The long-awaited China Republic has recently opened across two grandly-decorated stories in the World Square complex, just north of Chinatown.
|Entry to China Republic, World Square, Sydney|
I think it’d be pleasing for both modern Sydney-siders and Chinese traditionalists, which is probably also where the menu aims to be.
|Counter seats looking into the pastry kitchen|
|Dedicated duck kitchen|
The elevated duck kitchen is surrounded by a moat-like goldfish pond, with real, live koi goldfish swimming about.
|Entry to private dining room|
|Private dining room|
|Private dining room|
|VIP private dining room|
|Media launch table settings|
|Beijing-style spicy and sour cucumber|
Crisp pickled cucumbers are always a great way to start a meal, and these slightly spicy Beijing-style ones with kaffir lime leaf were no exception; readying the palate for more food and flavours.
|Eggplant and coriander salad with garlic dressing|
|White cut chicken served with spicy lemon sauce|
The chicken was well cooked and served with an unusual, creamy lemon sauce that was a little a overwhelmed by Sichuan pepper.
|Tofu dish presentation|
Small bowls of cold tofu topped with tobiko flying fish roe arrived on an intricately carved wooden stand that certainly elevated the dish to a piece of art.
|Beijing-style tofu with shallots and fish roe|
|China Republic special coral trout hotpot with mushroom broth|
|Condiments for coral trout|
|Flaming Peking duck|
Less commonly seen is the flaming of the bird, where the whole duck goes alight in blue for a bit of extra heat and crispness, and theatrics of course, before serving.
|Carving the Peking duck|
|Peking duck pancakes|
It starts with what I found to be a slightly unusual dip of duck skin alone into white sugar. It ends up being like roast duck skin candy, which doesn't do it for me despite the lovely, crisp and unfatty skin.
|Steamed bread pockets|
Another serving style with a salty pickled vegetable, raw Spanish onion and mustard sauce certainly changed my perspective on Peking duck, while the steamed bao pockets are definitely, and surprisingly, as good as the pancakes.
|Sliced roast duck|
|Peking duck steamed pocket with cucumber, onion and sweet bean paste|
|Sauteed banana prawns|
|Kung pao chicken with peanuts|
|Chef’s special sweet and sour pork spare ribs|
|Stir fried broccoli|
|Glutinous rice ball stuffed with mashed fruits and sweet porridge|
The softly sticky glutinous rice ball is surprisingly lighter, filled with a mixed fruity centre and just lovely with the lightly sparkling 2012 Banfi Sciandor Moscato d’Asti Strevic DOCG.
It's the full experience at China Republic: the artful food, exciting atmosphere, amazing fitout, food theatre and more - it's all there for the people. Now, let's see if Sydney is big enough for it all.
Food, booze and shoes attended the China Republic media launch, with thanks to Liquid Ideas.