An edible adventure: Poppet in Sydney
Address: 155 Victoria Street, Potts Point, Sydney
Phone: (02) 8313 1000
Friday, 12pm until 3pm
Sunday, 1pm until 5pm
Monday to Saturday 5pm until 11pm
Sunday, 5pm until 9pm
Bar open until late
Ms G’s is to Sydney as Chin Chin is to Melbourne. There’s a no bookings policy unless you’re a large group, and if you rock up later than 7pm you’ll be waiting for up to three hours. Why? Because it’s fantastic. The food is incredible and affordable, there are famous chefs at the helm (Dan Hong and Jowett Yu from Lotus), the clientele are young and trendy and the vibe is absolutely buzzing.
We arrived just before 6.30pm on a Saturday night. We were told there was a 40 minute wait for a table for two and would we mind making ourselves comfortable upstairs at the bar until then? Done deal. We made our way up a couple of flights of stairs. Even before a few cocktails it’s difficult to grasp how many levels there are at Ms G’s (according to the website there are four dining levels)! One thing is for certain; the bar is at the very top.
The multi-level fit out at the decidedly Asian Ms G’s is one of the restaurant’s most impressive components. Each room is heaving with eccentric decorations: a wall plastered with old photocopied Rolling Stone magazines, ropes and buckets hanging from exposed beams, a graffiti wall and glowing pink neon signs fastened on raw brick walls.
The drinks menu features wine, beer, sake and cocktails. Cocktails come ‘packaged’ or ‘unpackaged’. The latter are served traditionally, while the former are sealed with plastic and pierced with a thick straw, like bubble tea drinks. We tried two unpackaged cocktails: the Mull It Over with Beefeater gin, pomegranate liqueur, mulberry vinegar, orange and lemon, and the Silver Cloud Fizz with Belvedere Citrus, white mango tea, St Germain elderflower liqueur and lemon.
We had plenty of waiting to do, so we also ordered two packaged cocktails: a Pina ‘Pearls’ Colada with Appleton VX and Havana Club Blanco rum, pineapple, coconut, yogurt sorbet and green pearls, and Ms G’s Famous Yuzu Slushee with Limoncello, Russian Standard vodka, yuzu juice and Regan’s orange bitters.
Before we could finish our second round, we were told our table was ready. After eyeing off the food that arrived in an endless stream at the tables around us, we decided to over-order (not anything out of the ordinary, really). Like many new 'it' restaurants, the menu at Ms G’s is designed to share.
From the ‘To Start’ section we opted for one of everything. The mini bánh mì (sandwich) comes with either crisp pork belly or chicken katsu. I went for the pork belly. It looked like a slider with a skewer keeping the insides intact. A thick piece of pork belly with a crisp top and tasty fatty layer was paired with sweet mayo, cucumber, carrot, coriander and a slice of white meat that may have been chicken. It could have been kitten for all I care, it was delicious (too much?). Also ordered was Ms G’s corn on the cob with Parmesan, coriander and lime. Char grilled and juicy, it was a tasty, but distinctly Mexican divergence from an otherwise Asian menu.
I’m a sucker for pickles of any kind, so we just had to try the Plate O’ Ms G’s pickles. The colourful selection of pickled cauliflower, onion, radish, peppers, cabbage and kimchi were a great way to whet our appetites for what was to come.
From the ‘Salads and Smaller Plates’ section we ordered the ‘Buddha’s Delight’. Described only as “a textural vegetarian salad”, we nearly gave it a miss. Luckily, our friendly table neighbours highly recommended it. Out came a pile of veggie goodness: sesame, carrot, cucumber, tofu, coriander, spring onion, mushroom, bean shoots, cashews and a couple of varieties of seaweed. The delightful pile had just about every texture inside it. Don’t let the dull dish name deter you, order this when you visit.
The Calamari and snow crab salad was also a winner. Soft strands of crab were interlaced with julienned calamari, mixed with a generous handful of coriander and scattered with crunchy noodles. The creamy dressing was a Japanese take on traditional ranch, made with yuzu and miso.
On to the ‘Larger’ plates: the stir-fried rice cakes with pork mince, juicy prawns and chilli were delicious. Crunchy batons of cucumber muted the spice of the chilli while edamame beans completed the dish.
After seeing the table next door devour the D.I.Y grilled beef pancakes, I insisted we order them. My vegetarian date obliged. The plate arrived with four thick slices of tender beef, coriander, thin pancakes, a bowl of cucumber kimchi and one of sweet nuoc cham. Apparently it was scrumptious even without the meat. Either way, my pancakes were significantly bulkier than his, and I’m sure they were significantly more delicious too. Just look at that MEAT!
The snapper was beautifully cooked and arrived floating in a herb and tamarind broth with a couple of varieties of mushrooms and translucent Konnyaku noodles tied into little bundles. There was quiet a generous amount of fresh sliced chilli, which we removed as soon as we could to avoid a spice overload. It was still quite hot, but not overwhelmingly so.
For the first time in my life, I questioned the existence of a separate stomach existing for dessert. We were SO full. We just didn’t have room for dessert. But we ordered it anyway. Ms G’s signature dessert sounded too good to pass up: “Stoner’s Delight 2.0”. A ball of doughnut ice cream crowned with a slice of candied bacon was thrown in amongst potato chip crumbs, four slithers of Mars Bar slice and a warm banana fritter and surrounded by blobs of raspberry jam and a thin peanut butter smear. The combination is pure genius, really.
After managing to finish the Stoner’s Delight 2.0, our eyes rolled into the backs of our heads and we sat for a few minutes in silence, succumbing to our inevitable food comas. It was worth every mouthful. After a while, we picked ourselves up and rolled to the front door, energized by the realization that Sydney’s dining scene has so much to offer, and that we still had a day of eating ahead of us before we returned home.
For those traveling to Sydney, Ms G’s is a 'must eat'. For those who live in Sydney, don’t take it for granted. Visit for lunch or an early dinner and enjoy an eatery — that I’m not ashamed to admit — rivals the best Melbourne has to offer.