Following the success of Queen Chow Enmore in Sydney’s Inner West comes a smarter, sharper, more focused version on Manly Wharf. Queen Chow Manly is part of the Merivale Group, the 180-seater has an Imperial-China-meets-beachside vibe.

It’s elegant yet let-your-hair-down, in keeping with the colourful, vibrant food from the kitchen of chef Patrick Friesen and his main dumpling man, Eric Koh. The wine list is as big as the deep blue sea outside, while lazy Susans, a live seafood tank and an oyster bar add a sense of theatre. All signal an offering beyond standard Cantonese fare.

Start with light prawn har gau, scallop and prawn dumplings, wild mushroom dumplings, pork xiao long bao and pork and prawn siu mai for good measure. Silken tofu wades in vegetarian XO and there’s a smorgasbord of salt ’n’ pepper offerings, including squid, prawns, tofu and even pork ribs. Live mud crab and lobster come wok-fried, Singapore-style, for diners with deep pockets but the roast duck with plum sauce is evidence you don’t need to spend a lot for just as much joy.

Atmosphere: Australian imperial-luxe
Best for: Indulging before a seaside stroll to digest
Cuisine: Modern Chinese
Standout dish: Peking duck pancakes
Open: Open seven days for lunch and dinner
Address: Manly Wharf, 22-23 East Esplanade, Manly 
Phone number: (02) 9114 7341

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