Young Chefs Dinner – Mr Wong

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I had been too slow to pull the trigger on last year’s young chefs dinner at Momofuku Seibo, however was fortunate to get a booking for Leslie and I to this year’s event hosted at Mr Wong.

The 6 course degustation was prepared by some of the up and comers of the Sydney food scene:
Hanz Gueco (Cafe Paci)
Aiden Stevens (Bentley)
Kieran Delany (Sixpenny)
Kahn Nguyen (Mr. Wong)
Jason Margaritis (Spice Temple)
Julian Cincotta (Nomad)

A glass of Ruinart and an interesting menu whet the tastebuds.
Julian Cincotta – Nomad

Kingfish carpaccio, agadashi eggplant, enoki mushroom, fermented shiitake

Dassai 50 – Junmai Daiginjo, Yamguchi, Japan

A very generous serve (shared between 2) on a great looking plate.

Kingfish was beautiful again, similar to our experience a fortnight earlier at est

The eggplant was a bit of a visual display as the agadashi had been pureed.

Khanh Nguyen – Mr Wong

Asian insired charcuterie platter
Pho flavor brawn
Lemongrass pork and tomato rice in the style of Capicola
Cured beef salad in the style of Bresaola
Pigs head terrine with flavors of bun bo hue
Duck ham in the style of Peking Duck
Traditional fermented beef
(Descriptions from Khanh’s instagram photo)

11 Kruger-Rumpf ‘Munsterer’ trocken Rieseling – Nahe, Germany

Duck ham the favourite – paleo version of a peking duck pancake!

The others were interesting, with definite Asian influences, but i’m not sure the more adventurous charcuterie (here’s looking at you pigs head terrine) were to our unsophisticated tastes.

on the pass
on the pass
different plate for our table
different plate for our table
Hanz Gueco – Cafe Paci

Pippies in XO sauce (foie gras, truffle juice, XO Cognac), E-fu noodles

13 Buzzinelli Pinot Grigio – Fruili, Italy

When we first sat down this was the dish that looked the most interesting, however it really failed to live up to the expectation. I think perhaps the chef struggled with attempting to do 225 of these. The noodles were very ordinary, and there was barely any sauce on the dish as a whole. To be fair the sauce we did taste was yummy – nice and rich as you’d expect.

Jason Margaritis – Spice Temple

Slow cooked chicken, broad beans, bamboo shots and job’s tears, superior sauce

12 Domaine Laroche Petit Chablis – Burgundy, France

Perfectly cooked chicken, not a fan of the chicken skin served separately – too crispy! One of the ‘safer’ dishes of the night but well executed and ultimately paid off.

We haven’t dined at Spice Temple, but was expecting a greater Asian influence.

Kieran Delaney – sixpenny

Buttermilk braised lamb shoulder, spring vegetables and saffron emulsion

11 Giuseppe Campaganola Valpolicella Ripasso – Veneto, Italy

We had enjoyed a great degustation at sixpenny for my birthday in 2013 and this dish definitely brought back memories. Fork tender lamb and a tasty emulsion at the bottom of the veggie plate.

Aiden Stevens – Bentley

Charred milk custard, beetroot, raspberry and chervil ice

10 Telmo Rodriguez ‘MR’ Moscatel – Malaga, Spain

The organisers had decided to utilise both levels of Mr Wong and unfortunately I think these large numbers (225 apparently) affected the ability of the chefs to produce a top notch meal.

The hosts for the night, Joanna Savill and Lauren Murdoch did their best working the room but again it was difficult when half the audience couldn’t see what was occurring.

There was a bit of Q&A after dessert which was nice to get the chefs out from behind the pans and talk about their inspirations for the dishes.

keen observers chipping in!
Verdict: Whilst it was nice to get out and try some food from the up and comers in the Sydney dining scene, there was something missing throughout the night. The cost at $200/head was steep and didn’t feel like value for money. Lesson learned – whilst we enjoy these one off dinners that occur, more intimate events are our preference.
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