In April, we farewelled Merivale's American-themed Manly eatery Papi Chulo — and now the hospitality group's second Queen Chow has taken its place.
Papi Chulo shut up shop back in April, and the East Esplanade space has since undergone a small refurbishment. Group tables are now topped with lazy susans, tanks filled with live seafood greet guests at the door, and deep greens and dark timbers echo the hues of Queen Chow's sister restaurant in Newtown. With the restaurant also bringing over its signature barbecue roast duck and honey-glazed char siu pork platters, what has remained from the site's former guise is the stunning view out across the sparkling Sydney Harbour.
In the kitchen, executive chef Patrick Friesen and dumpling master Eric Koh use Australian ingredients to recreate dishes served up at neighbourhood Chinese restaurants. Oysters — served from an impressive zinc-clad oyster bar — come topped with finger lime, Australian pipis are wok-fried with XO, and Moreton Bay bugs are doused in butter and black pepper. You'll also find Chinese-Australian staples such as sticky honey prawns, Mongolian lamb and deep-fried ice cream.
Koh's famed dumplings are expectedly a highlight of the menu, with a lineup of steamed or fried scallop and prawn siu mai, pork xiao long bao, prawn har gau and more. Alongside the food menu, Merivale's group sommelier Frank Moreau has pulled together another impressive wine list, with over 200 wines from across Australia and the world.
Queen Chow's reopening is part of Manly Wharf's $9 million dollar makeover, and the restaurant will soon by joined by Rockpool Dining Group's Fratelli Fresh and Sake Restaurants — which are set to open later this year on the Wharf's second storey.