I finally got the chance to try Mekong Baby in Ponsonby the other night. I’ve been wanting to go there ever since it opened a few months ago in the space previously occupied by GPK. The South East Asian food sounded like just the type of cuisine I love.
This type of dining definitely suits groups as most of the dishes are designed for sharing and it means you get to sample a wider range of the dishes on the menu.
I started with a rose and lychee martini which was one of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time. It was sweet without being cloying and I could taste the delicate flavours of both the rose and the lychee. We then moved onto a bottle of the Murdoch James Savignon Blanc.
Now onto the food! We ordered a large range of dishes including the betel leaves with crab, kaffir lime and chilli; the crispy rice flour crepes with fried tempeh, mushrooms and chilli jam; wok fried squid with nouc cham and Vietnamese mint; shredded chicken, ruby grapefruit and coconut salad; fire chicken, pickled daikon, cucumber and iceberg lettuce; duck with pineapple, potatoes, shallots and peanuts in massaman curry; pad see ew, braised wagyu skirt, kai lan, shallots, and rolled rice noodles; lamb shoulder slow cooked with soy, lemon and garlic and finally some roti and jasmine rice to accompany our food.
I thought the standout dishes were the rice flour crepes which were light and crisp and the filling spicy and tasty without being overbearing, I also really enjoyed the duck curry which was rich and flavoursome with a hint of sweetness from the pineapple and the salads were light, fresh, delicious and refreshing.
We also ordered three desserts to share, the palm sugar ice cream sundae with peanut praline and kaffir lime syrup, the black rice and orange tart with clotted cream and the papaya lime meringue pie. My favourite was the palm sugar ice cream sundae. The crunchiness of the peanut praline perfectly complemented the creaminess of the ice cream and the tartness of the kaffir lime syrup.
After eating at all three of the modern Asian fusion restaurants on Ponsonby Road (the other two being The Blue Breeze Inn and Moochowchow), I’d rate Mekong Baby my favourite with Moochowchow a close second and The Blue Breeze Inn a distant third.