If you think the best Chinese restaurants in Sydney are all about a traditional yum cha and 12-course banquets in Chinatown, these hot tables are here to prove you wrong.
From dumpling kings to noodle houses, there’s a wealth of Chinese restaurants ripe for the picking throughout Sydney. You really shouldn’t confine yourself to the safety net of Chinatown and yum cha carts.
Granted, the hub of all things Chinese does have its delicious gems. But beyond, there’s a land of chopsticks and china plates just waiting for you.
So here, to open the pearly gates to this land, is our guide to the best Chinese restaurants in the city... and yes, a couple of them are in Chinatown.
Din Tai Fung
- Where: Level 1, Shop 11.04, 644 George Street, Sydney
- Opening Hours:
Lunch: Monday - Friday (11.30am - 2.30pm), Saturday - Sunday (11.00am - 3.00pm)
Dinner: Monday-Wednesday (5.30pm - 9pm), Thursday - Saturday (5pm - 10pm), Sunday (5pm - 9pm)
- Facebook: Din Tai Fung
We cannot rave enough about Din Tai Fung. Its succulent array of dumplings break at the bite, only to ooze delicious watery juices that you’ll suck off the spoon, before devouring your dumpling whole and eyeing your next greedily. Sure, it’s now sold-out to the lure of the chain-store with venues in Westfield, The Star and Greenwood Plaza, but when you’ve got a good thing going why shouldn’t you strive for world dumpling domination?
- Where: Shop 4, 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
- Opening Hours:Lunch: (12pm-2.30pm), Dinner: (6pm-late), last bookings must be made by 2.30pm
- Facebook: China Doll
We’re not quite sure which view we’d prefer, the sweeping vistas of the city skyline off Woolloomooloo Wharf or the colourful displays of food artistry at play by the maestro curating this Asian-inspired menu, Frank Shek. Thank god China Doll delivers us both. Life’s tough, but someone’s gotta live it up.
- Where:Shop 12 (facing Bathurst Street), Ground Floor Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney
- Opening Hours:Lunch: Monday - Wednesday (11.30am-3pm), Thursday - Saturday (11.30am-3pm,), Sunday (11.30am - 3.30pm).
Dinner: Monday - Wednesday (5.30-10pm), Thursday - Saturday (5.30pm-10.30pm), Sunday (5.30 pm - 10pm)
- Facebook: Chefs Gallery
Two words: piggy face! Chefs Gallery is known for a great many novelties: handmade noodles split and spun right in front of you in the open, glass-walled kitchen, Macanese-style mini burgers (think sliders, Asian-style), Chinese broccoli two ways (designed to look like an apple tree), the list goes on. But the one thing you’ve come for is piggy face (pictured above with ‘Totoro’ marshmallows and edible garden)—a delicately steamed sesame Chinese bun so adorably crafted you’d turn vegetarian after even considering putting a chopstick or fork to it. Look at that face!
- Where:Shop 3, 355 Crown Street, Surry Hills
- Opening Hours:Monday to Thursday (6pm - 10pm), Friday and Saturday (6pm - 11pm),Sunday (6pm - 9.30pm)
- Website: Billy Kwong
When in doubt, head to a celebrity chef’s restaurant like Billy Kwong, Kylie Kwong’s outfit. Her signature crispy duck with oranges, mandarins or plums (depending on the season) is famous in the foodie circles. A select handful of tables is available for bookings, but for the rest, it’s a first-in, best-dressed basis. Better get your frock out.
Fortune Village Chinese Restaurant
- Where: 209 Clarence Street, Sydney 2000
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday (lunch) 11:30am-2pm. Monday to Thursday (dinner): 5:30pm-9:30pm. Fridays & Saturdays (dinner): 5:30pm-10pm
- Facebook: Fortune Village
Serving provincial traditional and modern Chinese cuisine that never fails to delight, it's little wonder why Fortune Village has stood the test of time on one of the busiest streets in the CBD. In true Chinese tradition, they offer a variety of banquet menu complete with sang choi bow, stir fried prawns with sugar peas and salt and pepper squid. But if you really want to order a stunner, make an order of the Tamarind chicken and you won't be disappointed. In fact, make that two orders...
- Where: Level 1 & 2, 405-411 Sussex Street,Sydney
- Opening Hours:Daily (11am - midnight)
- Website: Waitan
Naturally, there must be one in Chinatown. Waitan is the new kid on the block and is a bit of a show off to be perfectly honest. It’s an impressively sized and kitted out venue, spanning over two levels and comprising of 14 private dining rooms each with their own “personality”. Our choice? The room with the enormous wood-fired duck oven. Oh, did we mention this kid was a bit of a show off?
- Where: World Square Shopping Centre, 680 George St. Sydney
- Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday,Sunday(12pm-late),Friday-Saturday(12pm-later)
- Facebook: China Republic
We’re drooling, literally drooling over how divine the menu of China Republic is. The Peking duck, the braised lamb brisket, the pan-friend Sydney rock oysters. They’re all putting our heads in a spin. Having only opened its doors in November 2013 with Executive Chef Mayson Yu (voted one of the Unilever’s Top 50 chefs in China in 2010 and 2012) behind its kitchen, we’ll be damned if you don’t leave proclaiming everything else second-best.
LL Wine & Dine
- Where: 42 Llankelly Place, Potts Point
- Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday (5pm-11pm), Friday (5pm-midnight), Saturday (11am-midnight), Sunday (11am-10pm)
- Facebook: LL Wine & Dine
Think of this less as a Chinese restaurant and more of a Hong Kong bar—remember, you are on the doorstep of the Cross. And FYI, this hidden alleyway watering hole has a deep seeded, whoops we meant seated history as a brothel, gambling room and erotic fiction book store. No more, though. Today it’s a bustling late-night Asian eatery. Start with your choice of san choi bao and end with a sake cocktail. We know we did.
- Where: 189 Anzac Parade, Kensington
- Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday - Thursday (5pm-10pm), Friday - Sunday (5pm-11pm)
- Website: None
This is clearly not the most inviting name for a restaurant, but it makes perfect sense when you realise its cuisine is authentically Hunan, which is the province in China where Mao originated from. Don’t let your stomach wander, you’re on a mission to try the dictator’s favourite red-braised pork. If you do stray, it’s likely you won’t get to this dish as the generous portions are likely to get in your way. Focus. Or at least try to.
Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant
- Where: Level 1, 7 Help Street, Chatswood
- Opening Hours:Lunch: Monday-Friday (10.30am-3pm), Weekends (10am-3om). Dinner: Monday-Sunday (5pm-11pm)
- Website: Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant
As though the King Fook Group wasn’t hogging the Asian yum cha scene enough with their quality banqueting spaces Kam Fook and King Fook, they found the need to add another name to their restauranting bill in 2012: Fook Yuen. Follow the smell of the freshly cooked dim sums and stop the carts in their tracks when they roll by—before that hungry table of 12 does.
Love On Top
- Where: Shop 1/33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
- Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday (5pm-midnight), Saturday (2pm-midnight), Sunday (2pm-10pm)
- Facebook: Love On Top
Potts Point. Chinese cuisine. Youthful exuberance. Are you picking up on the same trend we are here? Love on Top is a newbie to the scene but it’s already garnered a cult following—so despite many stalwarts of the biz having more pomp to their name (BBQ King, Zilver, East Ocean to name a few), Love On Top and its whimsical charm and sweet pandan crepes bumps it up onto our must-eat list. Must eat dumplings. Yes, yes you must...