The former Chinois site is revived
Established in 1997, Raymond and Florence Chan of Chinois served the Newcastle community their traditional Cantonese cuisine until retiring in late 2022. Exactly 12 months to date, a new venture, Hao Chi by Lee’s Yum Cha, reopened the venue’s doors inviting keen diners in to experience a Cantonese gastronomic adventure.
Hao Chi is brought to you by Lee, the man behind the well-known Chinese takeaway joints across Charlestown Square, Westfield Kotara, Stockland Greenhills, Mayfield, and Marketown, as well as Lee’s Yum Cha at Charlestown Square, Dumpling Story in Hamilton, and Taste of Lanzhou in Westfield Kotara.
Hao Chi by Lee’s Yum Cha, whilst connected by name, offers a truly new dining experience, unlike any other of Lee’s foodie establishments.
The King Street venue has been stripped bare, then renovated from top to bottom and inside out – bringing to you a modern take on the traditional Cantonese restaurant. You’d be forgiven for assuming you’ve stepped into a long-standing restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.
Step through the double doors and take in the vast dining space – to the left you’re treated with a wall of deep teal-coloured suede booth seats, textural wallpaper, fan-like pendant lights, and Oriental décor including ginormous wall fans.
Stretching down the centre of the restaurant is a collection of tables featuring a separate colour palette, complete with mustard-coloured suede and floral print booth. Don’t forget to look up – the wallpaper is featured on the ceiling!
To your right, the venue’s bar extends almost half the width of the whole restaurant. It features a dark timber bar front and is topped with a moody green marble, with a golden back bar and vintage-like pendants.
Towards the back of the restaurant are the signature round tables, complete with lazy Susans, with a live seafood tank against the back wall. If you’re lucky, you might just spot the private dining space set off to the back right of the venue.
The interior truly is a feast for the eyes – turn a corner and you’re treated to a new detail you hadn’t picked up on before.
Whilst the interior renovation is contemporary, there’s something about this place that still feels like a traditional Cantonese restaurant. Maybe it’s those iconic vinyl red chairs that seem to have been repurposed – or maybe it’s just that the team know what they’re doing.
The menu itself feels like a small novel, flicking through pages upon pages, you can expect everything and more from Hao Chi.
“Embark on a gastronomic adventure curated by our master chefs, who skilfully blend time-honoured Cantonese culinary techniques with a modern touch. Every dish at Hao Chi is a masterpiece, showcasing the rich tapestry of flavours, textures, and aromas that define Cantonese cuisine.”
“Every dish at Hao Chi is a masterpiece, showcasing the rich tapestry of flavours, textures, and aromas that define Cantonese cuisine.”
You can expect an elevated Cantonese dining experience, with of course a collection of classic yum cha dishes like prawn dumplings, scallop sui mai, pork spare ribs, chicken feet, and more.
The drinks menu has been equally as well thought out, with three signature Hao Chi cocktails; Hao Chi Geisha made with single malt whisky, sake, coconut water, sugar syrup, and orange bitters, the Lee’s Atsukau with rose vodka, Campari, sake, and tangerine syrup; and the Imperial Crane with Don Julio tequila, green chartreuse, shiso syrup, and cranberry juice.
The cocktail list continues with a collection of classics with a Hao Chi twist as well as an extensive International wine list and spirits offering.
Hao Chi by Lee’s Yum Cha has truly levelled up our local Cantonese dining experience and is one worth experiencing for yourself.