Bringing a touch of luxe to Chinatown

A special Lunch correspondent

Managing Director of Waitan... Patrick Tian
Managing Director at Waitan… Patrick Tian

Lunch recently sat down with the Managing Director of Waitan, Patrick Tian, fresh from his $10 million refurb of this new Sydney icon.

I get the impression that you are modelling the restaurants on some of Beijing and Shanghai’s finest. Is there any particular restaurant(s) you had in mind?

Waitan is a concept that takes influence from the 1930’s and 1940s era in  China.

Our restaurant embraces both tradition and progress, paying homage to the old, whilst celebrating the new sophisticated Asia.

That was the time when all the wealthy Shanghaies were heavily influence by the Westerners. During that time, Shanghai was also called “The Paris of the East”.

Who are you aiming your restaurant at, who are your main clientele and who do you expect them to be in the future?

Our main clientele are local Australian and corporates, who are able to enjoy our a la carte menu, Lover’s Lane for degustation and our Private Dining Rooms on Level 2.

But then again, everyone is very welcome to dine at our home.

Lunch is aimed at the high-end luxury market – what is your message to our readers?

Waitan is where you can have the ultimate contemporary Asian foodie experience with an appropriately luxe dining experience to match.

Bringing a touch of luxe... Peking Duck
Bringing a touch of luxe… Peking Duck

How is Waitan different from the Chinatown experience of old?

Chinatown has always done Chinese food well, but the dining experience is a little lacking, if you know what I mean. Through Waitan, we are bringing a touch of luxe.

One thing you will find completely different is our duck. We have two specialists who trained under a Beijing duck master to use a Chinese government-certified marinade.

We are the only ones with the imperial recipe in Australia, and this dry power was patented in China a long time ago. This makes our Peking Duck very special.

Beyond that, we have award winning Singaporean chef in house to revolutionise customer’s seafood dining experience.

Before Waitan, what was your impression of high-end Chinese fine dining in Sydney?

To be honest, there hasn’t been a real high-end Chinese fine dining, authentic restaurant in Sydney.

I think the reason for this is the high risk and possible of no return for the investors. You need guts and willing to take calculated risk to produce a project of Waitan’s size.

What has been the reaction so far?

Since we launched from October last year, we’re thankful that there has been many of constructive feedbacks and returning clienteles. We have loved showcasing our dishes and we are continuing to improve our service.

We believe from the moment you step inside to Waitan, you kind of forget that you are actually in Chinatown.

With so many options such as our Opium Den in the O Lounge, pre-dinner drinks area as well as our Private Dining Rooms, Waitan really is a playground to entertain.

Our cuisine extends far and beyond your typical Chinese or Cantonese cuisine, it’s far more contemporary and sophisticated.

If you are expecting something that has been done in Chinatown for the last 20 years, Waitan will be a refreshing change.

What is the future? Do you expect to roll out more of these amazing restaurants?

Yes we do have plans to open in more locations.

We don’t want to rush into it however until we have our Chinatown venue where we want it to be. It won’t be long though!


405 Sussex St. Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

Reservations – 02 8218 1000 or [email protected]

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