I love a good chef collaboration. There’s something very special about seeing two talented individuals bring their different skill-sets into the kitchen to produce a collaborative, cohesive meal.
Cue: Young George’s Melissa Palinkas inviting Liberte’s Amy Hamilton into her dining space for the ultimate dim sum den evening. Four courses of Asian inspired dishes and cocktails to match… yup this first Young George collab dinner had my name all over it.
So you can imagine my immense excitement to receive an exclusive invitation to attend and see what it’s all about.
The first portion of the night was made up of two cocktails: the ni hao ma’agroni (a ginger infused white spirit with sweet rice wine and bitter orange liqueur) and the Canton mist (oolong team, old young’s gin, elderflower and apple). Both distinctly Asian in their flavour profiles with a good liquor kick: my favourite was the Canton mist – I’m currently going through a big elderflower obsession!
The snacks served during this period were pork with fungus and shiitake, mantis shrimp cracker with mussel and beef with masa and sichuan.
Next up we enjoyed a lime yours! cocktail featuring kaffir lime infused vodka, egg white and citrus to accompany a pumpkin dumpling with toasted sesame and mustard flower (so yum!) and a rabbit dumpling with carrot tom yum broth.
The dumpling skin on both was light and thin, the fillings jam-packed with flavour. These definitely weren’t the normal kind of dumplings you’ll find in Chinatown, but they really packed a punch.
Moving on to the crumbed crab rice paper roll with green siracha mayonnaise I just about swooned putting it in my mouth. Phenomenal. Easily one of my favourite dishes for the evening, it was crunchy and creamy and all kinds of goodness. And a good juxtaposition to the final small dish of the evening, the char sui beetroot steam bun with black vinegar caramel. Bright in colour and offering both sweet and savoury, I really enjoyed the playfulness of this dish and the way it stood out visually and in taste.
Moving in to the share mains, we sipped our way through a made in China mule (aperol, taverna, ‘trash’ orange curacoa, cinnamon and Royal Jamaican ginger beer) and a pickled in Nagoya (green strawberry pickle, yuzu and strawberry with Suntory Old whiskey).
And then came the absolute showstopper of the evening. Amy Hamilton’s famed pig skin noodles with yabbies watercress, chilli and garlic flowers. Yes the idea of eating pig fat instead of noodles might be a bit repugnant to some, but to me it completely hit the spot. Texture, taste, and tang. God it was so damn delicious.
Our final savoury dishes came out at the same time – buffalo octopus head with buttermilk and pickled samphire, and fermented pumpkin with puffed rice, herbs, peanuts and coconut yuzu. While there were some good aspects to both of these dishes, they didn’t quite shine as bright as the others we’d experienced that night – or maybe it was just because I was so full from so much food!
And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly fit any more food or drink into my body, dessert rolled our way. Featuring a limoncelle bubble tea, fried profiterole with Vietnamese coffee ice-cream, chocolate and pistachio, and charcoal roasted pineapple with lemon myrtle cream and coconut, there was lots to love. All three were distinct, memorable and the perfect ending to a great night at Young George.
I’ve meaning for so long to head Freo way and try this place out, and I’m so glad I have now. It was such a blast of an evening and left me longing to return again soon.
Stay tuned for Young George’s next collaboration event. You can check out their lineup of what’s on here: https://www.younggeorge.com.au/specialevents