I have to admit, I’ve been really bad to Ms G’s – the post comes up in September of 2013, though my visit was in February. This makes it one of the oldest unblogged places I’ve got, oops. Good thing tasting notes last forever
What to make of Ms. G’s? As much as I would try and avoid using the term “contemporary” or “modern”, this appears to be exactly that – a modern, “fusion” (oh boy) take on classic Asian (with a Vietnamese spin) cooking.
It’s good enough that I want to go back, let’s see what makes it so great, yes?
Date Last Visited: 23/2/13
Address: 155 Victoria Street Potts Point, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): steamed ginger & shallot fish; prawn toast
The first thing I notice when I walk into the venue is to be taken aback by how extravagantly pastoral the setting is. A wee bit of an oxymoron, but that’s Merivale for you – heaps of effort on creating the look, feel and atmosphere of the cuisine’s cultural heritage.
Ms.G’s has a roaring nightlife – the bar is more than equipped.
I like it, even if it could be a little over the top.
At first, we were seated on top of makeshift stools made from old beer cartons (crates within). All good, except that the space itself is too small – I think I was wider than the table…ahem.
Luckily, a request made by The Lady moved us to an elevated area further into the restaurant, with a larger table and much better views (which allowed me to take most of the interior shots).
At this time, Ms.G’s was running a Merivale promotion called the “Lunar Feast”, which makes sense given that the Lunar New Year was around this time as well. It’s essentially a degustation that runs at $55 per person. Definitely not what you’d expect to pay for your classic street Vietnamese/Asian – this is Merivale, after all. For Merivale standards, it’s quite reasonable – depending on how you look at it.
We start off with something unexpected – a lovely cup of green tea slushie…with a splash of vodka! Well, it was probably more than a splash – the taste was most evident, powerful, almost rivalling the sweetness of the tea. Interesting start to the meal. I guess the drinking spirit has to be taken into account as well, right?
My interpretation of the pickle plate is that it’s for palate cleansing between each course. I particularly liked the pickled celery, while the turnips were a little less appealing. All were powerful in flavour delivery – you could get away with just eating one or two before calling it. As it stands, this was the one plate we did not end up clearing (though I did try) – there was just too much!
The best thing about these spring rolls is the crunch. Texturally fulfilling, it gives that “mmmm” moment when you first take a bite into it. That deep frying process – bingo!
The filling inside is more standard, I couldn’t really say whether this is better than most spring rolls I’ve had, so I conclude with that it’s satisfying. Granted, a “mere” spring roll would have to be something magical to blow anyone’s socks off.
This dish is version 2.0, as it appears that there is indeed a different version of the salad from awhile back when Ms.G’s was still in its infancy.
Though a vegetarian dish, the textural nature of this salad makes it a winner in my books. I love tofu and I love my crunchy greens. Toss the two together and add fried cornflakes to the mix and you’ve got me hooked.
I craved the salad even after I had finished it – not a particularly common feeling for me to experience.
Oh this is absolutely yummy. I’m totally gaga for good aioli, and I love my prawns. The most accurate way to describe the texture would perhaps be to compare it to a fish cake, except that the filling is prawn, and lacking that spiciness.
It’s very nice, and while I would have preferred a little more flavour in the filling itself, the overall execution of this dish impressed me.
Yeah, check out that filling!
Fried chicken, the staple of any true food lover; how can one not love fried chicken? Ms.G’s spin to it is distinctly Asian – the classic salt & pepper flavour combo is supplemented by some very spicy notes and a lightly floured batter that allows more of the skin itself to do the talking.
Slightly dry? Yes, somewhat, but the flavour is there. Boom!
The dish of the day, the money shot. The fish is cooked PERFECTLY. Utterly soft, delicious shallot broth, reminds me of my mum’s fish preparation – a big compliment for Ms.G’s.
If there was anything I’d improve on it – and there ain’t much – it would be to have an option for a soy/vinegar dipping sauce as the broth can get very light and samey when you eat more and more of it.
Two of the simplest ingredients – bok choy and oyster sauce. Can’t be much right? Not if they’re a match made in heaven. Bok choy + oyster sauce is an excellent combination, and a good side to the fish. This is where flavour exists if the fish becomes too light. That salty tang, irresistible.
The feast continues not with Peking duck, but pork belly! There’s a little logistical difficulty in wrapping everything up as the pork belly slices are MASSIVE, so I guess that’s a good thing as well.
This was a nice dish, though I found that there was too little to detract from the heavy amounts of fat on the belly – I ended up slicing the fatty parts off for later pancakes, as leaving them on will impart that gooey & fatty texture in my mouth. This aside, good flavours were delivered.
It’s finally time for the sweet things in life, and we get a very Asiatic dessert that features plenty of tapioca and fruits. I really like this dessert because it incorporates so many elements that work well with each other. It also didn’t feel particularly heavy, which is great considering the feast we just had!
Well, I have to say that I’m pretty intrigued by the offerings at Ms.G’s. Though I didn’t get my chance to try the famed banh mi sliders or their rib racks, I know I’ll be back when my schedule permits…whenever that is.
It’s worth a visit, just don’t come in with the attitude of “but this isn’t how they do it back in…”
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
Awesome: reinvention of some classics; sharp flavours
Not so Awesome: some dishes were off-balance