Madame Shanghai opens next week , Sydney's newest Chinese restaurant championing native Australian ingredients. "When I first thought about it I thought it was a bit weird, but they really work as a twist to dishes, and traditional Chinese menus are a bit boring," Madame Shanghai chef Chris Yan explains.
Yan steers a subtle path with the approach; a lemon aspen sorbet and finger lime dressed oysters, a salad of karkalla served with mung bean noodles and wild rosella edging its way into a pork hock dish. It's a softly, softly approach. Indeed, many of the dishes have no sign of Australiana.
Yan has excellent pedigree for the Madame Shanghai cuisine tightrope, growing up in Shanghai and spending time in the kitchen at Billy Kwong, an early adopter of native Australian ingredients. "The room is like 1920s and 1930s Shanghai, dark green and dark red. It reminds me of (Chinese film) In the Mood for Love. I want to bring some of the Shanghai I remember. Street food dishes like chicken hearts, with lemon and chilli sauce, straight off the grill."
Open lunch Thursday-Sunday; dinner Tuesday-Sunday
18 College Street, Darlinghurst 02 8318 8618, lotusdining.com.au