Master Dining had a vibe that reminded us a bit of 10 williams – not so much its cooly minimal and elegant premises with that touch of new austerism; its the modern contemporary pop music that plays here. It was a mix of late 90s rnb to pop. There’s personality here and then there’s the open kitchen where Chef John Javier and his brigade labour away pumping out some incredible dishes. Think : modern chinese done well. We really liked this.
Not the biggest menu but it clever, well priced and one thing you’ll note – they don’t charge you rice by the bowl and that $6 serve for us two? Comes in a big rice pot that you get into. Ample.
Scallop Silk $4pp Puffed Beef Tendons. Haidai Salt. $5 Chicken Skewers, Cashew, Kaffir Lime $6pp
The entrees came and there is a range of flavours here . The silken scallop noodle served in a large slice with what tasted like XO sauce on it. Like the Beef Tendons, we recommend you get an extra per person. Rookie Mistake. Delicate and delicious and yes, that scallop silk is truly silken. Puffed Beef Tendons came and its reminiscent of very light prawn crackers and endlessly moreish. We ordered one of these, the haidai Salt is very tasty and these just weren’t enough. That good. Chicken Skewers were also delicious, somewhat satay like that sauce but with a nice thai kaffir lime note.
Cumin Lamb, Grilled Lettuce $28 Cold Cut Chicken, White Soy and Sichuan Spices $18 Whole Silver Perch, Plum, Salted Black Beans, Chilli $36
This was dinner for 2 and we possibly over ordered but it was just on the edge of too much. Cumin Lamb was fantastically flavoursome with some of the most delectable and juicy lamb we’ve had. Surprisingly, most of the punchy flavours came from the grilled lettuce which made them a delight to get into being quite the flavour bomb on the palate. Cold Cut Chicken was tender; they have rather nice crockery here and the bowl it came in was cold to touch. Delicate, silky smooth sitting in a salty savoury soy sauce. Whole silver perch – we can’t remember the last time we had whole fish but this came expertly deboned with crispy skin and tender just cooked fish. Its chinese food but done really well.
Desserts – A Roasted Potato, Congee, Pear and Coriander $10 each.
We were hesistant to order desserts being rather full and to be honest, the desserts sounded somewhat suss. Potato? Congee? But ordering them, we were treated to rather sublime affairs. The Roasted Potato is a deep fried ice cream designed to look like a roast potato (the potato flavour is also in the icecream – with potato skins that were roasted in butter infused into the icecream). Its an amusing eat – it broke apart like a roast potato, had a saltiness to it and crunch somewhere in there. Hits of salt. Interesting and delicious. Also great was the congee, pear and coriander. By this end of tonight, we’d forgotten what the green liquid was (Coriander) – and this was a light creamy pudding like dessert – very nuanced in taste; you’ll barely just taste the coriander and reminded us of the three milks from Ester Or even the peculiar Parsley Sorbet from Cafe Paci. Loved both the desserts offerings from Master.
The one quibble we would have isn’t so much about the food and service which was excellent. It is a quibble is that they could possibly afford to lose a chair at the bar area – that’s where we sat and it was always this discomfort when the wait staff had to push between the narrow space between high seat and the next table as they endeavoured to get their dishes out. And also from when people had to sort of squeeze past to go use the bathroom. From start to finish this was a fantastic dinner. Music and ambience to the liveliness of the kitchen made for a really great dinner. There’s seating downstairs and also a more “romantic/intimate” dining space upstairs. Highly recommended and we can’t wait to return.
About $100/pp with wines and $50-70 without.
368 CROWN ST SURRY HILLS 2010