Friday, 17 August 2012

oriental going crazy?

As heard on FBi Radio Friday 17th August 2012

Chinese food. We're lucky to have such a variety of regionally specific, authentic and amazing examples of it in this city. From Uighur to Sichuan, Shanghainese and beyond, we're spoilt for choice. There is, however a growing breed of modern Asian restaurant happening in Sydney. A hybrid of modern design aesthetic and authentic ingredients mixed up with new and eclectic ideas. The result? A thoroughly different perspective on familiar flavours and textures.

It may have started with restaurants like Billy Kwong and Spice Temple years ago, but this new flush of modern Chinese is worth checking out...just don't expect honey king prawns and fried rice. 

China Lane

An extension of the China family, which includes China Doll in Woolloomooloo and China Beach in Manly, the name may say 'China', but its influences paint a much broader brush stroke than just that one continent. Tucked away around the corner from one of our most fantastic music venues, Angel Place, it features a menu comprised of a collection of pan-Asian influences. From Vietnamese tomato-fried rice to a more Chinese masterstock crunchy pigs ear dish. There are glimpses of Malaysia in coconut milk sambals and Japanese-style sashimi dressed with blackened chilli.

2 Angel Place
(02) 9231 3939

Mr Wong

More hanging roasted ducks than you can poke a stick at and bigger than Ben Hur, this sprawling Chinese restaurant inhabits the space that used to be Tank, on Bridge Lane in the heart of the city. Featuring a fit out that echoes a romantic colonial past and a floor that can fit pretty much everyone you know and then some, dim sum just got chicer with the entry of Mr Wong into Sydney. There are dumplings a go-go during the day, thanks to award winning import, dumpling chef Eric Koh and a la carte by night. Just don't go expecting your usual standard of hum drum dim sum - think luxe ingredients treated by expert hands - char siu puffs here are made with venison and everything is crafted with attention to detail. Somebody pass the har cheong.

3 Bridge Lane
(02) 9240 3000

The Century at The Star

Golden Century has long been the last bastion in the fight to find great food in the wee hours of the morning. XO pippies on crispy rice vermicelli, ubiquitous salt and pepper squid and hot and sour soup, all washed down with a long neck of Tsing Tao, is truly one of Sydney's best late night food experiences (preferably after a long night at work or a long night out on the cans). There is nothing lost in translation about this latest spin off from the Golden Century family, it may be slick and it may be chic, but it's some of the best Chinese food you'll find this side of the city. 

Harbourside Entrance
The Star Casino