A long long time ago, this site once housed an illegal casino, adult bookshop and brothel...to name a few! Who would have thought that a restaurant/bar would take its place at the same location given its more than colourful history. These days Llankelly Place is housed to numerous renowned dining joints including Wilbur's Place, Kim and Room 10 so it's no surprise that LL Wine and Dine is situated on this spot given the current vibe of this surprisingly foodie street. Recently, I was invited to try the new dishes on LL Wine and Dine's latest seasonal menu which showcased a variety of Modern Asian dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese and South East Asian cuisines
LL Cool Sling ($16.00)
We both kicked off our night with a couple of cocktails, or in my case, mocktails. At the time, I was on antibiotics so I was glad to hear that the cocktails can still be made mocktail-style so you won't miss out on the experience if you are not much of a drinker. My first drink was the LL Cool Sling which was a fresh lime, pineapple and orange juice mixed with passionfruit and a dash of vanilla and orgeat. Plus Bacardi rum for that cocktail experience. Had a sweet, citrus-like taste mainly from the passionfruit, pinapple and orange juice.
Shanghai Bling ($16.00)
Also got another mocktail later that evening after seeing what it looked like when CC ordered the cocktail version. The Shanghai Bling contains Pimms and Bombay Sapphire served tall with limes, mint, strawberries and topped with ginger ale and lemonade. While my mocktail didn't contain the alcoholic elements, I liked the sweeter, fruitier flavour coming from the berries as well as the surprise lychee attached to the straw.
Atlantic Salmon Crudo ($18.00)
We were prepared to decide which dishes to order till we were informed by our friendly waiter that the we would get our own special menu of dishes served degustation style with smaller serving sizes than the actual dish so we get a taste of everything without getting too full. Given that we did not know how many dishes or even which dishes will be served to us, I looked forward to getting surprised this evening.
The first of these surprises was the Atlantic Salmon Crudo which consist of wasabi balsamic vinaigrette, fried capers and greamy garlic sauce. Light, fresh and gluten free! The garlic sauce had that tangy, zesty flavour while the tender salmon complemented well with the crunchy fried capers.
Prawn and Scallop Dim Sum ($18.00 for 4 pieces)
Because of my soft spot for dumplings, I was looking forward to trying these morsels when it landed on our table. While I did enjoy the flavour kick from the sweet and chilli XO sauce as well as the dumpling skin wrapped around the prawn and scallop filling, the dumplings didn't amaze us as much as we hoped. Especially when you look at the price.
Lightly fried cauliflower and chickpea ($11.00)
Although this dish came out at the same time as the dumplings, it was a standout dish for us. I'm usually not a huge fan of cauliflower but this fried version was crispy, salty and flavoursome. Also enjoyed the chickpeas which were fried on the outside but soft on the inside. This dish was tossed with basil, garlic and malt vinegar and is perfect for vegetarians as well as those on a soy free or gluten free diet. CC said this was her favourite dish of the night.
Pork Belly Bun with pickled mustard, chilli ginger mayo, crushed peanuts and coriander ($8.00 each)
We were so excited when we saw that pork belly bun. Definitely a messy mouthful to handle with all the fillings sandwiched together by the fluffy and slightly sticky bun (I would recommend eating this as soon as it hits your table). Gotta love the fatty slab of juicy pork belly along with the mildly spicy chilli ginger mayo.
Calamari with black fungus, carrot salad and lemon gherkin aioli ($18.00)
The calamari was a slightly more refreshing change to most of the dishes so far despite the vast amounts of aioli sauce enveloping itself onto the other ingredients. While it didn't excite us as much as some of other dishes, the calamari had a decent chewiness and it worked well especially with the lemon and the veggies.
Massaman Curry Crumbled Lamb Popcorn with pickled chilli and cucumber yoghurt dipping sauce ($24.00)
I've mentioned countless times about my love for lamb and this was no exception. The lamb filling didn't have that gamey taste that some people tend to avoid. The crumbled coating was also a bonus for me since it had a good crunch that matched with the soft lamb. It was a tad oily so I made the most of the pickled chilli as well as the creamy yoghurt sauce.
Almond Crusted Prawns tossed with chilli, garlic and shallot and Thai dipping sauce ($31.00)
I was getting quite full by this point but I couldn't help getting more than my share of the Almond crusted prawns. The almond crust was crispy and the prawn itself was juicy. Though that this dish was a nice twist on the old tempura prawn favourite. Certainly my fave dish from the night.
Crispy Pork Belly and Grilled Sea Scallops ($28.00)
We were absolutely stuffed by this point so we were actually quite pleased to hear that it was the last dish from our waiter (Sad but true. CC couldn't handle it anymore). Seeing that it was pork belly was enough for me to soldier on. The pork belly had that crisp, caramelised fatty bits on the outside and was also juicy and soft as you bite into these meaty cuts as well as the grilled scallops. This was served on a bed of baby buk choy, fried kale and crushed peanuts. Like many dishes at this restaurant, this can be made gluten free. While it was a delicious finish, we were just too full to enjoy this dish as much as we usually would.
We were at LL Wine and Dine on a Wednesday evening so it was no surprise that it was quiet when we got there however it did get busier later on when we left. I can imagine this would be busier later in the week. It had a chilled relaxing atmosphere with retro music playing in the background and friendly, down to earth service. There was the choice for indoor and outdoor seating but with the crazy stormy weather this week, I've personally been more inclined for the former. On the menu, there's a generous range of dishes that were listed as gluten free, which was a bonus for those on that diet. In terms of pricing, it seemed to be on the more expensive end but it's a good place to dine for a special occasion with friends for drinks or even on a romantic date.
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie and guest dined at LL Wine and Dine as a guest. Opinions are however, my own. The serving sizes of most of the dishes we've had were much smaller than what you will receive when ordering off the menu. Prices highlighted in this post corresponds to the full-sized dishes listed on the menu.
LL Wine and Dine
42 Llankelly Place, Potts Point NSW 2011
(02) 9356 8393
Mon-Thurs: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm - late
Sun: 11:00am - 10:00pm