Time Out Sydney

Hit up some high-end Chinese to keep things hot under the collar

Spice Temple

Forget the Cantonese staples and prepare to get schooled by a menu that roams China from Sichuan to Yunnan to Guangxi. It's a culinary Contiki tour for your tastebuds. Fancy yourself a seasoned chilli eater? Try the kung pao chicken with Sichuan pepper, heaven facing chillies and cashews. Prefer something that won't leave you sweating? Try the quail stir fried with peanuts served over steamed egg custard with chilli that emphasises rather than bullies and match it to something from the 100-strong wine list.

Mr Wong

Nothing says 'undying devotion' like ordering a whole Peking duck from the drying window at Mr Wong. It's the restaurant equivalent of winning someone the big teddy bear at the carnival. The flash fit out of this inner city Canto-palace and mighty tome of a wine list doesn't hurt either when you're out to impress. But fair warning - if their heart can only be won by full service dim sum you'll have to make it a lunch date to get the cloud-like prawn dumplings or the light, fluffy, steamed barbecue pork buns.

Billy Kwong

This is the place to go for modern Chinese that's mixing things up with native Australian ingredients and bugs. That's right, Billy Kwong features a select few menu items that include mealworms and crickets. There's nothing run of the mill about a meal here, which is particularly impressive given they are gearing up for their fourteenth year on the Sydney dining scene. The food always arrives quickly and staff won’t rush you, but keep in mind you’re here for a good time, not a long time. Make the most of it and order everything.

Chow Bar and Eating House

Chui Lee Luk’s casual Chinese eatery makes for a very different date night than her former French fine dining establishment, Claude’s. Pull up shoulder to shoulder at the lurid, lime green-tiled bar and get stuck into the stained-glass beef and the three-bite wonder veal buns. Show off your heat-tolerance with little pieces of lamb back-strap caught in a landmine of sliced chilli – it’s not called explosive lamb for nothing. They also have an absolutely crackerjack floor team so let Gavin Wright (formerly of Wine Library) guide you through their wine list.

Golden Century

Golden Century may be most famous among pub-going Sydney residents for its awesome late night dishes such as pork and preserved egg congee, salt-and-pepper squid and roast pork, but this impressive Canto-palace is one of the most lavish places for a night on the town with a menu including pipis in XO sauce, crisp-skinned chicken and steamed parrot fish. Choose your own salt and pepper mud crab if you're feeling baller, and at 3am who isn't?

More of Sydney's best restaurants for a first date.

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Updated on 28 Apr 2015.

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