 200 guests, Mr. Wong could very well put an end to the kebab-eating rituals of CBD drunkards by offering them a class act alternative. And an alternative that, thanks to the business' signature design team, is exceptionally pretty to look at.
Head chefs Dan Hong (ex Ms. G's and El Loco) serve up authentic Cantonese fare in plush 1930s Shanghai-inspired surrounds. Contributing to the reawakening of laneways across Sydney's centre, Mr. Wong's guests enter via Bridge Lane; an exemplar laneway vouching for our city's fondness of pocketed, back alley dining. Guests are seated over two levels – on the upper level if they're walk-ins or on the lower level if they've booked in advance – and with atmospheric buzz aplenty, are likely to experience more than just a few things sizzling hot. Service included.
The steamed dim sum platter including scallop shumai, jade seafood dumpling, har gau and Chinese mushroom dumpling is a solid option to start as is the yellowfin tuna served with kohlrabi, sweet wasabi, soy and ginger dressing. Both standouts on Mr. Wong's large Cantonese repertoire, the dishes reflect the intricate technical skill required by the maestros behind it. Tail this with a half serve (8 pancakes) of the peking duck pancakes and the braised asparagus, broccoli and sugar snap peas with garlic and rice wine and you'll quite openly celebrate the fact that you've over eaten. It was for a good, and indulgently flavoursome cause.
For dessert try Mr. Wong's deep fried ice cream served with butterscotch sauce, vanilla or chocolate or the green apple ice, osmanthus jelly, water chestnuts and coconut sorbet Expect an entertaining contrast in textures from the former and a refined delicacy from the latter. And with an accomplished wine list by Merivale's Group Master Sommelier, Franck Moreau, Mr. Wong ticks the tipple box, too.
As a serious addition to hospitality tycoon Justin Hemmes' dining empire, Mr. Wong will stride forward with might. Whether you're there for the dim sum or a more involved eating experience, this place guarantees one thing: satisfaction.