Cuisine: Chinese

Fear not that this very interesting Chinese restaurant is in a Leagues Club — the surroundings are, unless you have the acute sensitivities of a Leo Schofield, inoffensive: a bit of burnt orange, a bit of mustard and black. Do keep your eye on the plates, though. For a start, there are 28 crab dishes market price ranging from Singapore chilli to Qing Dynasty imperial secret recipe crab. Peking duck for two $48 could well be preceded by duck’s feet and chilli bean sauce $22. There are the usual live fish swimming about waiting to be eaten and yum cha all day $4–$14. After food like this, you’ll forget how much you hate burnt orange.

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Cuisine: Chinese,Chinese

If there was a prize for the most traditional Chinese restaurant decor, Eaton would win hands down. But who cares? The seats are comfortable and the food — once you charm or bully your way past the boring offerings listed on the menu — is terrific. For instance, a brown-lacquered deep-fried pigeon $37.60 for two, head and all, is a crunchy, flavoursome delight. And how about mud crab with vermicelli for two, market price but around $68? There is more usual fare if you want it but also check out the fried pork ribs with salt and pepper $14.80 — deeply satisfying. There’s also the generous custom of complimentary chicken and pork broth and bitter melon pudding for afters. A top spot for Chinese food lovers.

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Cuisine: Chinese,Chinese,Chinese

Cross another Chinese regional cuisine — Shanghainese — off your list after you’ve eaten here. As Shanghai is China’s most sophisticated city, expect better-than-average surroundings — ie a smart room — and food. Choose dumplings to start, of course, and mini pork and prawn wonton soup $4.80 is simple and superb, as are shallot pancakes $4.80; but it’s hard to pass by xiao long bao, mini pork soup dumplings $7.80. Starters demolished, you should head for the famous deep-fried crab with salted egg yolk $38.80, which although pricy will satisfy four sharers. Service can be a little patchy but with food this good, who cares?

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Cuisine: Chinese,Chinese,Chinese,Thai

How about a wonderfully sour and savoury tom yum prawn soup $7.50 in the garden of this tiny but well-patronised oasis of Thailand in a sea of Shanghainese? If you’re reading this in winter, then move inside for a lamb shank curry $11.50 or chilli fish $14.50 any time of year. The chef’s specials are always worth a look: you might find fish fruit curry, ling fillet in a red curry with lychee, pineapple and rambutan, or tamarind king prawns $15.50. Not a lot to recommend it in the way of interior design, but keep your eye on the plates hitting the tables.

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