Home > Events, Syd: Potts Point, Sydney, [TOYS] Collective > [TOYS] Collective #5: Ballz Deep at Ms G, Potts Point

[TOYS] Collective #5: Ballz Deep at Ms G, Potts Point

I have wanted to go to [TOYS] collective event for a while now. I missed their previous events for various reasons, but I was determined to go to the next one. It was held at Ms G’s, the theme was ‘Ballz Deep’ which as Dan described ‘something the chefs can all relate too’. It’s a degustation showcasing the talents of four of the upcoming hot young chefs in Sydney. It costs $120 per head which includes matching alcohol with each course.

I went with the gym enthusiast, S. My dear friend, M was also there with her friends. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sit together. Once seated, we were presented with a cocktail each, created by Charlie Anisbury – he made 100 individual cocktails – I don’t think I even know 100 cocktails! Mine was the ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ – vodka, orange juice galliano and it was refreshingly delicious and light that it went down quickly and nicely.

S on the other hand had ‘Planter’s Punch’ – dark rum, lemon, sugar, angostura bitters. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one unfortunately, only because I don’t like rum!

We started with four different canapes, the first being deep-fried prawn balls, yuzu mayo by Dan Hong himself. This was absolutely delicious – pop in your mouth size, the prawn balls were crunchy on the outside and soft moist on the inside and the yuzu mayo was deliciously creamy and wonderful. I could have easily eaten half a dozen of this.

Next, banh mi of tete de porc, kim chi by Jowett Yu. Similar to the banh mi at Ms G, this was probably my favourite amongst the canapes. Served on a soft fluffy bun, the pork was crunchy and moist and the kimchi was subtle but wonderful. It was scrumptiously good!

Lamb’s balls, shiso pistou by Thomas Lim was nice but probably my least favourite. It was bite size thankfully, and I popped it in my mouth. I didn’t realise at the time, but upon biting, the lamb-y flavour burst into my mouth. It didn’t last long, as it was tiny but the shio pistou was a wonderful complement.

Lastly, steamed pork bun, miso, apple by Nic Wong reminded me so much of the Chinese dish that I love – pork with man tao. Tender, succulent shredded pork served with ‘soft bun, the apple inside was a nice crunchy surprise’. It was magnificient. Each bite was better than the next and the next thing I knew, I was eye-ing S’s pork bun!

Now the shared mains, first course was by Dan Hong entitled deep sea balls – sashimi salad of scallop, fish, tapioca, trout roe, crispy rice and finger lime matched with bishonen junmai ginjo shu sake. This was the dish of the night for me. Fresh sashimi, octobus, scallop, fish with different types of ‘balls’ – ocean trout, tapioca, and crispy rice. I love the subtle spiciness and the crunchy crispy rice balls and as M said ‘such perfect combination of flavours and textures. AMAZEBALLS’.

Jowett Yu combination balls soup – ‘balls’ of scallop, prawn, fish, pork broth served with ramen was probably my least favourite. The flavours didn’t work at all and the ‘balls’ were nice and moist but it really didn’t appeal to me. It was served with 2008 Dveri Pax ‘sivi pinot’ which I didn’t have as I am alergic to white wine (yes weird I know!).

110% Woman by Thomas Lim – chicken breast, oyster and seaweed. The inspiration came from his girlfriend. I know a couple of people didn’t enjoy this dish, they thought the chicken was tasteless and undercooked. The people around M’s table had to use Sriracha sauce to give it some taste. She could see what he was trying to do but it just didn’t work. I thought the chicken was soft and succulent, I enjoyed it and I love the combination of the red cabbage, mushroom and white fungus. Served with 2010 Foster e Roco Sangiovese Rose, Heath cote – Victoria – not my favourite but it did complement the dish.

Lastly, beam’n bone by Nic Wong – smoked pork ribs, chili, bourbon, pickled green tomato. The ribs were tender and had a strong smokey flavour which I loved. I noticed no one used cutlery – they were ‘seriously yummy and the smokiness and stickiness worked perfectly with the watermelon balls’. Two small ribs were defintiely not enough! I wanted more but was getting full by this stage.

The salad I loved. Pickled green tomatoes which was wonderful along with sweet ‘ball’ size watermelon. It was served with macs ‘Sassy Red’ Bitter, Nelson New Zealand.

Before our desserts came, we were presented with iced coffee. Even the iced coffee had a ‘ballz’ theme – PEARLS!!!! It was ridicolously sweet – so sweet that I had to pour water in it and even then it was still too sweet! The pearls were a nice surprise though – bit chewy and hard but a pleasant surprise.

To end, Great balls of fire (and ice) by Bernard Chu and Yen Yee – fried chestnut ice cream, salted egg yolk, liquorice and sour plum was one of the nicest deep fried ice cream I have had. I love good fried ice cream and this exceeded expectation.

The thin crunchy exterior oozed with ice cream and in the middle, a wonderful delight – salted egg yolk and WOW! EPIC! I loved it! I think this was a winner and the perfect way to end the delicious meal.

I am not sure if I liked the liquorice though, it reminded me too much of pi pa gao(Chinese cough medicine)! It seemed as though they have just poured it into a bowl – I was definitely not a fan! But the sour plum was incredibly sour and absolutely wonderful. M on the other hand though LOVED the liquoirce but then again, she loves the cough medicine!

Overall, it was a fun evening, S and I sat together but M who sat on the communial table got to meet new people. It was fun talking to the chefs and meeting their girlfriends, wives and others invovled in [TOYS] collective.

M thought it was a bit weird that they didn’t or couldn’t do anything about her prawn allergy – even if its an extra serving of something else to make for it, given it’s a set menu. She couldn’t eat any of the deep fried prawn ball – which was a shame, and the combination balls soup but don’t think she was missing out there.

I found out later on that each course had its respective music selected by the chef. I did enjoy the music – lots of different types of genre, some I even swayed and dance too!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening, though the delay between the dishes was a tad long. Especailly between the canapes and the shared main. It was still a fun night though and looks forward to the next one. Thanks to the chef and to Mel for a wonderful evening!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

[TOYS] Collective

Ms G’s

155 Victoria Street,

Potts Point, Sydney NSW

  1. March 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

    So many balls! And buns at the start too =) Such a playful theme that had me in giggles just from reading about it.

  2. March 29, 2011 at 12:18 am

    heh ballllllllls

  3. March 29, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Amazeballs indeed! Those deep-fried prawn balls and the sashimi salad look fantastic. With Dan now looking to head up another Merivale restaurant at the Ivy, where does he get the time????

    • March 29, 2011 at 2:04 am

      Hey Joey, i dont know where he’s got the time! but he does come up with some amazing dishes!

  4. March 29, 2011 at 2:02 am

    looks like an awesome meal! the balls theme makes me laugh haha but I like how they incorporated it into all the dishes!

  5. March 29, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Thank god for this post as I had NO idea what everyone was talking about on Twitter. Sounds like a fun night – I like the sound of that deep fried ice-cream.

  6. March 29, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Interesting, but looks like a lot of deep fried balls :S

  7. Mel
    March 30, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Hey lady! Thanks so much for coming to our TOYS collective dinner – great review and feedback. Regarding the allergy – we have a disclaimer on our site and at the point of booking that we ask people to carefully consider that we present what we present and the audience is asked to put themselves in the chefs hands. It isn’t that we don’t cater for allergies or intollerances, but the whole concept is based around ‘cooking unencumbered’ – that chefs can use whatever they want to use in their cooking.. and that (just like art), the audience needs to respect that.

    I know TOYS isn’t for everyone (and we’re ok with that), but we do ask people who attend to keep that in mind.

    Thanks,

    Mel

    • March 30, 2011 at 6:18 am

      hey Mel – totally understand 🙂 I know its hard to accomodate with everyone’s needs, I had an awesome time and looking forward to the next one 🙂

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