It’s Friday night. I’m two weeks into a new job where I have been a little sponge learning new factoids, ingratiating myself to new colleagues and undertaking market research on every café in the vicinity in the pursuit of the perfect coffee spot.
By dinner time, I want a swift glass of vino and a fabulous meal with minimal effort, in fact I don’t even want to think. Some meals you go out for because the restaurant is your favourite place with very specific favourites and sometimes you are trying new places where you want to approach the evaluating and selection of food from the menu like a treasure hunt.
Today I’m staring at the menu in that big-week-at-the-office exhaustive state where lunches have been skipped and I want a little bit of everything.
Thankfully my eyes settle on at least one word on the menu that is going to save me from all my troubles. Banquet. Thank the lord, hallelujeah the banquet menu is going to guide me through an exciting adventure here at the Mahjong Room and I won’t have to do anything more than sit back, enjoy the ride and make the most of the catch up with my fabulous company.
To be honest I’m not always this accommodating. Sometimes I don’t want to relinquish that control (freak). Sometimes I think that the banquet is some sort of conspiracy theory to offload the stuff that isn’t moving (cray cray). Sometimes I’m just not hungry enough to get through it all (well, rarely).
Tonight we have our appetites fully engaged and are ready to take on the $49 eight-course special. This is how it went.
This banquet menu eases you in with two very popular morsels the Steamed Crab Dumplings and the Prawn & Chicken Wonton. So far so good. Fresh and firm little parcels with good flavours that happily get you started.
The Scallops in the Half Shell with Black Beans and Garlic arrive in the shells, beautiful plump and tasty.
The Sang Choi Bao is of course that suburban throwback that we all know in love – spicy pork mince in a cool, crisp lettuce leave – what’s not to love.
The Kung Pao Prawns should perhaps come with a warning as there is always going to be some idiot at the table that pops a whole chilli in their mouth and then needs to spend the next 10 minutes in stony silence, sipping water and attempting to recover from the shocking hit of heat. (Yes that was me.) Thankfully the sweetness of the prawns helps in bringing my tastebuds around to fully functioning again.
The Crispy San Dong Chicken is a favourite. I absolutely love a beautiful and tender chinese style chicken whether it’s done with this type of crispy skin or left silky and juicy like in Hainanese Chicken.
The final course is a tender serving of Black Pepper Scotch Fillet which provides the final master stroke of a perfectly formed banquet meal with the amazing variety and breadth of offering that you would hope for.
The Mahjong Room is the absolute perfect spot for a group dinner with a beautiful setting and great, friendly service which will make it feel like Friday night any night of the week (you may be corralled into a Lychee Martini before you’ve even settled into your seat).
312 Crown Street, Surry Hills | +61 2 9361 3985