I have a pet hate for the tendency of modern restaurants to hold two dinner sittings. You know the drill: in at 6, out by 8, so the next row of bums can be placed on your still-warm seats. But I recently had a pleasantly positive experience of this caper at Kylie Kwong’s (pictured) re-located Billy Kwong, in Macleay St, Potts Point (the former Arun Thai site).
My group had the early shift. Bookings are heavy, so it was either that or nothing. We were on time for 6pm, promptly seated, served with beers (Moon Dog Boogie) and pickles straight away, and our food and wine orders were promptly attended to – which wasn’t expected to be easy, as we’d all opted for the seven-course set menu. However, not only did the food come thick and fast (prompting memories of laminex and fluorescent-lit suburban Chinese eateries), but the wines were served promptly, at the right temperatures and in appropriate glassware, and everything tasted terrific. The wait-staff were friendly and efficient. We were probably spared the full noise-level as we were (happily) seated right down the back.
We actually finished our meal before the allotted pumpkin-hour and were quite contented leaving by 8. The wine list was – as I might have expected knowing of Giorgio di Maria’s (of 121BC) involvement – strong on esoteric imported wines, but there were plenty of familiar labels for our table of six wine-pros to feel that we were not flying completely blind. We drank a Clemens Busch (tastings) Mosel Riesling ‘12, a Sorrenberg (tastings) Gamay ’13 and a Rippon (tastings) Jeunesse Pinot Noir ‘12, all of which suited our food and left us feeling sated. And the bill didn’t break the bank.
Well done, Kylie, guys and gals; you’ve set a standard others would do well to emulate.