Scratch beneath the hipster veneer and many venues come up lacking. Underlying kooky décor that includes a glowing sakura ceiling in the upper bar, and erotic shibari prints, Edison bulbs in birdcages and dangling autumnal leaves downstairs, is both clever architecture (courtesy of FJMT who did neighbouring Surry Hills Library) and a raison d’etre.
It doesn’t feel like a food court restaurant inside a shopping mall, in fact it doesn’t feel like you’re inside at all. Mrs Mi in Chatswood Chase brings the authentic taste of Northern China's Shanxi region into what appears to be a bustling and vibrantly coloured street-side location.
Rolling around popcorn in my mouth that tastes exactly like corn soup is a bit of a revelation. My mind flicks instantly toward adding it to a dinner party dish to surprise my guests.
Winter clubbing has never looked quite so convenient, since the emergence of this hip, thirty-seater dumpling bar hidden on the vertical climb to Lo-Fi and The Standard. Sliding onto a stool in the rather snug space, I dive straight into paper trays of Vegetable and Coriander Dumplings ($8.50/5 pieces) and Prawn Gow Gee ($8.50/5 pieces).
The dumplings at this off-the-beaten-track Pyrmont standout are a definite attraction – Pork Dumplings with Chives, Ginger and Shallot ($10) arrive plump and perfectly formed.