Monday, January 27, 2014

China Republic, Sydney CBD

Lately there has been an increase in Modern Chinese restaurants with incredibly fancy interior decor and contemporary takes on the traditional cuisine opening around the Sydney CBD. There was Mr Wong, Old Town Hong Kong, China Lane, Waitan and so on. China Republic has been one of those long awaited restaurants with its opening date being well-delayed for many months until about early November when its doors finally opened to the hungry and curious public.

Located inside the former location of World Square Pub and Equilibrium Hotel (many drunken nights back in the day...), China Republic offers a modern approach to the traditional Chinese restaurant (mainly with the fit-out) without making drastic, unrecognisable changes to the food itself. With terracotta statues, dark interior decor, spacious venue and even a fish pond; you can imagine how much $$$ was put into the making of this restaurant. One evening, a much needed catch-up with fellow uni friends Ando and KD led us to this establishment after hearing a bit about it through word of mouth and press. We ordered a fair amount of dishes to try out. Most of the dishes are made to share so we were able to taste as much as possible without getting too bloated. 

The Chef's special Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs were so tender that it fell right off the bone so easily. Definitely one of those morsels that melts into your mouth as you take each bite. The texture was sweet and sticky so expect some messy moments with this plate. Recommended with a bowl of rice on the side.

Chef Special Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs ($21.00) 

We wanted to try the signature Peking Duck but the $88 price tag was too much for us to handle considering what we already ordered. The China Republic Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt, Mandarin Pancakes and dressing was a less pricier and equally delicious replacement (if you like lamb of course). The braised lamb was flavoursome, juicy, slightly crispy and deliciously matched well with the thin, floured pancake. These pancakes were addictive for us as we happily gobbled each bit of this dish without thinking about the other dishes following up at the same time. 

China Republic Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt, Mandarin Pancakes and dressing ($36.00)

The handmade noodles was one of those dishes that were individual-based servings due to size of the plate. I didn't try as much but I did enjoy the silky and balanced texture of the noodles. The noodles were incredibly long and slippery when you try to grab a small portion of it. The fried and salty soy bean paste amped up the overall flavour and the thinly sliced cucumber was a healthier contrast to the meats and carbs we had so far.

Handmade Noodle with Beijing Style Fried Soybean Paste ($9.00 per person)

Lately whenever I am at a Chinese restaurant, I go crazy every time I see dumplings on the menu. China Republic's version had a thick and firm dumpling skin though still slippery when handling with chopsticks. The meat was quite juicy and well-minced though not too flavoursome so we made good use of the soy sauce. Still these were addictive that I was constantly popping them into my mouth very quickly.

China Republic Dumplings (10 for $19.00)

After trying the dumplings at Red Sichuan a few months ago, I was curious to see how China Republic's Sichuan dumplings compare. It was pretty much the same as the boiled dumplings but with only 3 pieces in a small pool of chilli oil as an individual serving size instead of 10 pieces to share. These dumplings had a nice chilli kick that was pleasing to the taste buds.

Sichuan-style Dumplings (3 for $9.00)

Apart from the loud jazzy music playing in the background, the actual vibe was relaxing, smooth and not as noisy compared to the much crazier Mr Wong. The service was polite and friendly though there were moments of miscommunication involving the ordering of a couple of dishes. The menu has a generous selection of dishes that I'm keen to try again on future outings especially the top 10 dishes listed on the China Republic website. Since it's close to shopping, George St Cinema and various bars and clubs; this is an ideal place for groups of friends to dine on a night out or a special occasion. That way, you can try a fair number of dishes without doing too much wallet damage since most of them are made to share. On the other hand, if your friends are on a budget then it's a different story because the prices for some dishes can be expensive considering the numerous cheaper restaurants with similarly authentic food located minutes away. Still if you are looking for a restaurant for special events especially with Chinese New Year coming up later this week, this is certainly one of the places to look out with its unique, modern yet authentic approach to Chinese cuisine.

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China Republic
Shop 1041, 680 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8081 0888
Mon-Sun: 12:00pm - late
China Republic on Urbanspoon


  1. Those spare ribs were one of my favourite dishes!

  2. Ooh, I like the sounds of the lamb pancakes. Looks like a great CNY choice.

  3. u guys work now y be cheap

  4. I like the look of those pork spare ribs and especially of the lamb brisket pancakes.

  5. I've walked past and the decor looks soooo fancy. Looks like the food is good too!

  6. Don't you just love the jazzy music whilst eating? Boy that Lamb Brisket is SUPER tasty, so too the Peking Duck :D

  7. We ate quite different things from you so it was interesting to see what you thought of the other items! I wondered about those dumplings especially since hubby loves the fact that you get get $16 of them for $10 in Ashfield. It would be great if theirs were different in some way.

  8. The lamb brisket sounds and looks like a good enough replacement for Peking Duck! I walk past China Republic all the time, need t to drop by one day