Tastes of Asia and France set to swing at Waitan

Bistros, burger joints and pizzerias continue to populate Sydney, but the chequebook is out in Chinatown with the $10 million Waitan food and drink venue set to swing open its doors at 405 Sussex St this week.

So, what does $10 million buy you in Sydney these days? Waitan features no less than three bars as well as a dim sum bar, exhibition-style kitchen, eight private dining rooms and a members-only space plastered in valuable artworks.

With a strong contemporary Asian theme, why has Waitan signed John Rankin, a chef who has worked at Quay and Astral, and won awards for his food at the Owl House?

As well as offering Asian staples, the venue has an upmarket tasting menu with an eastern twist. Rankin will implement his bizarre ''constructed dish'' theory. "The practice builds the traditional dish into something different, essentially combining all of the same ingredients and flavours you would expect from the dish into one delicious parcel that breaks convention," he says. Waitan has restaurateur Aaron Ching as chief operating officer and designer Thuan Teh responsible for its interiors.