Asian Flavours – Mahjong

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St Kilda Bites presents a new regular feature in search of the tastiest Asian Restaurant in the St Kilda Area, the Food Dude and his Bites team of  Miss Nibbles,  Peckish Pom and Shona Narayanan are in constant search mode to unearth the quintessential Asian cuisine, for all those locals that have an addiction for ‘spicy’ or ‘sweet and sour’!

 

Mahjong, all day every day Yum Cha

Mahjong restaurant redefines Asian dinning with its ultra-stylish interiors, stunning park view, innovative combination of Yum Cha ala carte and contemporary Cantonese cuisine.

We walked into the front dinning space which was decorated with oriental ornaments contrasted with playful neon panels. The music was energetic, the atmosphere casual, the food looked exciting and we were about to find out if it truly was!

Like its namesake, Mahjong is a Cantonese dining experience best enjoyed with multiple players. The aim of the game: not over-ordering (which is a lot harder than it sounds).

The drinks list features a long list of beers and wine, both local and imported. Cocktail fans should steer towards the ginger martini; deliciously strong, with a refreshing burn of ginger. On a cold night, opt for a glass of red and sit in the moody glow of the red walls and dark wood. On a sunny day, try one of the imported beers and claim a table near the front of the restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the opposite Albert Park.

The front page of the food menu is dedicated to small, shareable yum cha dishes. This is where serious table-negotiations begin… some may want the crystal prawn dumplings; steamed parcels of fresh, gingery prawn chunks, wrapped in stretchy, salty dough, while others may insist on pan-fried pork dumplings; a traditional favourite, these little pot-stickers are bursting with flavour. The pork seasoned with the perfect balance of herb and spice. But if you have enough players, get both.

For those who like their dough a little thicker and more glutinous, opt for the barbecue pork buns. These thick, little white chewy mounds encase a delicious treat: sticky sweet sauce and barbecued pork.

There are dishes here that are sure to be crowd favourites. The scallop toasts are indulgent satisfiers of fried-food cravings, with scallops laid evenly on top, for that salty taste-of-the-sea kick. Bigger dishes, such as the eye fillet steak with honey pepper sauce, will win over even the fussiest of players. The high-quality cut is cooked perfectly, allowing the soft yet chewy texture of the meat to reign supreme. The honey pepper sauce is not sickly sweet, and the pepper melts into the beef. It is a dish best served amongst a few, rather than just one.

To come to Mahjong and not try the duck, in its various servings, would be a disservice. The Peking duck rolls are served in little crepe-like wrappers, with spring onion, so be sure to order enough for everyone, players will fight for a piece if necessary. The crepe softly encases perfectly cooked Peking duck: saucy, tender with the perfect amount of crispy skin to add that crunch to your bite, and the spring onion cuts through the dense sauce to add a layer of lightness.

Similarly, ordering the Peking duck main is a sure move; it arrives with glistening, crispy skin and the telltale blush of precision and expert cooking. It is a tender, juicy, saucy winner.

Vegetarians are also more than catered to here, with a variety of soups, dumplings and mains with vegetables or tofu being the hero ingredient.

Now, when you want to have a more intimate dinner, we were shown the back dinning space which is perfect for that special mood. The decor contrasts with the front; it’s ‘opium dark’ with deep red furnishings, the music is soft, and the ambience is romantic.

At Mahjong everyone is a winner!

 

Mahjong

165 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Ph: 9534 8833

An enjoyable collaboration by our two ‘ever feasting’ food scribes; Miss Nibbles and Peckish Pom

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