Got cravings for rich, hearty Cambodian fusion? Let Mr TK sort you out.
December 21, 2018
Asian fusion can be a hard game to crack. There's a fine line between having a combination of flavours that just click together and something that leaves you wondering just what is going on. Whisper it quietly for now, but we reckon Mr TK may be onto a winning formula.
The new Cambodian joint exudes fusion in every sense. It's already eye-catching from the outside, with the restaurant comprising two buildings joined together in a way that's jarring and charming in equal measure. Rainbow fairy lights adorn the interior in sharp contrast to the muted hues of the wood panelling.
Once you've made sense of the surroundings, make sure you take your time trawling through their menu. There's a lot to get through, and everything looks just as tempting. We started with the pork bao ($7.50 for two) and pork dumplings ($8 for five), which wasted no time in getting us in the mood. The bao deserves a special mention, boasting generous portions of pork belly infused with a chilli XO sauce that has just the right amount of kick. The dumplings — handmade, of course — are tasty too, with the chewy dough encasing a cheeky bite of pork and black ear mushroom.
If the entrees had set a high bar, the mains were more than up to the task. Curry seems to be the standout item at Mr TK, and the running amok fish ($28) is a must try. This gravy-like tarakihi curry, served in traditional Khmer style with hints of lemongrass and tumeric, is incredibly rich and dense and oozes flavour, with the tinges of coconut particularly divine.
If you're more the plain meat-and-veg type, the beef lok luk ($28) should suit — deliciously tender slices of grilled steak are served with a fresh side salad that packs a beautiful lemon and pepper zing.
Hue and her friendly team at Mr TK weren't going to let us leave without sampling their dessert menu, and we're sure glad we obliged. The dessert selection is compact yet diverse — we opted for the creamy rice pudding with toasted coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon and dried fruit ($8) and the homemade popsicles with white chocolate, coconut, mango and raspberry ($10 for two). The pudding is sure to be popular when winter rolls around, while the popsicles are a real summer treat, with the aesthetics to rival high-end dessert parlours.
Fast, friendly service and a handy central location complement the innovative dishes on offer at Mr TK. With another spectacular Cambodian restaurant added to Wellington's lineup, this can only be a good thing for the city.
17 College Street, Wellington