Our first encounter with the luxe Chinese food at China Republic was earlier this year, where we feasted on their impressive dinner banquet menu. We’re back for seconds, as China Republic have now introduced an Express Lunch menu at several different price points ($25, $30 and $35), which is perfect for the corporate dining crowd or weekend shoppers in the area.
The two course Express Lunch menu consists of a variety of starters, a choice of mains and a bowl of steamed rice. At first glance, there seems to be a lot of food on the menu for a two course lunch, but each of the starters is mini sized and the mains are not overly large either – so don’t worry about rolling back into work with too much of a food coma!
We opted for the mid-range $30 option, lured in by the wagyu beef on offer as one of the mains. China Republic’s signature contemporary plating of the dishes was on show again with the starters nicely presented on a bamboo platter. There was a a small bowl of tangy Beijing-style Spicy and Sour Cucumber which was refreshing and acted as a bit of a palate cleanser.
Next, there was a very flavoursome and addictive portion of Eggplant and Coriander Salad with garlic dressing which I kept going back to, even when the mains were served as the dressing went well with the rice. The hot components of the starters platter consisted of a crispy Peking Duck Spring Roll (a different way of showcasing China Republic’s classic roasted duck meat) and a rather fiery Spicy Beef Spring Roll, which looked more like a slender cigar. The last thing on the starters platter was actually more of a dessert and isn’t listed on the menu – it’s a sweet glutinous rice cake with a nutty filling. Best save that for the end of the meal after you devour the mains!
Wok-fried Wagyu Beef with Fried Garlic and Fresh Black Pepper
As there were two of us dining, we picked one each of the 2 mains on offer for the $30 Express Lunch menu. I absolutely loved the Wok-fried Wagyu Beef with Fried Garlic and Fresh Black Pepper – all my favourite elements on one plate. The cubes of wagyu melted in your mouth and the thin slivers of garlic were fried to crisp perfection.
Crispy Sweet and Sour Prawns
The Crispy Sweet and Sour Prawns were decent too, but not as impressive as the wagyu. We found that the sauce was more sweet than sour and a thicker consistency than expected too. The prawns themselves were big and juicy, but the sauce got a bit too much after we had a few of them.
All in all, we think that China Republic’s Express Lunch offering hits the mark as a decent value way to sample the upmarket Chinese cuisine at this sleek restaurant.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of China Republic