Ageing rock stars who release a best-of album often get a bad rap. Cynics refer to it as a superannuation record – something to help bump up the coffers before everybody has lost all interest. But if every song is a much-loved hit and the demands is there, it’s sure to do quite nicely.
When it comes to menus though, best-of’s can be hit and miss. You’ve got to know what you’re doing in the kitchen in order to do all the dishes justice. Luckily, the greatest hits Asian compilation at Missy K has more hits than misses.
It travels through South-East Asia, plus borrows from China and Japan, to bring together the culinary favourites from each region. You’ve got everything from Chinese dumplings ($9.50) and Japanese gyoza ($10.50) to Thai massaman curry ($17.50) and Vietnamese vermicelli salad with lemongrass pork ($13.50).
The restaurant recently moved from Fitzroy St in Surry Hills to a desolate part of Flinder’s St, Paddington. Not that it seems to be hurting it, there’s not much else around apart from the Captain Cook hotel and locals are lapping it up, with a full restaurant by 7pm on a Friday night.
The space is larger, it’s now licensed but the menu hasn’t been tweaked too much. There are 10 steamed dumpling choices, from chicken and shitake mushroom to pork and coriander.
Although the filling in the pork and scallop dumplings ($9.50) is generous, the thick, translucent skins break apart easily. The fact they’re served on ceramic plates rather than steamers doesn’t help.
The sugar cured Atlantic salmon with avocado and pickled ginger ($10.50) is a highlight. It’s thicker than your average rice paper roll, with a generous chunk of fish, crunchy lettuce leaves and sweet dipping sauce.
A Malaysian style dry beef curry with rice, peanut and lime ($14.50) features thin slices of beef and soft pumpkin cubes in a creamy satay sauce. Slices of red onion and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top add texture and crunch.
A whole duck Maryland is in the special of crispy duck and pineapple curry ($17.50). The skin lives up to the promise and the flesh is soft while the red curry with tomatoes and lychee has enough sweetness to tone down the heat.
The thick, flat rice noodles in the pad see eww ($14.50) with chicken, egg, Chinese broccoli and sweet soy sauce have that essential smokey, wok-flecked char that makes it a much more interesting noodle dish than pad Thai.
If Missy K’s menu was a soundtrack, it would definitely be a best-of record aimed squarely at the masses. But even cynics can admit that cherry picking the highlights will create a best selling album.
Shop 1, 160 Flinders St,
Ph: 9331 0064
Bill for three: $66.50
This review was first published in The Daily Telegraph’s Best Weekend magazine on Jan 4, 2014