Sun Kitchen sticks to two of the iterations of Chinese food Melburnians know best: Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine.
Taking advantage of the unique lakeside location previously inhabited by Hidden Jade and The Point, the two-level restaurant has one of Melbourne’s most spectacular views. If you dine at the right time, you can expect spectacular sunsets over Albert Park Lake and against the city skyline.
Standouts on the menu include the Dongting-style braised pork belly, which is slow-cooked in a dark soy, giving the meat a soft and gelatinous texture. Another flagship dish is a huge bowl of fish fillets, poached in in hot oil, stock and a trio of fried Sichuan chillies. There’s also hot and sour mung bean noodles and excellent xiao long bao. But the menu is broad. At the other end of the scale you’ll find Wagyu with black truffle, lobster, and an "Imperial Treasure" abalone and sea cucumber claypot that’ll set you back $398.
The Sun Kitchen team has renovated the space, giving it a grand entrance, an open kitchen and nine private dining rooms upstairs in addition to the banquet-style dining room on the ground floor. There’s also a cellar lined with temperature-controlled wine cabinets, and a 200-person function area.
The drinks list, like the menu, is expansive. It’s 54 pages and includes a handful of fruity cocktails and local and imported beer. Or, if you’re feeling generous, splurge on six litres of a 2003 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild pauillac for $68,600, or a bottle of 50-year-old Kweichow Moutai that costs just under $10,000.