Monday, October 3, 2011

Treat 6: Sydney food hits the spot again and again and again

I thought long and hard about this next treat and realised one treat was not enough for the number of treats I have experienced in the last 5 days in Sydney.  In the lead up to this food journey I read the Sydney Morning Herald religiously, examined their Good Food Guide, ripped pieces of newspaper out and then lost those papers and forgot to print out my list of places but still we had so much to do and eat without any of it.  Here is my number 1 tip when dining in Sydney - BOOK! Book weeks in advance, take the time to enjoy that meal at a leisurely place and feel confident that you will get good service.  So here begins the first treat at Billy Kwongs where to my absolute surprise and sheer delight I saw Chef Kylie Kwong cooking in the kitchen.  She actually was there cooking my dinner - why I was so surprised I do not know.  I think celebrity chefs sometimes become famous for their books and TV shows that you forget where they all started -in the kitchen.  So what did I expect from this restaurant with a no bookings policy (please ignore my previous advice) to line up in the rain, luckily for once in my life I was on time and was third in line before the restaurant even opened.  The restaurant is very small and you sit on small stools, which for an uncoordinated person like me wasn't the ideal setting.  Throughout the night I dropped my chopsticks, almost toppled the table over while picking up my chopsticks, almost hit a plate out of a waiters hand while I spoke in my animated way with hands and all - so yes I found it challenging to leave their without a damage bill against my name.  Let's get to the food - well I couldn't read the specials, I guess Kylie has better knife skills than handwriting but no fear the waitress was used to this and explained the specials.  One of them was a crispy skin duck with tangelo sauce.  One word for you - divine!  The cinnamon flavours and burst of tangelo freshness was like a party in my mouth.  The duck was perfectly cooked and succulent - wow! It was definitely the highlight of the meal.  The vegetarian dumplings were nice but fairly pedestrian - same same to ones I've had in dim sum experiences except different for one word - Biodynamic.  So this word pops up a lot in Kylie's menu, to reduce carbon footprints by using locally produced ingredients (that's what the menu said).  However, to this day I still have no idea what biodynamic food actually means and have had no time to Google it as yet. The other dish we ordered was a plate of Asian greens and noodles but again it didn't have that Xfactor like the duck but the noodles did have the xo factor (it had xo sauce aka hot sauce).  Overall my hat goes off to Kylie for:
A. Being in the kitchen and cooking the food.
B. For being environmentally friendly even though I may not yet appreciate what biodynamic means
C. For making the best crispy duck I have eaten.
D. For fantastic service and encouraging us not leave any polite pieces of the poached pear and awesome crunchy praline crumble dessert.
I will definitely return because I left my $3 umbrella there so I need to pick it up.  Oh and to eat the crispy duck again.

Billy Kwong on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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