King Clarence

Acclaimed chef Khanh Nguyen leads the impressive Clarence Street restaurant serving up fish finger bao and whole grilled lobster.
Ben Hansen
March 26, 2024

Overview

Arriving in a flurry of new openings for the Sydney CBD in the closing days of 2023, King Clarence marks the Sydney return of acclaimed chef Khanh Nguyen who's teamed up with the award-winning hospo crew Bentley Dining Group (the team behind MonopoleCirrus and, of course, Bentley Restaurant + Bar).

It's a case of the prodigal son returning home, Nguyen rejoined the group after cutting his teeth at the team's restaurants early in his career before moving down to Melbourne to open his wonderful restaurant Aru.

The expansive venture celebrates Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine in a 100-seat space that co-owner Brent Savage describes as "fun, loud, and busy".

The menu is designed around the kitchen's custom-built barbecue and live seafood tanks. Impressive highlights pulled from the tanks or placed on the grill include the signature grilled rock lobster, 14-day aged duck, whole roasted pork belly ssam and grilled miso eggplant.

Choose your poison and pair it with a cucumber salad and spanner crab fried rice. Or, order a selection of lighter dishes, including the signature fish finger bao, woodfired edamame, lime and nori scallops, pork and prawn dumplings, and Spencer Gulf kingfish collar.

Hate to choose? Never fear, there's a pair of set menus available for $95–154, depending on how extravagant you pictured your night. The next-level Signatures Menu runs through plenty of the above items, plus oysters, beef tartare, chicken liver skewers and coffee parfait for dessert.

Matching the ambition of the King Clarence menu is the drinks on offer, especially the vino.

Polly Mackarel, former Head Sommelier at Cirrus, is curating and guiding you through a wine list that's equal parts approachable and comprehensive. There are more than 40 drops available by the glass and plenty of bottles on offer for $100, with the list placing particular focus on rieslings, chardonnay and medium-bodied reds. Those looking to impress can even dip into the Bentley Wine Vault for a rare drop if the budget allows.

This is one to get on your new restaurant hit list ASAP.

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