Vicki highlights a selection of noteworthy dishes she would order again and recommends you try.
Moxie – Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Some dishes elicit a strong emotional response. Like the fresh tomato consommé I had in a restaurant in Macau that had me crying (literally) tears of happiness because I was so moved by its sublime perfection. The roasted Jerusalem artichokes at Moxie made me smile, deeply and joyously.
Colourful, playful, interesting and a scrumptious bite. Simplicity in ingredients of quality – Jerusalem artichokes, green beans, endive, watermelon radish, hazelnut miso bagna càuda – meets great skill to combine into a memorable culinary moment. Chef de cuisine Michael Smith and his team are to be applauded for taking everyday ingredients, predominantly plant-based, and translating them into a stellar lineup of fabulous dishes, this dish being just one of them.
Related: In the kitchen with… Michael Smith
Dim Sum Library, Elements – Steamed Alaskan Black Cod
The dim sum we tasted at Dim Sum Library, including the flavoured hargow series, was superb. Uber thin skins that enveloped a generous amount of bouncy, perfectly cooked shrimp made for a must-order. In fact, everything we ate here, accompanied by interesting cocktails and on-point wine pairings, impressed.
It was, however, a classic Canto steamed fish dish that won the night for most favoured dish: steamed Alaskan black cod fillets with Chinese chives and green Sichuan pepper, which is only available at this branch. The rich fish was steamed to perfection, highlighting its flavour, and was offset nicely by the fresh chilli, finished with soy sauce and aromatic Sichuan pepper-infused oil. A fragrant statement plate of confident cooking.
Liu’s Chong Qing Hot Pot – Liu’s Mala Spicy Soup
I confess to being a relative novice of hotpot, though my dining companion at Liu’s Chong Qing Hot Pot was well versed in it. I knew that with good company hotpot is a fun interactive gathering over a steaming, bubbling broth.
I also knew that the soup base, playing such a major role, was a deciding factor when selecting a hotpot restaurant. Here, despite ordering three varieties, we were consistently drawn back to Liu’s signature mala spicy soup, complete with clarified beef tallow, Chong Qing chillies, fermented bean paste and over a dozen Chinese herbs and spices. The subtle mala heat is like a siren’s song. I highly recommend the meat trio – Kagoshima A4 Wagyu chuck rib, prime short rib (US) and Kagoshima pork belly – and the fabulous sweet potato noodles.
1908BC – Special Crispy Noodles
I knew that some of the British Chinese dishes at 1908BC were going to be lost on me – curry and chips for example. I also knew, having grown up with Australian Chinese, that I had a reference point, with many cross-over dishes.
Of the dishes tried, I would return for two: the much written about Crispy duck (think Peking duck with fried duck) and the special crispy noodles with everything. The latter evoked exactly what this restaurant is partly designed to do – create fond memories. Crisp noodles are a textural frame for the stir fry of ‘everything’ (a medley of meat, seafood and vegetables) moistening the centre and providing two distinct textures and tastes. It was comforting and nostalgic and for that – and the opportunity to turn back time – I would return.