When a restaurant proves so popular that it has to open up a second site, everybody wins. In China Diner's case, fans of the Bondi favourite get a second place to get their share-style Chinese cuisine fix, while those in the vicinity of Double Bay get another Asian eatery.
Setting up shop on Kiora Lane, China Diner's latest venue still boasts the dumplings, duck pancakes and other dishes that have already made it such a hit; however, there's more than just tried-and-tested tastiness on the menu here. In a move reminiscent of executive chef Jack James Steer's approach to Cantonese cooking, the Double Bay digs blends the traditional and the modern courtesy of a few fresh selections. Existing fans can savour another serving of crispy pork bao with apple and carrot kimchi, or chicken and sesame 'chiko' spring rolls with blood plum sauce, while newcomers can try the new concoction that is Steer's chicken and sweet corn soup topped with truffle foam.
Drinks-wise, China Diner Double Bay serves up a creative cocktail list that similarly aims to showcase the restaurant's love for its chosen cuisine, and Asian food in general — think the lemongrass and coconut sour (with lemongrass-infused Wyborowa vodka, citrus and coconut foam), as well as share jugs of samurai Pimms (with Kirei sake, Pimms, mint, strawberry, orange and dry ginger ale). Throw in decor that mixes cocktail stools, open tables and booths, as inspired by the American diner vibe, and the scene is set for a relaxed, playful and delicious Chinese dining experience.
Images: Dominic Loneragan.