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.
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.
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.
Vee Vee Cocktail
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.
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.
Cold Pork, Beef and Chicken served with Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing ($18)
Apart from its impressive cold cuts their sweet dressing may tempt you to bathe your sliced meat before eating.
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.
Beijing-style Tofu with Shallots and Fish Roe ($9)
Simply stunning dish
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.
Seaweed Soup with Tofu and Scallops ($9)
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.
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.
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.
Sauteed Spicy Beef Mince with Basil served with Pocket Pancake China Republic ($32)
Quite a filling dish
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.
China Republic’s Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing ($36)
I was unable to identify a sweet subtle flavour in the braised lamb brisket, perhaps it’s a Chef’s secret ingredient added.
Let your lamb brisket roll around the crushed peanuts.
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.
Signature Peking Duck ($88)
The Chef who masters at delivering authentic peking duck
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!
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.
Juicy roasted duck that is served boneless.
Crispiest Peking Duck skin is beautifully moist and tender.
With every peking duck comes with 2 dozen of peking duck pancakes plus a few gua bao buns.
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
– 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.
Besides Hoisin sauce China Republic offers additional 7 ingredients, that’s a total 8
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… 😀
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.
Can’t go wrong ordering the Assorted Dessert Plate for 2 ($21.50)
Steamed Rice cake with Sweet Stuffing
Glutinous Rice Roll with Waffle Cookie
Glutinous Rice Cake served with Rose Jam
Mashed Sweet Pea Cake
Glutinous Rice Cake served with Mashed Fruits
Black Sesame Jelly
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.
Sophisticated bar area
Second Level were they offer private rooms for functions.
A piece of hand crafted Chinese Teapot.
Apparently this classic emperors house is made of sticks, also handmade. Jaw-dropping.
Antique pieces imported all the way from China.
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.
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.
Photo with Peking Duck Chef Linyi Yuan
Ridiculously clever way to fold napkins.
-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
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