Adelaide Food Central was invited to the grand opening of Kang Kong. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
Topham Mall is a vital link between the Central Markets and the Riverbank precinct, and it’s rejuvenation has begun with the opening of Kang Kong, and the soon to be opened bar, Gypsy Dragon. Kang Kong offers a mix of traditional Asian flavours with a modern twist, and encompasses Thai, Malay and Vietnamese cuisines. Like most places these days, it’s all about getting together and sharing dishes, and this place is no different.
Kang Kong has modern and minimalist decor, although, for the purposes of the launch, there weren’t many chairs or tables in the restaurant. There are two long timber benchtops, one for the open plan kitchen and the other for the bar. The polished concrete floors and low hanging light fittings are almost standard in new fit outs these days, and the floor to ceiling windows that surround the restaurant allow plenty of natural light to flow through. I was informed that Kang Kong can cater for 100 people.
Down by the laneway, on the side of Kang Kong, is Gypsy Dragon. Entrance will be either through the laneway or via a door on the side of the restaurant. The food on offer at Gypsy Dragon will be smaller versions of what is available at Kang Kong, and will come out from the same kitchen. At the time of the Kang Kong launch, the bar was incomplete with a new bar area set to be built along one side of the laneway. Both the restaurant and bar will operate under separate licences, so their operating hours will vary.
The Seared Salmon with Unami Crust is coated in crushed nori and bonito flakes. The texture of the salmon is silky and smooth, and is balanced by the slightly charred crunchy exterior. The addition of wasabi and pickled ginger heighten the taste of the dish.
The Chicken Satay was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Tender, succulent morsels of perfectly cooked chicken were covered in a thick and subtly sweet satay sauce. I could have had this all night.
For those that don’t know, Beef Tataki refers to the method of preparing beef fillets. The meat is lightly seared, marinated and typically sliced thinly. The Beef Tataki we were served were thicker chunks of lightly seared beef, and a bit too raw in the middle for my liking.
My other favourite dish was the Fried Chicken in Kim Chi Dressing. There were tender morsels of chicken hidden in a thick crunchy coating. Combine this with the spicy kim chi dipping sauce and it’s enough to provide plenty of excitement throughout the evening.
The Kang Kong Curry Puffs are different to the typical Asian curry puff. The crunchy pastry was filled with a flavoursome vegetable curry that had bits of tofu in the mix. For someone that likes their meat, it wasn’t too bad for a vegetarian dish.
The Banana Panna Cotta with Dragonfruit was a dessert I had plenty of. The panna cotta was silky and smooth, and the natural sweetness of the banana was quite prominent.
The Ferrero Rocher Spring Rolls are similar to the chocolate spring rolls I’ve had at a dessert bar on Gouger Street, although the filling was more dense and nutty. The orange coulis was tart and was supposed to balance the sweetness of the spring rolls, however, I preferred the spring rolls by themselves.
Kang Kong is a great addition to the many popular restaurants down Waymouth and Leigh Streets. Fresh local ingredients are used to create traditional Asian flavours that are served in a special and unique fashion. With vegetarian and vegan options also available, there really is something for everyone.
WHERE: 44 Waymouth St, Adelaide