Bai Long Store, 80 Hutt St, ADELAIDE.

The workplace water cooler chat recently has been 1) who’s going to win season 3 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All Stars, 2) favourite lip shades for work and 3) how bloody amazing Bai Long Store is. The chat was enough to get me to pick up the blower and make a reservation. Going in, my hopes were higher than Dolly Parton’s rack and SPOILER ALERT: I wasn’t disappointed.

The interior of this joint is masterfully created by Studio Gram, an interior design company who are the brains behind many of Adelaide’s most unique spaces. Their Insta account tells me that ‘Bai Long’ means white dragon in Mandarin and this was the inspo behind their design. Dealing exclusively in black and white tones and wooden paneling on the walls signifying the dragon’s skin. The result is a chic and modern eatery that felt pretty darn pleasant to be in.

The wine list was a beautifully constructed range with enough to satisfy all wino’s preferences whilst still being a slick selection.

The menu is nothing short of inspired with ambitious asian dishes from top to bottom. Here’s our picks –

It’s rare that I can go past an octopus dish without letting the waitress know that ‘I’mma want some o’ that.’ No regrets with this dish. The occy was served with yuzu papaya, nori dust and watercress. The tentacles were tender and tasty and made for a fresh and light dish with it’s accompaniments. The dish wasn’t exactly to my taste as the sauce could be described as falling under the ‘sweet chili’ category, however I was completely impressed by it all the same.

The Meryl Streep of meals had to be the Gyoza with succulent wagyu beef and ponzo sauce. Smother your problems in ponzu and they will likely still be there, but they will be a hell of a lot more palatable. These delicious, ravioli-ish shaped morsels have to be amongst the best gyoza I’ve had. Second only to the stunners they are serving up over at Shobosho. 4 to a serve – I don’t know what human being would think that was enough.

A relatively simple yet absolutely delightful dish can be found in the crackling belly with pickled vegetables and Sichuan sauce. As Matt Preston would bellow over his cravat – the pork is undoubtedly the hero of the dish. The crackling had that perfect crunch and the meat was tasty. Paired with the pickled veg which were more sweet than zang, and slathered with a generous layer of Sichuan sauce and you have a mighty fine meal right there.

Unlike receiving an invite when you’re the least favourite sibling, dessert is not an afterthought at Bai Long Store. There are a number of varying and inspired sweet treats to choose from. I warn you: the choice ain’t going to be easy and the stakes are high. My selection advice to you is simple – in the words of Ru, ‘Good luck, and don’t fuck it up;” To my relief, my order was killer – a chocolate lava cake with rosewatermelon, matcha ganache and strawberry vanilla ice cream. The thing I loved about this dish was the rosewatermelon. I can only assume from the name and the taste that this was a rosewater infused watermelon. It’s not often I can say I’ve found something completely new to me, but I can with this. It was refreshing in all the ways that a dish can be refreshing.

Just go there and see for yourself. K?

Until next time…That’s what She Said.

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