The shake up of Castlecrag’s Quadrangle Shopping Village has begun, with modern Asian restaurant Bistro Mekong arriving this week, joining modern Chinese eatery Holy Duck, which opened in February. Both venues have sister operations in Chippendale’s Kensington Street food precinct, which like the lower North Shore retail centre, is owned by Dr Stanley Quek.

Quek’s private company Greencliff purchased Quadrangle in late 2016 for $25 million with plans to revamp it along the same food-lines as his Kensington operation. There’s one more restaurant to come, too, but the details are still under wraps.

Bistro Mekong is an informal take on the original Kensington Mekong, with about 80 per cent of the seating outdoors (with a cover for weather protection).

The menu is largely unchanged from the original (“The food is essentially what I like,” says Quek) and award-winning chef Tiw Rakarin is still in the kitchen. Expect rich Cambodian beef curry with mashed sweet potatoes, pickled ginger and house-made roti; Thai barbeque chicken with turmeric, lemongrass and a southern Thai curry, watercress and coconut salad; and stir-fried crisp chicken, chilli, cashews, onion and kaffir lime. There’s a focus on share plates and plenty of kid-friendly options such as dumplings and egg fried rice.

“People seem to adhere themselves to Thai food, but there’s so much more than Thai in Indochina,” says Dr Quek. “Where the Mekong River travels there are so many different types of people and cuisines, from Myanmar, from Cambodia, from Laos. They are a little bit spicy, more tasty and with a slight variety in flavours. I wanted to introduce that kind of Indochine cuisine to the North Shore,” he says.

His personal favourite is the signature royal amok curry – “slightly tangy, slightly spicy; lovely.” The traditional red curry is Cambodian, and comes with coconut, chilli paste, king prawns, barramundi and scallops, served with edible flowers, basil and a smoking cinnamon stick.

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The new outpost is also open for breakfast, serving classics such as bacon and eggs, and testing out Asian specialties such as the Big Indochine Feast: fried eggs, bacon, pork floss, grilled cabbage, mushrooms and kaya toast (a Singaporean/Malaysian favourite of bread topped with coconut milk, sugar and pandan).

Holy Duck, as the name suggests, is all about duck, or more specifically, crisp duck. Here the whole bird is deep fried to give it a crucnhy, crackled skin, and lock in its juices. It’s served with steamed pancakes, cucumber, spring onions and hoisin sauce. There’s also dim sum sourced from Chef's Gallery.

Bistro Mekong
Quadrangle Shopping Village, 100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

(02) 9958 3177

Hours:
Tue to Sun 8.30am–3.00pm, 5.30pm–9.30pm

bistromekong.com.au

Holy Duck
Quadrangle Shopping Village, 100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

 (02) 9958 3288

Hours:
Mon to Thu 5.30pm–10pm
Fri to Sun 1.30pm–3pm, 5.30pm–10pm

holyduck.com.au