Perched on Woolloomooloo’s heritage Finger Wharf, China Doll is one of Sydney’s quintessential dining experiences, serving knock-out homages to the cuisines of Asia alongside a spectacular view of the city skyline from its waterfront vantage point.
Equal parts refined and informal, you’re just as likely to spot an old friend as a celebrity among the white tablecloths. A blue-willow pattern – depicting a Chinese fable of an eloping couple transforming into doves – is a recurring motif throughout the restaurant, appearing on every plate and on the back feature wall.
While China is a major touchstone, head chef Frank Shek – who’s been with the restaurant since the day it opened – has assembled a diverse team of chefs from across Asia, and the menu here celebrates the continent’s many flavours and techniques.
Long lunches and refined dinners are a way of life here, and yours might start with various dim sum, and raw seafood dishes including salmon sashimi with a blackened chilli dressing. It’s hard to go wrong on the list of small and medium dishes – just don’t leave without ordering signature mains of tea-smoked duck with tamarind and plum; and masterstock crispy pork belly with chilli caramel and nam pla phrik, a sweet-sour Thai dressing.
Fun cocktails incorporate seasonal fruits and Asian ingredients. Otherwise there’s a lengthy wine list of mainly Australian bottles to go with that sparkling city backdrop.
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