Stone-clad fish tanks display live seafood, with modern timber lattice screens lining one side of the walls, accented by bronze mosaic pillars. Custom-designed upholstered silk chairs in copper tones complement latte tone tablecloths laid with pure white china and cutlery specially sourced from China.
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With a throng of Chinese restaurants around Sydney's Haymarket competing for your attention, it's hard to decide which one will satisfy your cravings with truly delicious cuisine and which will leave a less pleasant taste in your mouth. Zilver, we're happy to confirm, is definitely the former. Sitting at the corner of Pitt and Hay Streets, this restaurant bangs out fantastic lunchtime yum cha and an impressive a la carte dinner selection. Set over a couple of areas, Zilver varies in mood – from the brisk, no-fuss classic simplicity of its expansive yum cha area to decadent red-walled, white-set private and dining rooms.
Come at lunchtime and carts stacked with Chinese favourites like dumplings, steamed bok choy, barbecue pork, Peking duck, noodles and the like will greet your palate. But if you're a seafood or Chinese cuisine buff, you want to come for dinner when the 140-dish menu comes out blazing. Offering a fabulous selection of contemporary and classic Chinese dishes, it covers areas like "fusion dishes", "barbecued specialities" "soups" "poultry", "beef and lamb", "pork", "hotpots", "vegetables and bean curd" and "noddles and rice". However this place is undoubtedly a master of seafood, a lot of which resides in restaurant fish tanks. Browse the "shark's fin", " abalone, sea cucumber and fish maw", "live lobster and crab" and "prawns, scallops, pipis and squid" sections to find what tempts. Too hard to choose? Try the signature of deep-fried mud crab tossed in salted egg. Alternatively this is a good place to splurge on lobster, which comes served two ways. If you're not convinced don't worry, there's a more subtle way to try the seafood. Zilver infuses some of its classic Chinese dishes like "Zilver's special fried rice" with seafood embellishments (in this case crab meat, fried scallop and salmon roe).