Modern Asian Restaurant, King Clarence, By The Bentley Group Has Opened

Eat, Sydney / 19 December 2023

And it promises to be all things “fun, loud, and busy”.

Forget culinary borders and embrace the pan-Asian playground that is King Clarence. Sydney’s CBD just got a whole lot tastier, and let me tell you, this isn’t your average stir-fry affair. We’re talking Melbourne star chef Khanh Nguyen slinging dishes that sing with bold flavours and playful twists, all housed in a neon-kissed temple designed for good times.

Brent Savage, Nick Hildebrandt and Khanh Nguyen from King Clarence Sydney

Nguyen, a Bentley Group alum himself, returns to Sydney with a suitcase full of inspiration from his Melbourne triumphs at Aru and Sunda. He’s not sticking to any one playbook here, though. This menu is a vibrant tapestry woven from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese threads, each bite a tantalising adventure in spice, savour, and umami.

The fish finger bao bun at King Clarence Sydney.

Think wood-roasted pork belly ssam, begging to be wrapped in lettuce with its symphony of pickles and condiments. Imagine fish finger baos, a cheeky homage to childhood delights, with crispy panko replacing the dumpling skin and molten fish hiding inside, all topped with American cheese and salmon roe – yes, you read that right. And then there’s Nguyen’s pièce de résistance, the 14-day aged duck, a testament to his dedication to technique and flavour alchemy.

But food is just one act in this delightful two-part play. Drinks maestro Nick Hildebrandt (Cirrus, remember?) has conjured a wine list that’s an ode to bold pairings, featuring classic and new-wave bottles alongside 40 vinos by the glass, all ready to tango with Nguyen’s fiery creations. And Polly Mackarel, the queen of sommeliers herself, presides over this boozy kingdom, ensuring every sip is a sip of pure joy.

Menu Items at King Clarence Sydney.

The setting? Forget sterile minimalism. Imagine an industrial-chic playground where disco balls twirl under neon pops, creating an atmosphere that’s as vibrant as the food. This is where late-night laughter mingles with the clinking of chopsticks, where corporate lunches get a spicy overhaul, and celebrations find their rhythm in the shared joy of culinary discovery.

King Clarence is a testament to the magic that happens when good food, good times, and good company collide. So, ditch the reservations (there are none, this is all walk-in) and head down to King and Clarence Street. Grab a stool, order a bao, and let the East-meets-West symphony of King Clarence wash over you. You might just find yourself bowing down to the new culinary king in town.