On a Wednesday night, I picked my partner in crime and we ventured to LL Wine & Dine in Potts Point for some food and beverages. The night was balmy so we sat outside on Lankelly Place, an alley off Darlinghurst Rd that houses a few restaurants and takes you away from the grimier part of the strip.
Botanical Fling…yes please. Hendricks Gin Martinis with St Germain Elderflower, Kaffir Lime and Lemon, shaken. Gin is my favourite spirit so these went down way too quickly.
We start off with a mixed plate of entrees. The LL San Choy Bau is with Chicken dressed in a Spicy Lime dressing, served in a crunchy Ice Berg Lettuce Cup and topped with Pine Nuts and Croutons. There is something so satisfying about this dish, from the fresh lettuce to the flavoursome filling, it almost feels healthy as well.
In the other corner of the plate is the Crispy Tofu with a Black Sesame and Tahini Sauce, Snow Pea Sprouts, finished with Seaweed and Nanami Togarashi seasoning. I love crunchy food and the exterior of the tofu met my expectations. The sauce is sticky and flavoursome and gives the often tasteless tofu some spark.
My favourite of the three has to be the Prawn and Pork Wontons with a Chilli Oil and Aged Dark Vinegar Sauce, topped with Silk Egg, Pickled Mustard and Shallots.
It was very cool hearing about the history of the venue from the waiter. The split level rooms pictured above used to be surrounded by steel walls that housed an illegal gambling and swingers room, with the front of the shop looking like an adult bookshop. When the owners of LL bought the place, they also uncovered an attic with bags of hidden pornographic magazines and video tapes. They were able to keep some of it, with the artwork now adorning the walls in the hallway leading from the front to the back of the restaurant (photo at end of this post).
The next round of food comes out and we are swept away by the Roasted Lamb Cutlet crusted with Massaman Curry and Lime Leaf and served with Cucumber and Mint Jelly. The solidified jelly comes out wobbling on top of the cutlet but by the time I have finished taking photos the heat has melted it down to a liquid and it infuses into the crumb coating.
On the other side of the plate we try the Calamari tossed with house blended Chilli, Sea Salt and Pepper served with a Preserved Lemon and Gherkin dipping Sauce.
Already full we find our second stomachs and dive into our mains which are a selection of three different dishes. For something light you can’t go past the Steamed Barramundi Fillet with Ginger and Rice Wine finished with Coriander Salsa and Sichuan Pepper Oil.
The Spicy Wok Fried Kong Bau Chicken with Dried Chillies, Cashew Nuts, Garlic, Shallots and Oyster Sauce is my type of dish with a nice hint of chilli and a crunchy bite from the cashews.
The most memorable dish has to be the Wok Fried Rice with BBQ Pork, Egg, Garlic and Shallots though. I don’t often eat fried rice as I generally think it’s too oily or too dry and bland. This version was just right with the whole dish full of so much flavour and the bits of BBQ pork adding nice hints of smokiness to every bite.
My dining partner Alessia…and our hilarious dining neighbours can be seen in the blurred background. They were all thoroughly intoxicated and talking about some very odd things which we couldn’t help overhearing.
Of course the waiter insists on something sweet and brings us out Donuts filled with Jam and scoops of Raspberry Sorbet. I’m beyond full at this stage so I try the doughnuts which are warm and full of sugary preserved fruit goodness and leave the sorbet to melt in the evening heat.
The photo above and below are the left over artefacts from the venues gloriously seedy past. You’ve got to love a bit of Kings Cross history thrown into the evening. We finish off our drinks and venture off into the evening satisfied at our mid week dinner and drinks and ready to face the rest of the week.
MKC dined on behalf of LL Wine and Dine.
LL Wine and Dine
42 Llankelly Place, Potts Point, NSW.
Ph: (02) 9356 8393
That is all for now folks. I will be back soon with some more Melbourne posts :). A website I am working on at work launches this Wednesday so once that occurs I should have more time on my hands for blogging before I depart for Europe. 11 days to go.
Happy eating until then xxx