While I was watching Kylie Kwong’s presentation at World Chef Showcase in Sydney, I really connected with her philosophy on food, produce and sustainability. So, I decided to grab the remaining spot for the Sydney International Food festival ‘It Tastes Better’ dinner the following Monday, 11th October 2010 at her Surry Hills ‘Billy Kwong’ Chinese Eating House.
Sashimi of the Day
Spencer Gulf King Prawn Dumplings with Sichuan Chilli Oil
Seared Rice Noodle Rolls with Biodynamic Beef & Black Bean
Fresh Glass Noodles with Organic Vegetables, Fresh Herbs & Ginger Vinaigrette
Steamed Savoury Pancake with Roasted Black Berkshire Pork
Steamed Jasmine Rice
Steamed Fillet of Line Caught Fish with Ginger and Shallots
Stir-Fried Eggplant with Homemade Chilli
Soy Sauce Free Range Spatchcock
Stir-Fried Organic Spring Vegetables with Tamari & Ginger
Deb & Wally’s Ginger & Sour Cream Cake
This was a sumptious and generous degustation, with every thoughtful component full of flavour and the heart of the land. On the night, Kylie Kwong spoke about the producers with whom she works closely and there was also a supplier in the room, her butcher from Balmain, eating at the table in front of me.
Again produce shone not only in the stories but also in the flavours. Each dish was magnificent. Each component of each dish was full flavoured and the produce was able to shine. Of course, close to my heart, all of the ingredients are from ethical sources, and Chef Kwong is adamant that we take care of the earth that takes care of us. I was pleased to see that the fish was line caught and all of the produce was organic and free from chemicals. This included the wine.
Working with Western Australian biodynamic winemaker Kylie Kwong produces her own label wine for her Chinese Eating House. In fact, all the beer wine and soft drinks served on the night and at her restaurant are organic and support the sustainable approach that the restaurant embodies.
All of the flavours were rich and intense. The complexity of spice and heat complimented the hero of each dish, did not overpower and let the key ingredient shine. My favourite of the night was a hard call, but if pressed I’d say the Steamed Savoury Pancake with Roasted Black Berkshire Pork. This was a really really special dish, with a top knotch pancake (made especially for Billy Kwong with organic flour) and the flavoursome breed of pork worked well as the star. And, this Stir-Fried Organic Spring Vegetables with Tamari & Ginger, was a really fresh and seasonal compliment to the whole meal – what a great way to finish the savoury courses. I also really enjoyed the cake as the final flourish, and thought this was a well matched end to the meal.
The heart of Billy Kwong though is about more than just food. There is a happy healthy attitude in the whole team, the kind of culture that promotes good eating in a relaxed atmosphere. You can see the enthusiasm and pride in the whole team in doing their best and creating a memorable experience. Thanks Kylie and all your team for a great night.
355 Crown Street Surry Hills NSW Australia
+61 2 9332 3300