155 Victoria Street
Friday 12pm - 3pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Monday to Saturday 5pm – 11pm
During the holidays we like to pretend that we are ladies of leisure and have established the 'ladies who lunch' group with Squeak's big sis and her two lovely daughters, H & A. Past visits have seen us frequent Quay, Bistro Moncur, Manu at L'Etoile and District Dining. Impressed with our 'taste' of the place at the recent 'March Into Merivale's 'Milkbar Memories', we decide to head in to Ms G's to sample the regular menu.
We, once again, are impressed by the decor - eclectic, cool and raw. Seated at the back with views towards the city we peruse the drinks menu.
The 'Packaged cocktails' appeal to the children within and I order a Ms G's Famous Yuzu Slushee (Limoncello, Russian Standard vodka, yuzu juice, Regan’s orange bitters) which is intensely flavoured and absolutely delicious, while Squeak and A are drawn to the summery sound of the Pina‘Pearls’Colada (Appleton VX & Havana Club Blanco rum, pineapple, coconut, yogurt sorbet, green pearls), M goes for the Good Morning Vietnam (Shochu, raspberries, lime, palm sugar, Vietnamese mint, soda). All are fabulous, but I do secretly believe my Yuzu slushee is the pick of the bunch!
Ms G's is one of those places, popular at the moment, that encourages shared dining, and we are happy to comply. There is so much to choose from, but we decide to all start with a mini bánh mì each - M, A and I all choose the crisp pork belly while Squeak (who still cannot come to the 'porky' taste of pork) chooses the chicken katsu option. These are YUMMO! They are little, but the flavours just hit the spot and are a favourite all round.
Next to arrive is the Calamari & snow crab salad with yuzu & miso ranch dressing. This is a dainty looking dish, but once again the flavours are fantastic. It is fresh, tangy, crunchy and tender all at the same time. If only I could pick this salad up for lunch every day when I go back to work!
Shortly after, the egg noodles with XO sauce, braised duck and soft poached egg arrives at the table and the smell is fantastic! The yolk of the poached egg is just aching to be released and mixed into the sauce, noodles and soft duck. This dish turns out to be one of M's faves. I'm not so sure the XO sauce flavour came through as much as I would like, but it was certainly tasty nonetheless.
No meal with Squeak can be complete without beef, so it is no surprise that the next two dishes to arrive feature her favourite ingredient. First up is the Braised Wagyu beef shin, Taiwanese style, with green tomatoes and thai basil. The beef is just as we like it - tender... very tender... without being like cat food! The flavour in the sauce is phenomenal, and the crunch of the vegetables is a nice contrast to the soft meat.
Next dish to feature aforementioned fave ingredient is the grilled beef pancakes with cucumber kimchi, and nuoc cham. M isn't a massive fan of the meat in this dish, but I L-O-V-E this dish. The meat is perfectly cooked, but (not being Vietnamese cuisine afficionados) the nuoc cham and cucumber kimchi are flavour revelations! We are ladling that stuff onto our pancakes. This dish certainly hits the beef love spot for Squeak.
For a long time now Squeak and I have held a horrified fascination for the sound of Ms G's famous 'Stoner's Delight', and we find company in this fascination with both M and A. With ingredients like doughnut ice cream, peanut butter, raspberry jam, candied bacon, potato chips, mars bar slice and banana fritter, you can see the compulsion! Despite the temptation of the 'Splice 2012', (pine lime granita, pineapple, lime, anise) this dessert is a necessity - and no - not to share! M isn't too sure about the potato chip element, but she forges ahead anyway.
On arrival, it perhaps would have been best to share... but Squeak and I have been in training for this all our lives and M and A are valiant in their attempts to conquer it. This dessert is all kinds of wrong... and yet somehow quite right. It is a dessert that could only have been concieved by a couple of young dudes, and the name is so apt.
M is surprised at how much she enjoys those strangely sweet potato chips, and I love the banana fritter. We are not too sure we can detect any sense of doughnut in the doughnut icecream, and Squeak,cheerfully, nearly loses a tooth tucking into the candied bacon.
Not the most sophisticated of desserts on the surface of it, but the flavours do work, and it is one of those things that should go on the bucket list - it may, in fact, be the thing that kicks it over!
We all enjoy how fresh and flavoursome the food is (apart from dessert obviously) and leave Ms G's throughly satisfied.