Betel leaves are used as a stimulant, an antiseptic, and a breath freshener in Southeast Asia. At Jimmy Liks, they are how you eat a chicken and smoked eggplant bite-size starter. The little amuse bouche comes with a chili and eschalot relish. Those repelled by Kings Cross’ razzamatazz find a champagne effervescence on this Potts Point cusp of Victoria Street, where pot-bellied backpackers meet glamorous, well-heeled types. The caramelised beef ribs—braised, rich, and falling off the bone—are a sticky but not cloying affair, served with a side of nahm plah prik sauce, fishy and tart, which cuts through the sweet meat. Fried soft shell crab is lightly battered, salty and peppered with szechuan, served with a som dtom salad, spicy with shredded green papaya and snake beans.
The salmon salad, pink and rare, is tossed with cubes of watermelon, dressed with ginger, kaffir lime leaf and chilli. It’s scattered with crisp-fried salmon skin that adds another daring element to an already multi-textured dish.
Mr Liks’ thoroughly pairs down what could be a stuffy atmosphere. Beautiful textured fabrics hang above the dining area, an un-sewn patchwork of raw silk and hessian in deep reds and earthy browns.
You belly up to a plain long table the length of the room, sitting next to your companion and facing some fashionable Potts Point pair. Lumbar support? No. Just scissor-kick a long bench stool, and negotiate on how far to pull in the shared seat.
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Always has a great buzzy vibe.
Favourite dishes; The charred roti bread and curry dipping souce.
The Crab and chicken salad.
And any of the slow cooked dishes - lamb or wagyu beef currys or even goat of they have it on the menu.
Great wine list too. If you dont drink, ask for their mocktail version of an oriental mule - lots of refreshing ginger and mint.