Low light, dark walls made interesting with geometric patterning and fuchsia pink highlights and contemporary music teamed with the nearly silent glide of slim-hipped waiters clad in black all help make this hole-in-the-wall on Harris Street quite a funky place to dine.
The playful contemporary pan-Asian cooking shines in the Tempura Zucchini Flowers ($8.90/ 3 pieces) stuffed with curried pumpkin and spinach. It reminded me of the interior of a vegetarian curry puff, Malaysian style. The zucchini flowers are an unusual ingredient to find in a pan-Asian restaurant - apparently they come to be here via the assistance of the neighbouring modern Australian restaurant Pyrama. Collaborating local restaurants is a wonderful idea, and it makes me like the kind folk at Pyrama even more.
Freshness is a strong suit – almost everything is made in house and it shows in the texture of the Pan Fried Pork and Pak Choy Dumplings ($7.20/ 4 pieces) pleasantly filled with tasty pork that leaves no slick on the tongue. These were my favourite dish of the night.
My only critique is a slight bend toward sweet which (I am assured) you can opt out of if you mention you’re confident with heat. We asked for chili, got a dish of really mild chili, ate it in spoonfuls and then were offered a second dish of hotter chillies. I guess it's nice that they're looking out for diners who don't cope with heat.
My least favourite dish was the Roast Duck and Cherry Tomatoes Red Curry ($17.90) which had lots of nice duck, but as you might guess from the dish description, the duck wasn't cooked in the sauce which I found a bit thin. I am also not a hundred percent convinced by the addition of tomatoes.
The best main course that I tried was a stir fry of Beef and Snow Peas in Wasabi and Black Pepper ($14.20) but it still was a bit sweet for my personal taste.
It’s refreshing to see that style doesn’t equate to high prices – a piled high plate of Malaysian Style Spicy Stir Fried Noodles with King Prawns and Vegetables ($15.30) is a case in point. The texture of the house-made noodles was again a highlight.
The convenient location of Forty Two Harris Cellars and Deli teamed with a low corkage fee of two dollars a person encourages wine; the cellar staff know the neighbourhood restaurants and make pertinent recommendations.
50 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9660 6216