I’m so happy that I discovered this sooner than later. Hidden amongst the alleyways of Kings Cross, this restaurant bar has absolute potential, with a delicious collection of dishes, strong cocktails and a quirky interior. The restaurant captures the vibe of Hong Kong’s underground – and this space has been transformed from an once 1980s illegal casino, pornography dungeon and steel room.
From the outside, you can grab a drink in the skinny corridor-sized bar or wander inside past the pornographic wall, eccentric wall designs into a warm, Chinese influenced dining area.
Big trouble in little China
Unable to choose my cocktail, I quickly opt at the last minute for the Big trouble in little China, containing 42 below vodka, vanilla and pineapple shaken topped with fresh coriander. Surprisingly this becomes the favourite cocktail of the night and even though I’ve never had coriander in a cocktail before, it was a fantastic touch to this drink. Another recommendation would be the Red Dragon; a mixture of sweet and sour of coriander, raspberries pressed then shaken with chilli infused vodka, peach schannps and cranberry juice – unusual but hits the mark.
San choy bau of chicken
For entrees, we devour with LL’s twist on the san choy bau; instead of duck, there are pine nuts, chicken, lemongrass, mint, topped with spicy lemon dressing served in a large lettuce cup. A nice spicy kick start to the meal.
Black tea & star anise smoked duck breast pancakes
Next on the agenda are DIY duck pancakes, served with traditional dipping soy bean sauce, cucumbers and spring onions. The duck pancakes are tender and cooked just perfect, with subtle hints of black tea and star anise flavours smoked through.
Beef eye fillet
More mains roll out on our miniscule table; beef eye fillet which are slow cooked and braised in house spices, served with chinese greens & baby carrots. Wonderfully tender meat that fell apart when served. The baby carrots also deserve a honorary mention, simple but blanched perfectly to maintain a soft yet crunchy touch.
A dish that I unfortunately forgot to capture due to the fact that I was too busy devouring and laughing the night away, is the chili & garlic crumbled soft shell crab served with wasabi mayonnaise – my favourite dish of the night. A definite must for those salt and pepper squid lovers who enjoy a great chili kick and more kapow from the wasabi dipping sauce.
Coconut cream, lychee and topioca panna cotta
Full to the brim, we share our dessert; the coconut, lychee and tapioca panna cotta, served with mango gelato and sugar pastry. Not your usual panna cotta but the flavours are refreshing and light, just perfect to top off our meal. It has a good jiggle but I was hoping for it to be a little more generous…
Great food and drinks with a fantastic atmosphere served by friendly and some pretty cute waiters too! Bookings are essential.
LL Wine & Dine
42 Llanklley Place
Kings Cross, Sydney