Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Susie Wong, Windsor (by invitation) by Bilby Blue

Located way down at the Dandenong Road end of Chapel Street, Susie Wong is a mod-Asian fusion restaurant and bar. It’s a warm and welcoming space – ideal for meeting up with friends, popping in for a pre-theatre meal (the Red Stitch Theatre is close by) or drinks and nibbles after catching a movie at the Astor cinema. Indeed, many of the other patrons were clearly regulars.

The original Suzie (with a “z”) Wong is an iconic fictional character from the 1957 novel The World of Suzie Wong, set in Hong Kong. It was subsequently made into a film in 1960 (in the process transforming the original British hero into an American, but that is another story). With a change in spelling, Susie is the inspiration behind the restaurant.

Susie Wong, chicken, sweetcorn and prawn wontons
Chicken, prawn and sweetcorn wontons

The original timber-lined ceiling is stunning – the building interior has been stripped back and festooned with an eclectic range of items sourced by Peter (the owner) from his travels through Asia. Large red lanterns and timber birdcages hang from the rafters. Wooden masks and graphic posters line the walls.

Susie Wong
Benny and I had been invited to try Susie Wong’s new yum cha menu, which is being served at lunchtime on weekends. Just like the d├ęcor, the dishes were a fusion of many different influences from all over Asia.

Susie Wong, ma hor
First up was also my favourite of all the dishes. Ma Hor was a Thai-style appetiser of a dollop of pork mince with kaffir lime and chili, served on a thin round of pineapple, which provided a good balance for the saltiness of the pork.

The next dish was a chicken, prawn and sweetcorn wonton with a drizzle of sweet and sticky ginger sauce (see first pic). The wonton had been deep fried, and the filling was plump and juicy.

Susie Wong, lily bud shiitake tofu dumpling
Susie Wong has several options suitable for vegans, including the lily bud, shiitake and tofu dumplings. These were steamed and accompanied with a spicy XO style sauce.

Susie Wong, pork dumpling
On the regular menu, as well as the Yum Cha menu, the pork, cabbage and garlic chive dumplings were steamed and served in a puddle of soy sauce, with a dusting of Sichuan pepper.

Susie Wong, fried ginger prawn wonton
The fried ginger prawn wontons were accompanied with an intense black vinegar dressing. This was Benny’s favourite.

Susie Wong, roasted shiitake mushroom and tempe skewers
Our next dish was another vegan option that appears on the regular menu: roasted shitake mushroom and tempe skewers with a soy and white miso glaze. Tempe is popular in Indonesia, and is made from fermented soybeans. The skewers were quite substantial, and had a strong funky flavour from the tempe.

Susie Wong, soft shell crab banh mi
Susie Wong has a children’s menu, which a bit surprisingly includes soft shell crab banh mi with crunchy Asian salad (why should this be just for kids?). While we enjoyed the flavours of the banh mi, the crab was quite spicy and may be a challenge for less adventurous little ones. The tiny brioches, sprinkled with black sesame seeds, were made in-house and were a bit on the dense side.

Susie Wong, panko lemongrass beef
Ideal as an accompaniment for drinks, the panko lemongrass beef consisted of tiny crumbed and fried meatballs each served on a thin slice of pineapple.

Susie Wong, Cambodian chicken wings
Crispy Cambodian chicken wings with sriracha honey is one of the share plates from the regular menu. Golden from turmeric, they were a spicy, sticky delight.

Susie Wong, chicken skewers
Our final savoury dish was turmeric chicken skewers. With three skewers in the serve, it was a quite a substantial and tasty dish.

Susie Wong, Thai coconut mousse with black rice
For a sweet finish, we were served a Thai coconut mousse with black rice. The mousse encircles a core of black rice and had been wrapped in a coconut leaf and steamed.

Susie Wong, Windsor
Service was excellent – the manager Kate and the wait staff were warm and friendly, and were clearly a key factor in keeping their regulars coming back.

Susie Wong, Windsor

Verdict

We really liked it
We really liked it and would be very happy to return.

Overall

Susie Wong’s yum cha offers a tasty selection of Asian-fusion flavours that are quite different to what you would expect from a traditional Chinese yum cha. Ideal for a light meal or to accompany drinks with friends, but if you need a substantial feed you may want to add a main dish or two.

If you are planning to visit the Red Stitch Theatre, note that Susie Wong offers a pre-theatre discount.

Find it at

Susie Wong
12 Chapel Street
Windsor Vic 3181
Telephone: (03) 9510 1875

Susie Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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