What was once Rockpool and then Eleven Bridge (by acclaimed Sydney chef Neil Perry) is now Jade Temple, a Cantonese eatery styled like the fancy hotels of Hong Kong. It is by The Rockpool Group, where Perry is now the culinary director.
Lemon chicken and sweet-and-sour pork aren’t necessarily good examples of Cantonese cuisine, but they are included here because Perry believes they represent classic Australian-Chinese cuisine. And because they are delicious.
Along with mud crabs, lobsters and pipis from the tank, and roast pigeons, duck and char siu (Cantonese barbequed pork) from the hanging racks, head chef Peter Robertson makes all the hallmarks of China’s most widely exported cuisine, including salt-and-pepper squid; drunken chicken; black lip abalone with oyster sauce; steamed snapper with ginger and shallot; egg tarts; and dim sum. A dumpling master from Macau has joined the team, too.
The fit-out is a lush South East Asian colonial (Perry’s words) theme, inspired in part by Raffles Hotel in Hainan Island, China. The furniture and decoration is prim and minimal except for some noticeably lavish touches: two cast-iron lions at the entrance; a set of enormous chandeliers made with what look like wooden shutters; and several wall-length traditional Chinese prints.
The only real echoes of the fine diner that was previously here is the staff and the wine list. There are 300 to 350 bottles: from Rhone and Burgundy, and some Australian pinots and lighter shirazes. The cocktail list focuses on tiki-influenced, refreshing styles.