Chinese cuisine is as diverse as its many ethnic groups, languages and environments. Every province has its own traditions – and sometimes the dishes are so niche, they’re only found in one district of one particular city.

Historically, most of Sydney’s Chinese restaurants were dominated by one of those traditions – Cantonese food – because most Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong and nearby Cantonese-speaking areas. Now, it’s a completely different story. All over Sydney you can find the wheat-heavy traditions of west China, the spice of Hunan, and the sour and numbing sensations of Sichuan.

At the same time, a new generation of modern Chinese restaurants has emerged, some mixing progressive wine lists and fine-dining service with traditional Chinese flavours, others exploring what Chinese food means in an Australian context.

This guide provides a mix of all of these places: from high-end concepts and fresh-from-the-tank seafood restaurants to $15 noodle haunts and family-run spots serving dishes you can’t find anywhere else in Sydney.

Related Pages
Local Knowledge: Sydney's Best Regional Chinese Food, Part One
Local Knowledge: Sydney's Best Regional Chinese Food, Part Two

Mr Wong

Moody jazz, heavy wooden beams and a bank of barbeque ducks in the old Tank nightclub space. A modern Shanghai-style dumpling den from Dan Hong and Merivale.

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney

Taste of Shunde

Roast goose, “fried milk”, and fish dumplings – this is a rare opportunity to try a niche cuisine from south-east China.

A16/5 Belgrave Street, Kograh

Golden Sands

Exceptional dim sum with glistening, seafood-stuffed dumplings and saucy pork ribs. Completed by a homely RSL vibe, this is the yum cha king of the south-west.

2 127-141 Forest Road, Hurstville

Xi Xiang Feng Seafood Restaurant

Fresh-out-of-the tank seafood banquets and stellar crispy-skin pigeon. This is Cantonese food at its best, alive and well in Beverly Hills.

483-485 King Georges Road, Beverly Hills

Golden Century

Fresh seafood since 1989. Famous for its queues, lobster tank and mind-boggling wine list. The XO pippies here are lauded by world-beating chefs such as David Chang. A true CBD stalwart, open until late.

393-399 Sussex Street, Sydney
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XOPP

It’s the sister restaurant to Golden Century, and is named after that restaurant’s most famous dish. It’s also one of the most impressive additions to the Darling Quarter food precinct.

The Exchange, Darling Square 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Spice Temple

Innovative Asian-Australian fusion in a romantic, underground restaurant. It’s also by Neil Perry – expect the dishes here to be stylish, vibrant and well-balanced.

10 Bligh Street, Sydney
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Queen Chow Manly Wharf

Merivale’s waterside Cantonese joint, complete with live seafood tank, oyster bar and dim sum. The views across the water make for an ideal setting year-round.

22-23 Manly Wharf East Esplanade, Manly

Xi’an Eatery

Huge bowls of handmade thick-cut noodles for a little over $12. There’s also several pages-worth of dishes you’d typically find in China’s Shaanxi Province.

183D Burwood Road, Burwood

Nanjing Dumpling

One of the few places in the centre of town where you can try Nanjing specialties. If you’re into duck, this is the spot for you.

63-69 Dixon Street, Haymarket

Spicy Joint

A wildly popular Chinese chain in the middle of the CBD, repping the spicy flavours of Sichuan. The tome of a menu here is telling of the huge portions you get here.

4 25-29 Dixon Street, Haymarket

Marigold

One of the oldest (read: most consistently-rammed) yum cha restaurants in town. Bouncy and translucent prawn dumplings, barbeque pork buns and saucy roast ducks whizz past on trolleys so fast you might just miss them. Everyone on the sea of tables here comes for the unpretentious Cantonese cuisine and the famously “egalitarian” serving style.

4 683 George Street, Haymarket

Palace Chinese Restaurant

Tied with Marigold in the CBD yum cha game. It can be a tad expensive but the premium is warranted – the quality of food, speed of service and deep history is undeniable.

1 133/145 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket

Chongqing Street Noodle

This is the home of the Xiao Mian. It’s one of China’s great single-dish meals, which is simply wheat noodles in a tart, spicy and tingling soup. The absurdly good meal deal gets you a bowl of it, with a side and a can of soft drink.

88 Liverpool Street, Haymarket

Xing Xing Sichuan Dish

Start with silky wontons, move onto a chilli-laced fish soup and finish with glutinous rice cakes coated in brown sugar. This is one of Haymarket’s must-try Sichuan spots.

42a Dixon Street, Haymarket

Yummy Seafood Restaurant

Crazy amounts of lobster, mud crabs, whole fish and platters of pippies weigh down the tables here. Seasonal Cantonese specialties are available too, but believe us – it’s all about the seafood banquet.

477 King Georges Road, Beverly Hills

Kiroran Silk Road Uygur

A Haymarket diner that offers a rare chance to try genuine Uighur cuisine. The menu blends traditions from both Central Asia to the west and Chinese cuisines from the east.

3 6 Dixon Street, Haymarket

The Northeast Restaurant

The flagship location of a string of restaurants specialising in cuisine from north-east China. Tackle a hotpot or go for a platter of smoked pork with Chinese corn bread.

436 Anzac Parade, Kingsford

Hurstville Chinese Restaurant

A cornerstone of south-west Sydney’s Cantonese-speaking community. Its suited-up service and low-key decor have remained unchanged since 1980. And you can expect the same consistency from the extensive menu. Equally primed for one-person lunch or a banquet for many.

184 Forest Road, Hurstville

Eaton Chinese Restaurant

A lone, late-night Cantonese star among Ashfield’s strip of Shanghai dumpling dealers. Some say it goes head-to-head with Golden Century on quality and price.

313 Liverpool Road, Ashfield

The Eight

A swish and enormous restaurant with an exceptional yum cha service. It’s a contender for best yum cha in the CBD, but it's also one of the newest in the pack.

9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Chinese Noodle Restaurant

Grapes on the ceiling. But also dumplings, hand-pulled noodles and BYO booze on the footpath outside. This beloved Haymarket joint is inspired by the cuisine of north-western China.

160 Thomas Street, Haymarket

Beverly Hills Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant

A little-known spot with some of the best Peking duck around. Here, they carve the duck at your table and – for a bit of extra cash – will batter and fry the last morsels of meat for you once you’re done eating.

493 King Georges Road, Beverly Hills

Chairman Mao

Head here for fiery Hunan cuisine (Sichuan spice has nothing on it). Order ahead for the menu of regional specialties, centered around luxury ingredients such as abalone.

189 Anzac Parade, Kensington

Yang Guo Fu Malatang

Choose-your-own-adventure hot pot in the Dixon House Food Court. Once you’ve chosen your raw ingredients, it’s simply a matter of cooking the lot in a giant laksa-coloured soup that’s whisked to your table.

Shop B9, Dixon House Food Court 413-415 Sussex Street Sussex Street, Sydney

Dolar Shop

A Chinese-Macanese hotpot restaurant aiming to elevate the steamboat experience. You can find this opulent eatery in Haymarket’s 1909 dining precinct.

Level 3 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant

Fiery dried chillies, mouth-numbing peppercorns and searingly hot oils are standard at this Haymarket restaurant. The offering is as extensive as it is spicy.

Shop 108 25-29 Harbour Street, Haymarket

Dainty Sichuan

True flavours of Sichuan, by way of a Melbourne institution. The Sydney branch serves the same signature Chongqing noodles as its southern counterpart.

10/19b World Square 644 George Street, Sydney

Beijing Impression

A high-end restaurant chain serving Peking duck and north-eastern Chinese specialties you can’t find elsewhere. The lavish dining room alone is the worth the visit.

9/13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Din Tai Fung

Bow down to the dumpling masters. Or just watch them through the glass, hand-crafting those world-class xiao long bao in the kitchen.

Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt Street, Sydney
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China Lane

This spot blends fifties-style Shanghai glamour with CBD laneway dining. It's the more relaxed addition to the China Doll and China Beach family of restaurants.

2 Angel Place, Sydney

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

It’s all in the name at this Dixon House eatery. Crisp, bronze Peking Duck hangs in the kitchen window, which you can try san choy bao-style or on pancakes.

10A Dixon Street, Haymarket
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