Sydney is an exciting place for foodies, providing a large assortment of unique restaurants, one of which includes Ms.G’s Asian Restaurant. I would describe Ms.G’s as a Vietnamese fusion tapas restaurant. Though they do have “mains” on their menus, all servings are quite small and pretty much can be classified as tapas. I’m always quite excited about anything that involves Vietnamese food, so when seeing this restaurant on the top ten “Talk of the Town” list on Urbanspoon, I had to check it out myself.
Ms. G’s is located about a 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross Train Station. The street itself is pretty quiet despite the abundance of backpacker accommodations in the area, but once you step inside the restaurant, it’s another world. Ms.G’s does not take reservations for dinner, and with its popularity, it can muster up quite the queue. However, patrons generally head upstairs to the bar, grab a drink and wait for their tables there. I found the bar itself to be quite crowded with limited seating, so it’s not really the most comfortable place to wait around.
Let’s talk more about the atmosphere. Red lights, large draping ropes, a high floor to ceiling graffiti scribbled wall, it’s not your typical Asian restaurant. The dining area was quite dark, which made it difficult for me to snap photos of much, though with the window that stretched one entire wall of the restaurant, I can imagine dining during the day would be a different experience. Though the atmosphere was somewhat cozy, the loud club music made it difficult settle in and have conversations over dinner. For a group dinner, I’d say it would work. For a date? Not so much.
G’n and T’d Slushee – $14
I started off with the G’n and T’d Slushee. Hearing raves about their alcoholic bubble teas, I had to try it out. By the way, $14 for a cocktail in Sydney is standard! This particular drink consisted of beefeater, green apple and peach liqueurs, pink grapefruit juice, jasmine and contained pearls. The drink itself was refreshing (mmm… alcoholic slushee) but the pearls itself were very disappointing. They were tiny little jasmine pearls the size of tiny tapioca beads. I was hoping for something more, well, bubble tea pearl like.
Snow Crab on Betel Leaf – $6 each
I love betel leafs, and it’s not something that is commonly found in restaurants back home. Seeing this leaf pop up on menus, is exciting for me! As the dish came out, we were immediately instructed to eat crab along with the leaf, which wasn’t too difficult seeing as the entire serving was one bite. This dish was a very good mix of both flavours and textures. The crab itself was very creamy, and the dish seemed more Japanese inspired, rather than Vietnamese. It was a nice creative dish, but at $6 a bite, it’s difficult to pull out that wallet for more.
Ms G’s Mini Banh Mi with Pork Belly – $6 each
My gosh, everyone raves about this one and so I had my expectations quite high, despite thinking “hmm.. how good can a mini Vietnamese sandwich really be?” I admit, the idea is extremely clever and how cute are these?! But at that point, every element had to stand out to make this dish perfect for me. Sadly, the bread immediately threw me off. It just didn’t have the right texture of a fresh baguette. To add to that, there wasn’t enough ingredients in there to really scream “Pork roll!” or “Viet Sub!” It needed more pate (not sure if it even had any), more pickled carrots, more sauce, more… meat! I wasn’t impressed. I wonder if my taste buds are just too picky now, really not sure what everyone is raving about.
Ms G’s Grilled Corn on the Cob with Parmesan & Lime – $4
Most might find savoury corn weird, but most Vietnamese people are familiar with eating corn with green onion/scallion oil. Combining it with parmesan and chilli on the other hand, is quite adventurous. Surprisingly, this mix was amazing! I loved it. After a few bites, I squeezed on the lime juice and it was like a party on the corn!
Ms G’s Friend Chicken “Chops” Done 2 Ways – $25
Following our “small” dishes we ordered the famous Ms.G’s Fried Chicken “Chops” done two ways: naked with jerk mayo, and spicy Korean (12 piece) – $25. Said to be the chicken that would put other fried chicken shops to shame, it was quite good but not THAT good. The naked chicken was more my preference, whereas my friend much enjoyed the one covered in chilli sauce. Overall, it was average and I find I prefer chicken done more “Asian” with the bones attached anyhow. Phnom Penh’s Chicken Wings still reign supreme.
Salad of Green Tea Soba Noodles with Snow Crab, Avocado and Shiso – $18
What I do find with every dish from Ms.G’s is how elaborate they are. Every dish has quite the complex combination of ingredients, which definitely reflects that a lot of thought was put into creating them. However, where it doesn’t work is when the mix doesn’t really highlight any particular ingredient. The Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad sounded amazing and looked the part. I’m not going to say it wasn’t a good salad, but again, I was expecting a lot more. The flavours of all the ingredients just blended together to create a dish that frankly wasn’t that memorable.
“Stoner’s Delight 2.0” – $12
Speaking of mixes of ingredients, how about a mix of random things in your pantry and fridge for dessert? Yes, this exists, and it is served as one dessert dish. Curious as to what this tastes like? It tastes exactly as it would if you took each individual element, crushed it and ate it. Overall, it was quite heavy and I only really enjoyed the ice cream by itself. Definitely an experience, but as my dining partner said: there’s a reason why this dessert has the name “Stoner’s Delight”, you got to be in a certain state to really appreciate this one. Regardless, I’d say try it anyways! It’s worth it for the novelty factor.