A lot of the dishes at Song Bird, Neil Perry’s soon-to-come upmarket Cantonese restaurant, are familiar. Many people will have eaten har gow dumplings and white cut chicken, but it’s the produce that will set Perry’s menu apart.

“We want to refine the dumplings, it’s about the wrappers and the quality of the ingredients,” Perry tells Broadsheet. “If you take frozen Thai peeled prawns and put them in a dumpling, you’re going to get a certain experience. And if you take a whole prawn out of Spencer Gulf and prepare it in the restaurant, that experience is going to be a lot more elevated.”

The three-level, 230-seater is set to open in Double Bay on August 28, and Perry and his staff are deep in recipe testing for the expansive menu. They’re refining the balance of shrimp, conpoy and heat in the XO sauce, and drying 500 ducks in the cool room ready to roast alongside sui yuk (crisp pork belly) and char siu (barbeque pork). There are over 100 dishes to perfect, including a massive seafood offering.

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“We’re working with the same amazing fishermen we use at Margaret," Perry says. "We’ll do classic ginger and shallot steamed fish. The dish will depend on what’s available: coral trout from Queensland, maybe murwong or John Dory, nannygai, flathead or whiting. You can have those fish prepared in different ways, with ginger and shallot, or black bean sauce and glass noodles, for example.”

The menu’s seafood section will boast crab and lobster (which will be live in tanks), plus fish and calamari. Customers can choose one of nine different preparations, such as green Sichuan chilli peppers or XO sauce.

“The menu is a combination of a lot of classic dishes – done well with great produce – and a few that are a creative reinterpretation. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s about beautiful Cantonese and Chinese food with a great level of service.”

Song Bird is set over three levels in the same building as Perry’s basement bar, Bobbie’s – which is opening later this year too. The minimalistic Neville Gruzman-designed building, with its expansive windows and dramatic vertical panels, will offer passers-by glimpses of diners. It also inspired the name of the venue, reminding Perry of a birdcage. Each level will cater to a different kind of diner. The ground floor has 30 seats, a bar and kitchen, while Perry likens level one to Margaret, with its two- and four-top tables. Level two is set out like the dining room of a yum cha restaurant, with large six- and 10-seat tables, complete with lazy Susans.

Behind the scenes, a multi-floor network of kitchens, cool rooms, dishwashing and polishing areas form the inner workings of the restaurant, all connected by a goods lift. Two dumb waiters will deliver food between floors.

Song Bird and Bobbie’s will join sibling venues Margaret and Baker Bleu on the same Double Bay strip. When asked if he’s planning to take over the neighbourhood, Perry laughs.

“I think I’ve got two of the best corners in Double Bay. Song Bird faces north and looks out over the treetops – it’s a beautiful part of the world.”

Song Bird is due to open at 24 Bay Street, Double Bay, on Wednesday August 28.

@songbirddoublebay