Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Lunch at China Doll, Woolloomooloo Wharf

Beautiful lunch at 'China Doll' yesterday.  Haven't been there since they first opened, and had judged them quite harshly.  Our memory of our first and only dinner there was their use of waaay too much soy sauce.  Not so yesterday.  What a perfect way to spend a sunny (albeit with a bit of wind) Sydney winter's day, with a gas heater helping the full sun keep us warm.  Spectacular views.  I've always loved the feature 'Willow pattern' wall, and the same patterned plates used as door handles in the loos.

The food is described as Modern Asian, but incorporates dishes from Japan, Hong Kong, China and SE Asia.    The Executive Chef is Frank Shek.   I think I want to take him home!

Whilst waiting for our guests - who were running late (family visiting from Melbourne), we ordered two excellent very Dirty Belvedere Vodka Martinis, with olives of course, and the Sashimi of Hiramasa Kingfish & Ocean Trout with Blackened Chilli Dressing (and pickled ginger).  Absolutely delicious, and one of the best sashimi dishes I have had in Sydney.  Once everyone arrived we ordered way too much food (what else is new?).   Steamed dumplings of Prawn & Green Soy Bean w Tobiko & Red Vinegar, Pork Prawn Scallop & Shiitake Shu Mai with Chilli Oil, Chilli Salt Squid, Sichuan Salt & Pepper Prawns with Chilli & Garlic, Duck Pancakes with Hoi Sin, Cucumber & Shallots, Crispy Pork Belly with Chilli Caramel and Nam Pla Phrik, Slow Cooked 200 day Grain Fed BBQ Beef Short Ribs w Pickled Cucumber, Whole Spice Crusted Fish w Thai Flavours, Barbeque Pork & Prawn Fried Rice, Steamed Broccolini w Oyster Sauce & Garlic and Jasmine Rice.  Phew!  All absolutely amazing, with the Pork Belly and the Ribs being the standouts.   Two brave souls ordered dessert - a Mille-Feuille with Apple Custard - almost too pretty to eat, but very delicately apple flavoured.   All enjoyed with excellent wines, and finished with a glass of 'Sticky' and - Expresso Martinis, which were very good indeed!

We loved the fact that they offered everyone sunscreen and a choice of sunglasses.  How thoughtful is that!  And some hilarious choices available!

The staff were extremely professional, and our waiter was the perfect blend of sense of humour, knowledge, efficiency and professionalism.

Not cheap - $1,200 for 6 adults and 2 kids.  Bloody Martinis!!  Thoroughly recommended.  We will certainly be back.


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