80 Campbell Street Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010
|Opening hours||Mon-Sat, 6pm-late; Sunday brunch, 10am-3pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Private dining, Degustation, Family friendly, Groups, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly, Outdoor seating, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 9280 1980|
Here's one of the pin-ups of Sydney's exploding modern Asian food scene, where the traditional Chinese dining experience is turned on its head. Lights are dimmed, the frequency finely tuned to service and serious attention given to the matching of wine. There can be concessions to cool, with diners propped on stools that feel a little like a kindergarten parent-teacher meeting, but don't let the cafe vibe fool you. This place is serious about the food it turns out of its compact open kitchen. Nor is the menu afraid to add a little more octane than standard Chinese - as in high notes of chilli and red vinegar used to dress pork wontons, and a lip-smacking XO sauce married with ludicrously plump prawns. While Sichuan eggplant is worth a detour, red-braised duck (served with native muntries and pepperberries) was a touch dry. The clean taste of a bay leaf custard dessert with Davidson plum caramel is a reminder of new frontiers being forged for Sydney Asian eating.