[Invite] The Eight, is classic Sydney and Sydney Chinatown. It’s a Modern Chinese restaurant on the upper level of Market City and situated right in the heart of ChinaTown. A favourite amongst many a Sydneysider and the local Chinese community, it is heaving as the 720 seater restaurant is filled with patrons indulging in yumcha and modern Chinese eats.
Yum cha carts roll around the restaurant, but if you’re in for a feast then the Sichuan banquet is the way to go. The banquet is $165 for 4, so even with some wine you’re looking at a reasonable $50 a head or so. Even better, grab 7 friends and double up on the banquet to try even more of the menu. A hefty, great value banquet that we really loved. The banquet is set up to be shared; two cold appetizers, one main and two sides. It should noted that their sides are huge plates of almost main sized serves; examples include king prawns in sweet and chilli sauce, or deep fried sweet and sour pork ribs. Also with the banquet, complimentary rice and desserts. This is pleasingly great.
For cold starters there is the Drunken chicken, tender and subtly flavoured with the rice wine, herbs and spices after being sous vide for 10 hours. The finely sliced beef terrine is a slow cooked short rib and dressed in a chilli soy sauce and topped with shallots. It’s meaty but also sweet and spicy. For vegetarian options there is the julienned bean curd with coriander and sesame oil as well as a chilled seaweed salad somewhat reminiscent of a Japanese dish. Both light and refreshing ways to start the meal.
Looking mightyy impressive as it arrives is a large steamed barramundi sitting in a deliciously savoury soy/chilli sauce. The surprise “special chilli sauce” has little heat and marries well with the delicate barramundi for a tasty mouth. Its a winning main (it should be noted; both main options for the Sichuan Banquet are Barramundi Fish Mains. The other being Barramundi in pungent Sauce).
The sides from the Eight Sichuan Banquet will surprise with their portion size. The deep fried pork ribs are more meat than ribs (a definite win) and they are crispy and sweet with pieces of pineapple (that acidity) to balance out that fatty porkiness. Diced chicken with chilli and Sichuan pepper is another of those memorable moreish dishes, and has been cooked with peanuts which soak up all that chilli and pepper flavour. The wok seared diced beef fillet with black pepper sauce is big chunks of tender beef cooked medium rare with broccoli and mushrooms. They’re cooked on the side of medium rare, and are tasty tender morsels of beefy goodness. Of the trio of seafood sides we had; our easy preference are for the King Prawns in Sweet and Chilli Sauce and the Seafood tofu dish. Both sizable, with plenty of juicy prawns. Seafood Tofu main had plump delicious tofu and big scallop pieces in it. If you love your seafood, that’s our pick.
Dessert is also included and is a rotating daily dessert. Today’s is a Cantonese classic, red bean soup, but some others on daily rotation are sago, black glutinous rice and mango pudding.
The Eight’s Sichuan Banquet is an easy recommend and we loved this. Affordably priced with an ample selection of delectable Sichuan eats.
Post by Rachael Sparks