After a shaky start, Haymarket’s ten million dollar player has found its feet. Over a MouTai Cocktail ($25) I muse: it’s a totally different restaurant to the one I first visited late last year for the launch and a subsequent dinner. All traces of the somewhat uneasy fusion between East and West have vanished (along with the previous chef). They have retained David Blackmore’s wonderful wagyu – try it as buttery Dry-Aged Ribeye ($49.80/100g) sizzled tableside on hot stones then accentuated by sauce Bordelaise. So complete is the change, some menu specials are printed only in Chinese. Never fear, I ordered a Lamb Hotpot ($69.80) from this menu anyway, enjoying the rich hearty flavour brightened by chrysanthemum (tong hao) leaves. Precede your hero proteins with one of the Chinese cold dishes I’ve come to love – Sichuan Poached Chicken ($19.80) with chilli oil and sesame dressing – or experiment with beautifully toothsome Wood Ear Fungus with Onion and Wasabi Oil ($12.80). Even the Duck and Preserved Egg Terrine ($18.80) impresses as an accessible way to explore salty preserved egg. For the finale, get your hands dirty with Singaporean Chilli Crab with Chinese ‘Grissini’ (Market Price) perhaps with some Braised Bean Curd with Vegetables ($19.80) and a mound of utterly compelling Fried Rice with Wagyu and Crispy Rice ($28.80).
1/405-411 Sussex Street, Haymarket
Ph: (02) 8218 1000 waitan.com.au