Redbird Chinese

This modern Chinese-inspired eatery has arrived on Redfern Street from two Billy Kwong alumni.
Ben Hansen
Published on February 08, 2023


"I never want a guest to walk away hungry — ample sauce is a must." This is the mantra of chef Hamish Ingham when it comes to his Redfern eatery Redbird. Ingham met his partner in crime Rebecca Lines while they were working at Billy Kwong. And now, the hospitality power couple behind the likes of Bar H, Banksii and Tequila Daisy has brought the skills they learnt back in the Crown Street kitchen to this Redfern Street venue.

Redbird presents simple and fresh takes on classic modern Chinese dishes using local and native ingredients. Sydney rock oysters ($6–6.50) and steamed ginger Murray cod ($49) make an appearance on the menu, alongside sticky caramelised pork belly ($34.50), prawn toasts ($18) and Sichuan-braised eggplant ($18.50).

"I also want them to experience that perfect meeting of salty, sweet and sour that has kept me coming back to this style of cooking for 22 years and counting," says Ingham.

The signature dish on the menu is the eponymous red bird (market price). Which bird just happens to be the subject of this dish will change regularly, ranging from chicken to pigeon to duck. But what stays the same is the treatment, the poultry poached in an aromatic Cantonese red braise.

Other highlights on the menu include chilli-spiced lotus root chips ($7.50), five spice tofu salad ($18.50), pork and scallop wontons ($18), and stir-fried beef fillet ($65). For dessert, you can opt for the lighter strawberry and Sichuan spice sorbet ($15), or double down on the indulgence by ordering the jasmine custard with verjuice caramel ($13.50), or perhaps some Sichuan caramel chocolate truffles ($8).

There's also a hefty cocktail menu here at Redbird, featuring sips like the Redfern sour ($19) — a mix of Bacardi Blanca, Pernod, osmanthus syrup, mint and lime leaf — and a jasmine margarita ($23) made with Patron Reposado, yuzushu, jasmine syrup, and a smoke and salt bitter.

The inviting dining room is defined by exposed brick, recycled timber and terrazzo tiles, while a 20-seat al fresco dining area out on Redfern Street provides a perfect people-watching vantage point.


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