Sydney’s Cantonese offering went up a notch in 2022 with the opening of Jinja, a killer Asian restaurant for when the mood strikes, which, to be fair, could be breakfast, lunch or dinner any day of the week. Found within the Governor Hotel in Macquarie Park, Jinja is named for owner and entrepreneur, local Sydney legend Jinghua (more often dubbed “Jinja” due to her obsession with ginger spice), the muse of Sydney-based artist Ronnie Samuels, whose paintings pepper the restaurant space.
Leaning hard into food-meets-style, Jinja is all about super traditional dishes like gentle steamed market fish with shallots and, of course, ginger; crisp Peking duck; and honey glazed Kurobuta pork; as well as a few less conventional numbers like lobster san choy bao; truffled spring rolls; and prawn mousse fried brioche.
Now, seven months after opening, the team has launched a yum cha offering, created by hatted chef Sebastian Tan (Silks). Featuring over 30 plates of traditional Cantonese brunch dishes and dim sum hits, the new menu is available weekly for lunch, Wednesday through Sunday. Order fluffy pork buns; pork and chive dumplings; crispy-skinned Cantonese roast duck; and honey glazed char siu pork.
Of course, Chinese pastries will be served (custard buns, we’ve got our eyes on you), and for an additional $5 you can pair the plates with bottomless Keemun black tea, a famed black drink with a light aroma and sweet, toasted notes. If you come along with a group of four or more, which, let’s be honest you definitely should, there’s a chef’s menu for $70 that comes with a steamed dim sum platter, barbecue platter, selection of wok dishes and a dessert.
Thanks to the eclectic design of architecture firm Archebiosis, the interior brings together old world Shanghai, as well as colonial Hong Kong and a little modern Beijing for good measure. Intricate russet-hued parquetry flooring, sheets of floral wallpaper and exposed red brick are offset by shining neon signs and curved red velvet booths.
It wouldn't be a Chinese restaurant without a tea service and Jinja is bringing the goods, with a dedicated tea ceremony dispensary to get you feeling all kinds of zen. Once you've reached a place of inner peace, dive into the expansive wine selection. There are over 100 bottles on offer, ranging from Burgundy to the Barossa as well as top-shelf Champagnes.