Waitan Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Haymarket

I believe I can fly.”

Yes, yes I did just open up my review with a lyric from a R.Kelly song. Say what you will about the man but the dude’s got pipes.

However, I do not want to talk about R.Kelly. Though the man is the artist behind the song, that song is synonymous with another guy. That guy being Michael Jordan.

I love Michael Jordan. Not only for his supreme athletic gifts but for his competitive spirit, his fierce desire to win and his dedication to his craft. He’s the tall, dunking, African American father I never had (I got stuck with the short, dunking biscuits into his milk tea, Chinese version).

One of the most famous Michael Jordan moments was when he put the Chicago Bulls on his back during game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals. He was suffering from severe dehydration and flu like symptoms but rallied his team and managed to squeak out a victory under incredible physical duress. Amongst basketball fans, that moment is referred to as ‘the Flu Game.’

Folks, this review of Waitan will forever be referred to amongst my 12 fans as ‘the Flu blog” as I made my visit under slight physical duress.

Waitan CBD
I imagine that’s the expression all my readers have on their faces

Alright, let’s get this flu”d blog underway.

Waitan is another restaurant that has been on my list ever since I decided to enter the blogosphere. Mostly because I read a tonne of media coverage regarding their opening featuring models, Lamborghinis and chefs flown out just to be there. I mean, come on.

Hot girls, hot cars and hot food is basically my life in seven words.

Waitan CBD
I broke out of the cage because I believe I can fly

To my disappointment, there was no red carpet laid out for me upon my arrival. The only cars in the vicinity were being by driven by guys who had forgotten how to drive because of the rain and the only hot girl near me was the one half of Delectably Degusting who was going to be my dining companion for the night.

Speaking of hot, here was the first dish we had on the night:

Waitan Sichuan Poached Chicken
Sichuan poached chicken with chili oil and sesame dressing

In my flu ridden state, we opted for dishes that would pack a punch that would force their way through my sinuses. We started off with a home run in terms of flavour combinations. The chilli oil pierced through my blocked nose like me ripping through the lid of an ice cream container. The chicken was served cold and I loved the dynamic between the chilled nature of the chicken and the spice of the oil. I also dug the hidden bean sprouts that served as the base of the dish. The sprouts served to mix up the consistency of the dish that I quite liked.

Waitan braised bean curd
Braised bean curd brew with vegetables

Confession: I only picked the chicken dish for the night. Everything else was selected by my dining buddy and the braised bean curd was the main reason she had suggested Waitan.

Confession part II (call me Usher): I didn’t even pick the restaurant. The tofu was my favourite dish of the night. I loved the spinach crust that laced the surface of the bean curd. It was so delicate and silky; the absolute pinnacle of tofu excellence.

The tofu had a fantastic supporting cast. The mushrooms were just so fragrant and tasty. They were incredibly soft and had just the right amount of chewiness. The final member of the band was the Chinese broccoli that was just enhanced by the sauce that spread its flavour across every component of the dish.

Yeah, this tofu dish was my Boo (call me Alicia Keys).

Waitan fried rice
Fried rice with wagyu beef and crispy rice

The one factor that took this fried rice to the absolute next level was the crispy rice that was mixed with its soft brethren. The crunch is something you just don’t normally get with fried rice. Believe me, I’ve had a lot of rice (call me Rice-ac) and this was right up there. I barely tasted the wagyu beef as it was completely overshadowed by the crispy rice, this might’ve been because of my complete lack of taste. Then again, I’ve been told repeatedly that I have bad taste so take that with a grain of salt that I still can’t taste.

Waitan honey glazed spare ribs
Honey Glazed Spare Ribs

(Read the following paragraph with an instrumental of P.Diddy’s ‘I’m Coming Home’ playing).

Honey, I’m home. Honey, I’m home.

Tell the world that I’m coming home.

Don’t let the rain wash away. All the flavour from yesterday.

These honey ribs were amaze, and not ordering them is a mistake.

I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Someone bring these ribs to my….home.

Waitan honey glazed spare ribs
Honey glazed spare ribs

Sorry, I haven’t been to karaoke in a while so I had to get that off my chest. These ribs were so good that bursting into song upon having them is a completely normal reaction. The tender meat, the perfect layering and the sweet glaze on top just made this magic.

Wait, magic is an illusion. These ribs weren’t a hallucination or some sleight of hand, they were reality.

And reality is beautiful.

Waitan CBD
Oh, here are the babes. They were a bit hard on the surface but I’m sure they’re cuddly on the inside

Here’s the TL;DR that refuses to call me anything other than that obnoxious Sydney food blogger:

– For some more sick content (heh); check out the collaborative post I did with my main man Mike over at I’m Still Hungry.

– Speaking of sick collaborations, don’t forget to take a gander at Taste Maven and their range of delicious tours. I’ll be leading the charge with a Sydney Dude Food tour that I’m hoping some of you guys want to be a part of.

– Wish me luck with my recovery, I’m so sick like a Ne-Yo song. Fortunately, all of the dishes we had at Waitan were bursting at the seams with delightful flavours that revived my dormant tastebuds.

Waitan CBD

Waitan, Haymarket
Chinatown Centre
Level 1& 2 405-411 Sussex St Haymarket

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday: 6:00pm to 12:00am

Waitan Restaurant Bar Lounge on Urbanspoon

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