Shayan Quarter @ Cafe Mix Shangri-La Hotel, The Rocks

Five-star hotel dining meets hawker-style street food. Introducing the iconic Shangri-La Hotel at the Rocks‘ new Asian concept restaurant, Shayan Quarter.

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Sticky chilli caramel pork belly baogers with sriracha mayo

Its all about the ever popular bao these days. So it was good to see that these had their own unique spin on them. Lightly fried for a deliciously crispy texture, the bun holds a mouthwateringly soft slab of pork belly that simply melts in your mouth. Packed with strong Asian flavours, I liked the fact that there was some textural contrast between the soft pork and the crispy bun.

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Shake ‘n’ plate – Hot, sweet, sour and green papaya salad

A fun and fantastic salad that adds a bit of theatrics. The premise being that the ingredients don’t sit on the plate draining their lovely dressing into the plate. You simply shake it about when you’re ready to eat and everything is drenched in that hot, sweet and sour dressing.

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This salad is actually a real favourite of mine. The fresh and fragrant flavours are a real slap to the senses. The fresh crunch of the green papaya strands and scattered peanuts is also pretty satisfying.

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SHAKE IT’ Numbing chicken wings szechuan salt

These wings really do shake things up with their explosive flavour. The hot succulent meat lays waiting in the bag for you to sprinkle the smoky szechuan salt all over them.

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While the chicken was incredibly moist and tender it was the chilli salt that stole the show. Sharp and spicy filled with woody and citrus notes, it’s an absolute treasure on this chicken.

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Lap cheong san choi bao with water chestnuts, friend beans and peanuts

This very welcomed modernisation of an Asian classic was an excellent little bite. With sizable chunks of Chinese sausage and sous vide pork. It’s then given a quick toss in the wok with textural refreshers like water chestnut and peanuts.

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Crispy Girraween Chicken with house made pickled green  chilli dressing

A great dish with a Filipino twist. The moist chicken explodes in your mouth with the intoxicating flavour from the green chilli dressing. Fermented for three weeks until it’s just right it adds a sharp, sweet and spicy hit to the savoury meat that’s quite unique.

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Goat Mamacini

Goat is a very underrated meat. Cooked right and it well surpasses lamb in flavour and texture. Cooked in Head Chef Bo Sorensen’s incredibly capable hands and you have some real culinary magic. A mamacini is basically an arancini with an Asian twist. Made with a ball of tomato flavoured risotto surrounding a centre of lush and tender smoked goat meat, then crumbed and fried to golden perfection. Smothered in a rich cumin aioli and finished with a sprinkling of garlic chips this was a definite favourite of the table.

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Slow roasted milk-fed goat tacos

More delicious goat, this time chopped and served in a soft shelled taco with pickled chilli and crisp lettuce. There were some strong flavour contenders in these bad boys with creamy avocado, peppery radish and fragrant coriander.

DSC00734After all this we needed a little break so I popped into the kitchen to watch Head Chef Bo at work. Stirring this, seasoning that, Bo doesn’t miss a beat in his domain.

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 Lamb Shoulder Skewers

Still sizzling from the hot coals, this tamarind and cumin rubbed skewer was actually quite delightful with impressive flavour and texture. Usually lamb can get quite tough and chewy when cooked this way, but I was happy to find the meat to be gorgeously tender.

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Wagyu beef cheek Rendang

Next up was this amazing beef rendang. The meat was so damn tender it melts in your mouth leaving a lasting creamy richness thanks to the macadamia in the kaffir lime infused coconut cream sauce.

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Bo Sorensen – Executive sous Chef at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

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Bitter chocolate with banana, salted peanut and black sesame seed ice cream

On to the sweet stuff, created by pastry super star Anna Polyviou and her talented team. The little chocolate trough held a rich dark chocolate ganache layered on top of a banana caramel layer. Luxurious is the only way to describe the richness and textural contrasts of this dessert, with the black sesame ice cream providing a nice rest for the taste buds.

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Creme caramel with poached spiced mandarins and crispy rice noodles

A dish of many flavour and textural delights, with a velvety smooth creme caramel being the star of the show, accompanied by an entourage of sweet almost lolly like mandarins resting on a bed of nourishing rice pudding. The crispy rice noodles added an element of fun, being taste-wise, a blank canvas of utter texture to the diverse flavours of the key players.

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Halo Halo

A sweet Filipino gem, this refreshing dessert was literally bursting with tropical flavour with lychee pearls, and tropical fruits laying underneath a heaping of pineapple ice and pineapple and ginger sorbet.

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Fried coconut Mag-Anna

Last but not least was this golden work of art. The crispy outer layer of shredded young coconut and panko holds together superbly giving the soft creamy ice cream a nice crunch and comforting carb finish. The palm sugar sauce is not as sweet as I thought it would be having an almost robust treacle taste.

Shayan Quarter is a special little restaurant, serving top quality food with a casual twist. It’s like they’ve plucked a cool casual restaurant from Surry Hills and popped it into one of Sydney’s finest hotels. Expect the unexpected here, we were most certainly wowed!

Gān bēi!

Shayan Quarter

Shangri-La Hotel
176 Cumberland Street
The Rocks, NSW 2000

Shayan Quarter @ Cafe Mix on Urbanspoon

2 Hungry Guys dined as a guest

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