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'Express Lunch Menu' at China Republic Restaurant

Home > Sydney > Dinner | Food and Wine | Lunch | Restaurants
by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published July 5th 2014
An Affordable Decadent Feast
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of World Square in Sydney is a restaurant called China Republic. This place is synonymous for its elegance and grandeur and offers fine dining at its very best. Although this place is still not widely known, to those who had the pleasure of dining at this restaurant, they probably agree with me that this is one of the best restaurants in Sydney.

So when I was given the opportunity to dine at this restaurant, I felt privileged and accepted the invitation with excitement Dressed to the nines, I put my best foot forward and joined the other writers who worked from different magazines and newspapers. It took less than five minutes from my workplace to my destination.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the sight of an imposing statue of a Chinese Warrior carved from fibreglass. The massive wooden door stretched from the floor to the ceiling and is akin to the entrance of a temple. Never have I been to a place where the first thing I uttered is "WOW"!

As soon as I walked in, I felt welcome by the friendly staff. The place is absolutely magnificent. The seating arrangements are to perfection and can accommodate up to 260 people. The décor on the wall is impressive. The place is surrounded by arts and handmade sculptures. The attentive staff behind the massive bar will serve you wine and drinks to quench your delicate thirst, while the other staff diligently attends to the food preparation behind the glass window.

The counter is surrounded by a pond with numerous goldfish. My excitement grew when the restaurant manager Jason invited me to tour the upper level of the restaurant. More ornaments greeted me. There are decorative teapots on the wall that I can only presume are expensive art works.

Three more warriors are on display as if to guard the diners.

There are four function rooms that are available to rent and can easily accommodate 12 to 24 people. One of those rooms is reserved only for members. It has its own entrance from the car park, which allows them to wine and dine in private.

In their quest for perfection, no amount was spared during the 18 months of renovation. Most of the restaurant's fittings are imported from China and rebuilt by Australia's skilled artisans.

So it's not surprising that this restaurant gave an impression that it's unaffordable to ordinary Janet or John to dine in. We all take our time and enjoy our dinner, but we rarely have that privilege at lunch time. In a normal working environment, most of us are only entitled to an hour lunch and for me, it's half an hour. We therefore usually opt to buy a pre-made lunch to sustain ourselves for the rest of the day.

To bust the myth that China Republic is unaffordable and they can't provide a quick service for those of us who have a limited lunch breaks, the restaurant has launched the "Express Lunch Menu".

Chef Mayson Yu, who together with his family migrated from China, had created 3 hearty choices. He had captured the essence of Asian cuisine, and also gave us an experience to taste an authentic dish. There are three set menus to choose from. The price ranges from $25, $30 and $35.

For $25, here's what's on offer.
1. Beijing style Spicy and Sour Cucumber.
A delicate blend of spice, garlic, and other spices combined with sourness. Mixed together and you have started the journey with your palate.
2. Eggplant and Coriander Salad with Garlic Dressing.
This delectable side dish is my favourite. The eggplant mixed with coriander and garlic is a perfect combination that made me clamour for more. I had two helpings.
3. Peking Duck Spring Roll (1 pc).
Crispy and delicious, it was cooked perfectly without a hint of oil left in your taste buds.
4. Signature Spicy Beef Spring Roll. (1 pc).
I must say that the spice on this spring roll is enough for everyone's palate.
5. Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts or Chef Special Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs.
I have to admit, I have chosen not to eat this dish because it is pork. It is not for religious reasons, but rather a personal choice.

There is also a vegetarian Express Lunch for $25. You will be served with;
1. Beijing-style Spicy and Sour Cucumber.
2. Eggplant and Coriander Salad with Garlic Dressing
3. Vegetarian Spring Rolls (2 pcs)
4. Wok fried Oyster Mushrooms with fresh chilli and garlic shoots, or Chinese mix vegetables.

This is so delicious! The mushroom is so delicate, and when mixed with fresh chilli, it became my second favourite meal.

For $30 dollars, here's what you will get.
1. Beijing-style Spicy and Sour Cucumber.
2. Eggplant and Coriander Salad with Garlic Dressing.
3. Peking Duck Spring Roll (1pc)
4. Signature Spicy Beef Spring Roll. (1 pc)
5. Crispy Sweet and Sour Prawns or Wok-fried Wagyu Beef with Fried Garlic and Fresh Black Pepper.

I wasn't quite so keen on the crispy sweet and sour prawns. I prefer the prawns to be just slightly sautéed or blanched with boiling water served with soy sauce, fresh chilli and lemon.

I either procrastinated or ate too slow, that I didn't have the chance to taste the wok-fried wagyu beef. But judging by the expression of my fellow diners' faces, it must be delicious.

For $35 dollars;
1. Beijing-style Spicy and Sour Cucumber.
2. Eggplant and Coriander Salad with Garlic Dressing.
3. Vegetarian Spring Roll (1 pc)
4. Signature Spicy Beef Spring Roll. (1 pc)
5. Peking Duck.

This special dish remains one of the sought after dishes around the world. Peking Duck history can be traced from the Ming Dynasty. It has been said that Chef's travelled to Beijing hoping to bequest this prestigious occupation and serve the Emperor. It also was a time where the best Chef can become a Minister.

The duck is left to dry for 24 hours after being dipped in boiling water, then glazed with maltose syrup. Traditionally roasted in a closed or hang oven, then placed in an oven with a temperature of 250c. It is cooked for a further 40 minutes while constantly being rotated with a stick. Once it's cooked, the duck looks firm, maroon in colour and has crispy skin with tender meat.

All dishes are served with steamed rice.

Each menu can be served in half an hour; hence there will be plenty of time to sample a glass of delicious wine from New Zealand or tea to compliment the dishes.

The presentation of each dish is impeccable. The smell that emits from the food, laden with spices is excitingly complex, and most of all oozes with freshness.

After sampling all the dishes, I was speechless, lost for further adjectives and I was left with an admiration of the chef, and his art in creating these magnificent morsels. I savoured and let the food dance in my mouth and I can honestly tell you, all I was thinking was, I can't wait to come back, share my experience with my workmates, friends, to you dear readers and loved ones who will appreciate the amazing cuisines that this place offer.

So, how would you like to disassociate yourself from the mediocre $8 or $10 dollar lunch deal?

Savour the elegance of China Republic, be spoiled, and be pampered by the friendly staff, within the grasp of your workplace.

Please note that China Republic may be booked out and so it is advisable to book well in advance.

How do you get there?

China Republic is located in the upper level of World Square Shopping Centre at 680 George Street, Sydney. It is a 5 minutes walk from Town Hall Station, 5 minutes away from Wynyard and a 10 minutes from Circular Quey. You can even opt to ride the free bus 505 shuttle which travels along George St. You will not miss it.

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*Mila Wood was invited as a guest
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Why? Savour the best of the best dining experience
When: 7 days a week, from 12PM
Phone: 02 8081 0888
Where: World Square Shopping Centre, 680 George St Sydney CBD
Cost: varies
Your Comment
When I started reading, I actually forgot that this was a restaurant, and began thinking it was a museum; It's got great sculptures.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12622) 2307 days ago
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