It may be labelled modern Asian, but this to me is just Andrew McConnell food, and nobody does it like him. Have you been to Golden Fields yet? I ordered the New England lobster roll, a hot buttered brioche with a couple of thick slabs of cold poached crayfish, Kewpie mayonnaise and watercress and wondered straight away if I'd found my new favourite place ($15). Jealousies of Melbournites bubbled gently away.
The rolled pork belly, thinly sliced and wrapped around white kimchi, a drizzle of yuxiang sauce is a masterstroke. The dish is so tender, so elegant and crunchy and fresh, I could come in for a plate of it every day ($15). There's a Szechuan braised eggplant dish with minced pork and rice noodles that wants to be a mapo dofu, but with eggplant and rice noodles, and no tofu. The simple scrolls of noodle hidden under the pork are heaven, and there are gritty Szechuan pepper grains throughout, giving it a textured hot crunch that numbs the tongue ($18). This Asian tilt is McConnell at his most wonderful. The menu draws on McConnell's years spent working in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he says he was exposed to a broad range of food in people's homes, on the streets and in restaurants.
The room was designed by Dion Hall and Nick Cox from Projects of Imagination, it's all timber and black and white, with amazing touches like a chicken feet hat rack and beautiful old railway-station style white tiles along one wall. McConnell does take-out at Golden Fields, do you think he'd deliver to Sydney? One good thing is the restaurant is now taking bookings, so I can guarantee a table next time I'm in town.
(03) 9525 4488