China Republic Restaurant Pre-Opening- A DuckTastic Night

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Thanks to China Republic for sending me an invite to their Pre-Opening last Thursday and is NOW OFFICIALLY OPENED today (Tuesday 12 November) . I fondly remember a handful of chefs flown in from all parts of China specialising authentic Asian cuisines, the opportunity to get an exclusive tour around the restaurant and the sacred peking duck room where all the ducks are crafted to perfection.

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The service team represented an energy that was impressive and friendly however there were a few hiccups with the orders for example some of the dishes we didn’t order miraculously appeared to our table. But hey, its a pre-opening, mistakes are bound to happen. If you ever happen to come across a waitress who is down to earth and enthusiastic then that’s Lauren. She was my personally favourite that night as she managed to deal with the tiny errors. Unlike grand-openings, China Republic’s Pre-Opening provided an irresistible menu besides having to taste a tasty selection of canapés.

Looking at the menu, I honestly wanted to try every single dish, but my main focus was to try their signature and recommended dishes. Therefore I quickly grabbed one of the host “K” to order for us. I never would have thought for a pre-opening that all their dishes that night were meal sizes. “K” had ordered a total 9 dishes plus 3 cocktails for two people. Having the opportunity to feast I finally experienced how it feels to be in the position of an emperor. Wow, I really am very grateful 🙂 🙂 🙂

Feast your eyes by reading on foodie lovers.

Throughout the entire evening Charles the Bartender Manager made the most amazing cocktails. They’re far from just sweet concoctions for the bitter sting of alcohol.

Charlies Angel Cocktail supplies great flavours of shiraz wine mild on the palate, bringing a hint of rich sweet strawberry to still keep the refreshing clean finish.

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Charlies Angel Cocktail

Vee Vee Cocktail remarkably an island mist fruity beverage with the blend of muddled kiwi, crushed mint, lime, vodka and sugar syrup. This cocktail sure adds a whole new level of freshness.

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Vee Vee Cocktail

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Close up of the Vee Vee Cocktail

Phenomenal is the Oolong Long Island Ice tea– A complex and sophisticated flavor appears earthy with the decoration of fresh mint. With its fresh green floral aroma, this highly prized tea releases sweet flavours and delicate mouthfeel.

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Oolong Long Island Ice tea

Cold Pork, Beef and Chicken served with Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing ($18) apparently has 12 flavours. Can you guess all 12 flavours? Cleverly presented on a stone cement plate all the meat presented is a snack of food heaven.

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Cold Pork, Beef and Chicken served with Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing ($18)

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Cold Pork

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Beef 

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Chicken

Apart from its impressive cold cuts their sweet dressing may tempt you to bathe your sliced meat before eating.

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Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing

Holy Tofu! Seeing the Beijing-style Tofu with Shallots and Fish Roe ($9) is absolutely stunning. This cold dish separated in 3 parts probably is ideal for foodies who don’t want to share. Teehee.

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Beijing-style Tofu with Shallots and Fish Roe ($9)

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Simply stunning dish

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Doesn’t this remind you of a Dragon boat ?

Seaweed Soup with Tofu and Scallops ($9)–  It was nearly identical to the texture of chicken broth soup. Generally served warm, this soup should not be underestimated as it lets you explore all the flavours in a bowl.

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Seaweed Soup with Tofu and Scallops ($9)

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Wave those spaghetti hands tofu. 

The Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms ($9) tastes noticeably different compared to other creamy vegetable soups. A healthy nutritious soup full of flavour and is no spinach soup I’d ever had. This soup worked beautifully on it’s own and has inspired me to eat more spinach.

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Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms ($9) is perfect for vegetarians

Crispy Spicy Prawns ($32) is a versatile dish worth sharing, with its prawn sugar coated in chilli, garlic, strands of spring onion and cooked in special sauce, it’s just a dish you are looking for.

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Crispy Spicy Prawns ($32)

Sauteed Spicy Beef Mince with Basil served with Pocket Pancake China Republic ($32) will be easy peasy to eat if you have surgeon hands or you happen to be just naturally talented at handling delicate things, because their pocket pancakes are quite fragile. There’s a high chance you’ll be finger licking as this dish can be surprisingly addictive and messy.

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Sauteed Spicy Beef Mince with Basil served with Pocket Pancake China Republic ($32)

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Quite a filling dish

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Pocket pancake filled with minced beef- How freaken adorable! 

This is a nice change of pace from the typical Peking duck. Introducing China Republic’s Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing ($36) is going to overwhelm some people. When the chunks of lamb, salad and sauce are combined onto a piece of pancake it offers a decent mild flavour that doesn’t overpower each other.

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China Republic’s Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing ($36) 

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I was unable to identify a sweet subtle flavour in the braised lamb brisket, perhaps it’s a Chef’s secret ingredient added.

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Let your lamb brisket  roll around the crushed peanuts.

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Half a dozen peking duck pancakes

It’s no surprise peking duck is one of the world’’s favourite dishes and I am certainly glad China Republic has bought Signature Peking Duck ($88) to Sydney. China Republic’s duck take a total of 8 days to prepare before placing them into an oven. Firstly the ducks are cleaned, then hung up to be blow dried for a day. Next the ducks are pumped with air to set the skin structure before dipped in boiling water for a short while then it is hung up again to dry. While it is hanging, the ducks are thoroughly smeared with layers of date syrup, honey and special sauce. The ducks are then placed into a 16c freezer for 7 days. Before being roasted and turning golden brown the ducks are rinsed once more with hot water. To allow the ducks look evenly shiny and crispy, they are rotated systematically with a stick for 40-45 minutes in a 250c oven.

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Signature Peking Duck ($88)

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The Chef who masters at delivering authentic peking duck

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My Oh My…Just look how the  duck skin is glisteningly puffed.

As a mad peking duck lover, we were looking forward to the duck arriving at our table, but having two plates of juicy ducks that’s just INSANE for 2 people to share. We soon learn after this is one whole duck!

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 Excited at the idea of two plates of peking duck.

The real difference in China Republic’s peking duck shines through with the duck’s skin. Whether eaten on its own or with the pancake, the crispy skin noticeably melts quickly in your mouth is very much like sinking your tongue into s’mores except in a savory version.

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Juicy roasted duck that is served boneless.

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Crispiest Peking Duck skin is beautifully moist and tender. 

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With every peking duck comes with 2 dozen of peking duck pancakes plus a few gua bao buns.

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Every time I picked up my next pancake or pocket pancake, I think deeply about what nasty things I’m going to do with it. Teehee.

In case you’re not familiar with filling your peking duck pancake, I recommend asking one of their friendly staff for a pamphlet on how to eat a peking duck. No joke! China Republic offers a PAMPHLET. Did you know China Republic suggests 6 ways of filling your pancake? With supplied 8 ingredients including:

– White sugar

– Garlic paste

– Shallot

– Cucumber

– Sweet bean paste also known as ho sin sauce

– Pickled cucumber

– Chopped red onion

– Chinese mustard

You must play with your food, YOU MUST! Even if the angel voice pops in your head “don’t play with your food”. I personally ignored it that night and got messy. The excitement of decorating your own pancake is fun and delightful.

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Besides Hoisin sauce China Republic offers additional 7 ingredients, that’s a total 8 

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Me thinks minion Phil wanted some pancakes too…Teehee.

I admit, we were completely stuffed but when the dessert menu arrived in a satin silk cover. We’re told by “K” there’s a few intriguing treats in their menu that I must try. Indeed there is a fair few fascinating desserts…just a fair few… 😀

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Whatever your sugar hungry tummy wants and the giddiness of ordering the entire dessert that the menu has to offer, first start off with their Assorted Dessert Plate for 2 ($21.50) Also available for 6-8. This EXTRAORDINARY Chinese antique themed dessert goes above and beyond with the presentation of desserts. It is an art plated dessert were the individual sweets are very uniquely delicious and creative.

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Can’t go wrong ordering the Assorted Dessert Plate for 2 ($21.50)

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Steamed Rice cake with Sweet Stuffing

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Glutinous Rice Roll with Waffle Cookie

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Glutinous Rice Cake served with Rose Jam

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Mashed Sweet Pea Cake

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Glutinous Rice Cake served with Mashed Fruits

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Black Sesame Jelly

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Rice Pudding

Right after our HUGE FOOD FEAST, “K” gave us a tour around their stunning Chinese themed restaurant. Whether it is for a few cocktails before dining, or a few drinks to catch up with friends, this elegant bar area is perfect place for conversation and relaxation after work.

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Sophisticated bar area

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Interesting decorations 

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Second Level were they offer private rooms for functions.

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A piece of hand crafted Chinese Teapot. 

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Apparently this classic emperors house is made of sticks, also handmade. Jaw-dropping.

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Antique pieces imported all the way from China.

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Photo with Head Peking Duck Chef Jian Wang

As we reached the end of our tour, Charles continues to make a variety of tropical cocktails. To create an enjoyable mixed drink it must be shaken.

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Such a small world I bumped into my old high school friend who I haven’t seen in years since our High School Graduation and he is now a Chef at China Republic. Surprised his the man behind the peking duck making.

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 Photo with Peking Duck Chef Linyi Yuan

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Ridiculously clever way to fold napkins. 

MUST TRY: 

-Peking Duck

-Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms

-Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing

-Assorted Dessert Plate for 2

A good peking duck is usually a good sign for a decent meal and so far China Republic menus is tempting to try again in my books. A passionate chef will go out of their way to make a dish worth it and clearly these chefs have done so in my opinion. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater dined as guests of China Republic Pre-Opening. Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Update on 16/11/2013: Check out an article Good Food has written for China Republic here

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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24 thoughts on “China Republic Restaurant Pre-Opening- A DuckTastic Night

    Irene @ {a swoonful of sugar} said:
    November 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Oh my goodness. You are so damn lucky! All the dishes are so, so beautifully presented. Especially that dessert plate…! Love how chinese cuisine is upping its game these days with modern experimental touches to it.

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      You’re too kind! It is exciting to see a new method in plating Chinese dishes.

    Annie @ The Random Foodie said:
    November 12, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    been hearing a bit about this restaurant. can’t wait to try it! decor reminds me of mr wong and old town. looks so pretty!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      I’ve yet to try Mr Wong! It’s always so busy, guess that’s why it’s talk of the town. Let me know how you think of China Republic 😀

    Helen (@grabyourfork) said:
    November 12, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    omg that peking duck skin looks incredible. And i think that’s the fanciest dessert presentation frame I’ve ever seen!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      It’s a spread of authentic Chinese cuisines that must be shared 😀 This also includes the dessert. It is one fine presentation for desserts, isn’t it?

    foodiepop said:
    November 13, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    I guess the delays suffered by the restaurant in opening was worth it; the presentation of the dishes look exceptional (the dessert platter is similar to what I had at Bo Innovation). And it’s fantastic to see more unusual Chinese dishes. Wonderful post!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Thank you Foodiepop! It was a long one and a half year wait them but it wasn’t there fault. Every dish I tried that night was brilliant. 😀

    jcochon said:
    November 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    oh man…! Did this place take FOREVER to open. But from the looks of it, I’m glad it took its sweet-ass time! Since Beijing and HK, I haven’t eaten Peking Duck in Sydney again…fearing we’d mess it up, but this looks familiar like DaDong in Beijing.. 😀 Can’t wait to stick this into my pork belly.

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      I must fly to Beijing and HK to try Peking Duck and compare with Sydney. Also another excuse for a holiday, don’t you think? 😛

    milkteaxx said:
    November 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    damn this place looks good, from the presentation of the food to the fit out!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      It is one foodie heaven of a restaurant to eat at ! 😀

    Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said:
    November 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Stunning photographs! I’m blown away at how beautiful they are 😀 The presentation of the dishes are equally as mesmerising – and super delicious looking too!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      Thanks Sherrie for the lovely comment! 😀 I love their presentation. It is absolutely gorgeous!

    Michael @ I'm Still Hungry said:
    November 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Looks really good! What do you think the pricing will be like?

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      For a moderately priced restaurant there’s a fair few dishes that you must try 😀 😀 😀 Don’t forget to save your stomach space for dessert!

    Trent @ Food Assault said:
    November 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Fantastic review! We walked by here just last weekend and was impressed by their external setup and I can now see how nice it is inside.

    All the dishes look amazing and definitely want to have a go of the pocket pancake…..so cute and everything I’m sure was delish. The duck options and lamb brisket……seriously! 👍

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 18, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      Thanks Trent. Yes yes the duck and lamb brisket is a must! 😀

    Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com said:
    November 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    That Peking duck looks amazing. The skin looks brittle and crispy!!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      It is something out of this world taste that is difficult to describe in words 😛

    Mr C @ The Food Diary said:
    November 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Wooow that peking duck looks so awesome, have to get myself some of that!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      What are you waiting for? Go go go! 😀

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said:
    November 18, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I just flew in from China and I’m so craving more Chinese food! I don’t think I could ever get sick of it 🙂

      Nessy Eater responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      Chinese food is endless delight! 😀

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