The number eight symbolises luck and wealth to the Chinese, so expect to find it woven into the carpet, twisted into screens, and repeated in the menu and phone number of this barn-like 750-seater.
With the kitchen serving so many people, it’s probably best to throw any expectation of pacing to the wind, and prepare for a dish deluge.
Whilst the XO chilli sauce on a plate of Pipis in XO Sauce ($48/kg) was a little insipid, the pipis themselves were plump and fresh.
Despite seafood being the specialty, my highlight was the superbly tender hunks of Wok-Seared Beef Fillet with Foie Gras Paste ($32.80). This dish was incredibly delicious. I could not stop eating it.
It’s also nice to see dishes go beyond the ubiquitous Cantonese. I enjoyed a steamed Sichuan style Cooked Live Fish with Special Chilli ($48/kg) immensely; this cooking style really suits Barramundi. In fact, this was probably my favourite Barramundi dish of all time.
You’ll also find dishes from Shanghai, like a reasonably gentle plate of Salted Egg-Yolk Prawns ($34.80). Even Westernised dishes get a look in.
Not much to write home about on the wine list, but I definitely enjoyed the 2009 Devil’s Lair Chardonnay ($68). With a large secure parking lot in the Market City Centre, and an offer for discounted parking when you dine, Henry Tang (who also owns Zilver) ensures there’s no reason to eat bad suburban Chinese again.
I will however mention that this restaurant serves shark's fin. I encourage you not to eat it, but to respect the fact that eating it is part of Chinese culture. As owner Henry Tang explains: "I'm not a shark killer, I have just followed my market." With 750 seats to fill, that means him landing a lot of Chinese weddings, and shark's fin is often what they often want to eat. Henry also assured me he is not using protected species of shark in his restaurant.
The restaurant also does day-time yum cha. After hearing about their liquid centred custard buns, I am also keen to return and try them.
Level 3, Market City, 9-13 Hay Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9282 9988