Ling Nan is a no-frills restaurant that knows exactly what it is. Look at the laminated menus, paper tablecloths and brusque service, and you’ll know too. But the food always hits the spot, and the place serves it until 3.30am.
The restaurant spans two storeys – so there's plenty of space for big groups. Both spaces are simple, pastel-pink affairs, though the upstairs room has a little more personality: a handful of red lanterns hangs from the ceiling and two kitschy red-and-gold pigs peer down from the walls on either side of the room.
Make sure you order the generous serving of XO pippies. They pack a meaty punch and arrive in an aromatic sauce that smacks of fried shrimp alongside some crispy Chinese doughnuts. And don’t miss out on the shredded duck pancakes, prawn toast and chicken ribs, either.
Ask staff members what they recommend, though, and they’ll silently step aside and point to the various critters nervously circling around the restaurant’s small tanks. There’s abalone, Queensland mud crab, prawns and lobsters, to name a few. Ling Nan allows BYO wine, but you probably guessed that already.