Neil and his new backers have swapped Australian fine dining for an attempt at high end Chinese speckled with (and I quote) “more contemporary interpretations”. It is not very jade-y, nor very temple-y, and a few Rockpool bits still linger, covered up with some lanterns and windows of duck ready to be roasted.
When word got out that this was opening, many commented how close in location it was to Mr Wong, and would it have any impact on that insanely popular venue, but really they are very different in atmosphere and style. Mr Wong for me has more vibe.
I visited twice, once at lunch and once at dinner. The verdict – a mixed bag. Great cocktail menu though, very reminiscent of Spice Temple which is a good thing.
The oysters with ginger and black bean were delicious; loved the big green bowl even more.
But were they kidding themselves with these chicken wings? Three little chicken wings for $19 (and some ordinary sweet and sour sauce), with a very sub par batter.
Likewise these pork short ribs (I think that’s what it was, I tried to put it out of my mind) were rather ordinary.
The pork and prawn shumai (3 for $12, same as Mr Wongs) were at standard.
Liked the texture in these crystal dumplings with truffled mushroom but I found them a bit dry.
The “pineapple” bbq pork bun was very good indeed, tasty pastry, flavoured meat, but really didn’t look anything like a pineapple that the menu description implied.
I did love the XO pippies though, a great XO. We tried them with the crunch noodles for something different but steamed would be better for absorbing the sauce.
On the second visit I tried the XO with steamed scallops.
The Madarin style bass grouper has unusual flavour, but in a good way, I can’t quite pick it.
I recommend the rusty razor blades, had it on both visits, pork with caramel and chilli. I was worried it would be too sweet but the balance of the sweet and the spice is spot on.
Beautiful steamed noodles, so silky, but the shrimp floss was too salty for me.
So while the savoury was a mixed bag, the desserts shone.
The flavours of Phil’s vacherin must be a shout out to the Rockpool vacherin, and delightfully refreshing. The lemongrass spoke Thai to me rather than Chinese, but that didn’t stop the enjoyment.
I love sago, it’s one of those things people love or hate, so I really enjoyed the sago and mango pudding.
And we all just adored the fried vanilla and date ice cream, splashed with maple sauce. So good.
For groups, there are banquet menus for $75 and $95.
Jade Temple, 11 Bridge Street, Sydney