Thursday, November 7, 2013

Waitan, Haymarket

Say hello to the newest restaurant addition to Sussex St in Chinatown whose concept is to connect east and west, old and new like never before. If you thought house renovations were expensive, think again. The price tag for this creation was over $10 million! Thanks to an invitation extension from Krissie Vitasa of Hill + Knowlton Strategies, I attended the launch party for this lavishly fitted out restaurant. They sure did hit us with the wow factor first thing. We hadn't even walked into the restaurant before we were greeted by a long line of models at the doors!

But then we were greeted by this fella.

I have to say that I really loved the interior design of this place. This main dining area clearly has a lot of traditional influences, yet embraces the contemporary with an end result that is very stylish.

More intimate areas can be found in the Opium Den. No, it is not ACTUALLY meant for anyone to smoke in this area, but instead to provide a more private setting for smaller gatherings for a drink or two. The cushions and plush seats definitely help the area look very inviting.

Look at the production line go to get those Peking Duck pancakes out the door! Well, not really a production line - one chef and many waiters trying to get him to hurry :P Who doesn't like Peking Duck pancakes? These ones vary from any traditional pancakes you've had though. One particular difference I noted was that they used raw red onion instead of the traditional sprig of spring onion. The flavour profile is also different, having been cooked in a cherry sauce. You can see the oven over in the background. I spotted at least 20 ducks hanging inside, cooking! Duck Master Mr. Yuejin Ma was flown in specially from Beijing to cook up a duck feast storm in Waitan's signature brick oven.

Oyster Bar

Veuve champagne served at the bar
I was surprised with the Veuve champagne, which has a definite tang compared to the likes of Dom Perignon and it went down quite easily with the canapes being served.

Spring rolls with satay sauce
The spring rolls were stuffed with plentiful of prawns, and the chefs seemed to have ditched the traditional short spring rolls in favour of ones that are long, streamline and skinny. Much like our jeans in contemporary society these days.

Wagyu beef buns
I really enjoyed these as the wagyu beef was tender, wonderfully smoky, peppery and was lovely with the burst of flavour from the pickle.

Deep-fried quail egg with tofu
Quail eggs are so delicately bite-sized! The broth it was sitting on top of was very subtle yet had a beautiful flavour.

And just because all those normal sized champagne bottles weren't enough, they had to crack out the omega sized one! It definitely was amusing watching them struggle with trying to pop the cork :P

I've yet to try out their normal menu, though I am curious to see how they would fare with their food after blowing so much on decking the place out from head to toe. I think it's time you all see what this new and extravagant place is all about, so what are you Waitan for? ;)

405 Sussex St
Sydney, NSW, 2000
8218 1000

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 6:00pm - 12 midnight

Waitan Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. It looks VERY extravagant and fancy. Mmm those wagyu beef buns look delicious!

    1. Very fancy decoration indeed! The wagyu beef buns were yummy - not sure if they're on Waitan's normal menu though. I'll be interested to see!

  2. How crazy was the queue for the Peking duck pancakes! lol.

    1. I know!! It got packed so quickly once people heard they were making duck pancakes!

  3. Loved the spring rolls, oysters and Peking duck... And the Veuve ;)

    1. I was surprised by the Veuve because normally I'm not a huge fan of champagne but this was actually quite nice!

  4. There was a point in the night where I just hovered at the duck pancake section. I must've eaten 8!

    1. I think everyone was hovering around the stand :P They couldn't make the pancakes fast enough at the rate everyone was eating! I definitely ate a fair few myself to haha :D