Waitan Opening Night

Drink, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 6 November 2013

The much anticipated Sydney restaurant Waitan, opened its doors last week to showcase Asian fine dining in the heart of China Town. With 10 million dollars spent on building the venue my expectations were high for this launch party.
As a foodie the first thing on my mind was finding the wood fire oven I’d heard so much about. Built especially for cooking duck with clay bricks imported directly from China this oven is meant to create the best peking duck in town. Before I could make it to the oven I was stopped in my tracks by the interior of the restaurant. Dark, moody lighting and sleek dark wooden furniture I was starting to see where some of this money had been spent!
Strapping young bar tenders kept the Veuve Clicquot flowing while Jerson Trinidad from The Voice and his band entertained guests.
Waitan Restaurant Opening
Short speeches were made giving guests an insight into the inspiration behind Waitan. We learnt about the concept of East meets West and old meets new and how Waitan is here to show Australians the reality of a new-age sophisticated Asia.
Only half the crowd are listening while the rest are hovering over the different food stations serving different canapés including oysters and steamed bao buns with thins slices of wagyu beef. Head Chef John Rankin was earning his keep, working hard to ensure no stations were left empty.
­Waitan restaurant launch
I finally found the duck oven which was being commanded by Peking Duck master, Mr. Yuegin Ma. He hand rolled all the delicate pancakes to perfection. This was the stand out dish of the night!
Waitan Restaurant Opening
Waitan Restaurant Opening
I got a private tour of level 2 with Amina and Audra from season 4 of Masterchef. The guys from Hill & Knowlton showed us around the decadent private dining rooms and Dining Bar were lovers of scotch and whisky can come and choose from some of the finest cognacs. They also showed us their giant round table (apparently the biggest in Australia) which seats up to 32 people. Not sure how everyone is going to share dishes around this big boy, I’m envisaging a very large lazy susan.
The evening redefined my expectations of Asian cuisine and opened my eyes to a new way of Asian dining. Don’t take my word for it, go check it out for yourself.

Tullia Mawter and Georgina Norton-Smith
Me on the left! 🙂

Level 2, 405 Sussex St, Contact: (02) 8218 1000
Waitan is open for dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm till midnight.