This was the second time we attempted to get into Billy Kwong. The first time was after a big day at the pub watching Carlton play Collingwood, but at that time we were drunk and couldn’t be bothered waiting around until we got to the top of the list, so went to a little Vietnamese place down the road.
Anyway…. Billy Kwong is a no-bookings restaurant. We arrived 20 minutes before opening time to ensure we made it in. Unfortunately there was already a big line and we didn’t end up making the first sitting. They took our name and we went for a drink down the road. It took a little over an hour before they called us back.
The dining room was surprisingly small for such a well regarded restaurant. The tables were haphazardly located around the room with very little room between each. This was obviously intentional to provide the authentic hawker dining feel. The kitchen was fully visible, small and reminiscent of a noodle house.
If you have heard anything about Kylie Kwong, you know that she is an advocate of using biodynamic, organic and sustainable produce. The restaurant specialises in home style cantonese food with a modern twist.
I did some research prior to coming and knew that the three times cooked duck was a must. We ordered this (which appears on the specials list - despite being a regular) along with stir fried local mushrooms with ginger, and the homestyle fried biodynamic eggs with organic tamari and homemade XO. The standout dish was by far the duck, which was freaking amazing. It was extremely rich, but we still managed to finish off the large serving and suck any bones dry. The other two dishes were good, but paled in comparison to the awesomeness of the super duck.
We had some dessert, but I can’t remember what it was. Mental note… take notes from now on.
Although the layout doesn’t really allow for an intimate dinner or quiet conversation, its definitely worth the wait for an outstanding chinese meal. Did I mention the duck?