If you thought a massive, kung fu-themed Asian fusion restaurant was just what the Wellington waterfront needed — well, you'd be right. Master Kong is in town, so put down your nunchucks and pick up your chopsticks because we're in for a ride.
The newest operation from Wellington hospo giant Kapura, Master Kong certainly makes a statement, with some outstanding food to match. Take a moment to wander around inside before taking a seat, as the fit-out itself is a feast for the eyes. Bamboo panels are juxtaposed against garish jungle wallpaper, while Asian-inspired lampshades add to the warm glow of neon signs — it's organised chaos and we love it.
Not to be outdone, the menu takes a while to peruse with a plethora of exciting dishes that are sure to intrigue. We warmed ourselves up with the Hey Ha! Satay Party chicken skewers ($17) and the Double Dragon prawn toast with wagyu brisket ($21). The skewers were the pick of the starters, with the succulent, perfectly charred hunks of meat slathered in a creamy peanut sauce and crushed peanuts. Meanwhile, the prawn toast was probably a little hectic for a small dish, although the soft toast base did a great job of supporting a commendable slab of wagyu.
With round one done and dusted, we tucked into a couple of bao before attacking the mains. The karaage chicken with manuka smoked maple syrup and Kaitaia Fire mayonnaise ($16) and wagyu beef brisket with pink onions and mustard catsup ($17) were both solid, if not exceptional, although the buns themselves get bonus points for being the right amount of soft and spongy.
The mains, for the most part, were superb and did just enough to justify some hefty price tags. The Short Round stir fry ($29) was a fantastic soba noodle dish, with the bamboo shoots and fried beans fusing nicely with the fresh garnishings. Without a doubt, the highlight of the meal was the twelve spice lucky duck curry ($36), featuring a succulent whole duck leg bathing in a rich coconut curry and crispy leaves.
Master Kong definitely has personality in abundance and it's anything but shy. Coupled with a prime waterfront location, an exhaustive range of tasty sharing dishes and fun cocktails and desserts to boot, it's a top place to do some serious eating.