And although I'm immediately reminded of a chimpanzee enclosure when I head up one flight of stairs at Ms. G's, the menu is a little less obvious - modernised Asian in most instances, but certainly spanning the entire continent. Mod Asian, pan Asian and thankfully not overly fusion Asian.
|Ms. G's, Victoria Street, Potts Point|
The service is unexpectedly professional for the youthful setting of the restaurant with mismatched crockery, and even water top-ups seem to be one waitperson's priority all night long. Specials are proffered, including an enticing Momofuku-'inspired' pork chicharrons starter, but we stick to the normal menu given so many dishes already entice.
|Plate o' Ms. G's pickles|
The pickles were not overly sour, while maintaining an audible crunch - especially the unidentified round, red-orange pickle but not so much the kim chi and radish - and it was just a great starter to whet the appetite.
|Jow's sweet and sour lamb ribs|
Gripe aside, the lamb ribs weren't my pick of the menu, but I was definitely a convert after the first meaty rib bone. They had to have been deep fried for that unexpectedly crunchy surface texture while the sweet and sour sauce was a few iterations in sophistication over Chinese takeaway.
Lamb ribs are known to be highly fatty, but we didn't fare too badly with our portion, while the abundant herbs and lime added freshness and helped it all along.
|Banh mi: pork belly (left) and chicken katsu (right)|
The chicken katsu is comparatively pedestrian whilst still being pleasant in its crunchy panko crumb, similarly oozing orange mayonnaise all over the thin, pickled vegetable strips and soft white burger-esque buns.
|A virgin Ocean Mary|
|Good Morning Vietnam cocktail|
Nonetheless, it's a new experience to be drinking something alcoholic out of those thick straws, and perhaps a reason in itself for the relatively light alcoholic kick.
|Ms. G’s grilled corn on the cob, parmesan, lime|
The juicy blackened corn is the star of the show, and healthy at that, and we make sure to wipe up all the cheese possible using the corn cob.
|“Spaghetti vongole” – surf clams, summer noodles, chilli, chorizo|
I'm a fan of the varied serving sizes at Ms. G's, with dishes like banh mi, pickles and corn ideal as mini entrees. We ended up pretty stuffed with the two larger shared dishes and the rest, and needed a breather before diving into dessert.
|“Stoner’s Delight” – doughnut ice cream, chocolate, rice bubble, |
pretzel, peanut brittle, marshmallow
The doughnut ice cream more than delivers on its promise of being doughy, sweet and cinnamon flavoured. The chocolate rice bubble squares are a little hard to spear with a fork, but take me right back to days of chocolate crackles.
I adore the savoury contrast of the pretzels in hard brittle but I adore even more the tart passionfruit marshmallows, which valiantly and successfully counteract the sweetness on the plate. We share this between two and lick the plate clean.
The overall bill doesn't end up as scary as shared dishes can sometimes be, or perhaps that's just the fairly booze-free evening working its magic. Ducking to the downstairs bathroom, past the very open kitchen, is as much an adventure as the menu, of which I think the mod squad of Dan Hong and Jowett Yu should be proud.