The only thing that makes queuing in the cold okay is the promise of an awesome meal and an equally cool bar nearby in which to wait.
Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Wong IS WORTH THE WAIT.
After leaving the house at 5pm (yes the same time my children were sitting down for dinner, okay that may not have been pure coincidence) I couldn’t believe I was arriving at an already full restaurant at 5.30pm. With the line already snaking down the freezing dark back alley and the thought of white poached chicken making me prematurely salivate, I was more determined than ever. Luckily we reached the head of the queue in 30 minutes, only to be told it would be 8pm before a table was ready….. at this point, even I was starting to doubt how good the amazing things they do with poultry could be.
Luckily there was room at the uber cool bar just around the corner, Palmer & Co (also owned by The Merivale Group) where we spent the next 2 hours jostling for a seat, or a table, or anywhere to perch, while we drank very good but ludicrously priced and named cocktails. Then, just as I was ready to succumb to yet another mortgage busting cocktail and the possibility of arriving at dinner already ‘well on the way’, our beacon of hope arrived in the form of a text message telling us the table was ready.
And, this is truly the clever part. They’ve already managed to make me line up up for half an hour in the cold, spend nearly $200 on drinks and food while I wait and yet just as I start to despair they whisk us into a private lift delivering us into the restaurant like VIP’s. We were in and out of the restaurant in 40 minutes, yet we’d waited 2.5 hours for the main event and spent more at the bar than at the restaurant. It all seemed like a lot of fuss for such a short meal, but yes it was worth it.
The food, the cocktails (okay that wasn’t too hard either), the cute french wait staff and the impeccably cool ambience. And, that’s the thing about ‘cool’, it’s an intangible sensation defying all your faculties of logic and common sense, but it only makes you want it more …. and it made that long awaited white poached chicken even better than I had remembered.