Waitan launch, Chinatown (Sydney)

>> November 2, 2013

Guest blogger edition

Thanks to the people at Waitan and their PR company, I (along with numerous other bloggers) was generously invited to the grand opening of the new Chinese restaurant/bar – Waitan.

Waitan is located in the heart of Chinatown, on the same stretch of shops as Golden Century on Sussex Street. We arrived at the event courtesy of the uberBlack vehicles supplied by Waitan and was met with a lavish sight of Lamborghinis, female models, garlands of flowers and a red carpet. A big show for a big opening night.


Upon entry, up the escalators you can immediately notice the Asian décor with the numerous Asian themed stone statues, a giant ceramic teapot at the entrance, Chinese styled gates and other numerous Chinese motifs harking back to the 1930’s shanghai lifestyle.

The restaurant itself is split over 2 levels and 4 main sections. The first section is a standard Chinese restaurant table area with authentic oriental styled chairs and tables cloths. The second area is more of a boothed area (leading to the Peking duck roasting oven – the bricks were reportedly shipped in from China to build) the 3rd area is an ‘opium lounge’ area with cushioned lounges seating areas and low couches – actually quite a cosy place to sit and enjoy a drink with friends.

There is also a balcony here which overseas the Chinatown stretch below (Dixon Street?). Upstairs are the private dining rooms, some with a private kitchen/grill to serve the guests exclusively as well as the Sydney's largest Chinese dining table – certainly the largest table I have ever seen! Not sure how the people actually reach the dishes on the inside though….

O lounge




A huge dining table (seats 32)

Private dining room/restaurant area

View from the o lounge of Chinatown street below (good place to watch the bustle of the Friday night markets)


The duck oven with glistening ducks inside!



Open kitchens seemed to be the go here and at each kitchen area you could watch the chefs frantically at work creating their masterpieces. The feature section is definitely the duck roasting oven, the oyster case and what Asian restaurant doesn't have the obligatory tanks of seafood?



After a brief introductory presentation, the star of the night started to show  - (no, not the ex-masterchef contestants that were there) the food! And oh how good was it!  Not only was the food delicious, there was also plenty of it. One of the most well serviced events I've been to. The below pictures show the food that was served on the night .

1. Prawn spring roll


2. Peking duck!!


3. Abalone mushroom, tofu and crumbed quail egg


4. Freshly shucked oysters

5. Wagyu beef buns

6. King Prawn Skewers


7. Fried mini mantou buns


8. Cheesecake with black sesame

The drinks served to accompany this were: Veuve champagne (very nice!), shots of Kahlua (?) various red and white wine and some cocktails for some.




I would have to say, out of all the dishes, the best ones were definitely the king prawn skewers (really nicely cooked prawn with just the right amounts of seasoning), the peking duck (oven roasted for 3 hours and the production overseen by a Peking duck master – what more can you ask for? The difference between this Peking duck was the flavours of the duck fat were really nicely rendered but the skin was not as crispy as some other Peking duck I've had) and the prawn spring roll (succulent chunks of real prawn instead of prawn mush that you might see else where wrapped in a delicate long thin pastry-yummmmmmmmm). The Wagyu beef buns were a bit of a miss for me as I found the beef a bit tough (not sure why) and also I'm a bit over the whole steamed bun concept. The mushroom and quail egg was a nice combination of textures but a little bland for my liking. The dessert however was another highlight. A light cheesecake topped with sesame cream was the perfect end to the night.

On the way out, we were also given a small goodie bag to take home which contained a nice Riedel glass, a pair of chopsticks and some vouchers for our next visit – all neatly packaged in a paper ‘takeaway’ bag. 


Overall, a wonderful night of food and drink topped off with impeccable service. Certainly a welcome change to the Superbowls and Dixon street food courts that Chinatown is usually known for. Definitely something for people to try at least once. 


The Food Book dined as a guest of Waitan and Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

 
Waitan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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