The first time I walked passed China Lane I almost missed it. You see tables, but no obvious sign and no China-ish theming outside. I looked at the menus people had on the tables outside to determine that I was at the right place. Look up though, and you will see a fabulous menagerie of birdcages.
If you’re going during warm weather, ask for a table outside on the cobbled pathway and people watch a little. The other reason that I prefer outside is that the inside is well, meh. Its a 70’s look, wood laminate type walls, some green vinyl looking couches, a little dark. Not quite sure how it all ties together.
On both occasions its been a little hard to get the energetic waitstaff’s attention, they are all zipping around all over the place. But once you do have it, they are all gushing and friendly.
Its reliable modern Asian here, fresh, well executed, and I’m sure it will become a CBD regular, in part due to the fact that you can get out there for $50-60 a head if you want to fairly easily.
On the menu:
We began with crumbed duck (a special). Gorgeous presentation, but didn’t taste “ducky” enough, could have been any crumbed and fried meat.
Then the prawn san choy bau (also a pork version available) – very flavoursome
Then sichuan chicken salad with cherry tomato, chilli & black vinegar….ok but wouldn’t order it again. Chicken tasted like standard smoked chicken rather than sichuan.
Next a grilled dory with coconut sambal. This was my favourite, a delicate sambal that did not overpower, and finely shaved cruncy coconut for texture. However it is a fairly small piece of fish if it is meant to be a main course. (On my second visit we ordered another fish dish and that was also a very small main).
Then a rich soy braised crispy pork belly with chilli caramel, not for those watching their calories…..
And finally desert – strawberry Sichuan meringue with rose hip, hibiscus jelly & white chocolate, beetroot and ice cream. Lovely, light summery dish. I liked what they had going on with the beetroot, wasn’t sure it would work but it did. And very pretty to look at.
On my first visit they ‘misplaced’ some of our order, and generously threw in three deserts and offered us a champage. On this visit they unexpectedly also bought a complimentary sago and a black sticky rice with mango – thanks, nicely played!
They also offer a good value banquet if you’re with a group.
China Lane, 2-12 Angel Place Sydney, ph (02)9231 3939