I’ve never fully understood the term ‘modern’ used to describe a particular type of cuisine. Modern Asian this, modern Italian that and of course, modern Australian. I think it means, take a ‘traditional’ dish, add some tricky shit to it (preferably something that’s trending at the moment). And there you have it…modern.
But if Ms. G’s in Potts Pt (or Kings Cross) is the benchmark for modern Asian cuisine in Sydney, then completely disregard that first paragraph. The menu is crafted so as to deliver Asian food we all know and love – whether it be Vietnamese, Chinese, Taiwanese – then tweaking it with some unique ideas to create victory on a plate.
We arrive nice and early on a Friday for lunch. Situated on the beautiful Victoria Street, Ms. G’s certainly has a different feel to seedy Kings Cross, especially in the daytime. We are the first customers at noon and shortly after sitting down, house-smoked bacon arrives on the table, on the house. Are you kidding me? Succulent bacon with tinges of smokey goodness, which basically dissolves in your mouth. It’s a sign of things to come.Next to arrive is the mini banh mi ($6) which comes in either chicken katsu or crisp pork belly. We get one of each. The banh mi disappears in one gulp and although it is delicious, the price tag is a bit steep for what it is.
I’d heard plenty of noise about the Ms. G’s fried chicken chops ($15 for six pieces, $25 for 12). I liked the naked chicken with jerk mayo more than the Korean option, which was also enjoyable. Both had a hit of spice, but not too much to water down the juicy chicken. Everyone loves a piece of fried chicken, whether it be chicken karaage from the local Japanese restaurant, or at 2am on a Saturday night served by the greasy kid from KFC.
Desserts are so important in the restaurant game (I’m assuming). Diners are looking for something sweet to end their meal, or perhaps their night has been so average they leave without something to finish. As impressed as I was with the savoury dishes we were served at Ms. G’s, I’d recommend the desserts above any of the ones we tried. Shan had the Stoner’s Delight 2.0 (yes that is its actual name) – doughnut ice cream, peanut butter, raspberry jam, candied bacon, potato chips, Mars bar slice and banana fritter ($12). It’s as incredible and indulgent as it sounds. Candied bacon should be outlawed, it’s that amazing. I ordered the Ms G’s lemon tart – lemon curd, streusel, lemon granita, mascarpone sorbet ($12) – from Masterchef fame. It’s high praise but the tart is the best dessert I’ve ever gobbled in my life. Once you dig through the granita, there are layers of sorbet, streusel (or the biscuit in a tart/cheesecake) and the curd. It’s not too sweet but there are so many different flavours, it will keep you going back for more.
My verdict? Ms. G’s is my favourite restaurant in Sydney. Call it modern Asian, ‘dude food’ or whatever you like. The produce and ingredients used is so fresh and the ideas and philosophy behind the place is infectious. Dan Hong is still the executive chef here but newcomers Patrick Friesen and Paul Donnelly have helped earn one hat from the SMH’s Good Food Guide. It’s a restaurant that I’d love to come back to over and over, take international visitors to and hope that it never closes down.