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Secrets of the China Doll

“Inspiration comes from many sources, but where better to start looking than right under your nose when you have such an amazing pot of cultures working with you.”– Frank Shek

Residing on the historic Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, China Doll is an award-winning restaurant delivering the ultimate Sydney dining experience to guests. Founded by Steve Anastasiou and his partners in 2004, the idea of an Asian restaurant in Woolloomooloo was thought to be crazy, but Steve’s vision, tenacity and persistence have created a unique dining experience.


Frank Shek

China Doll’s head chef, Frank Shek, has a background in Asian seafood cuisine. His grandfather came from a fishing island off the Hong Kong peninsula which was accessible only by ferry from Sai Kung, a famous seafood area. Looking for a new life, Frank’s family migrated to the United Kingdom in the 1960’s, settling in Scotland when they took over a Chinese take-away business where the whole family worked.

Moving on to learn further lessons, techniques and cooking styles from a few more restaurants Frank eventually became a sous chef at China Doll restaurant and soon after took over the role of head chef.

With an inspiring team from all over Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Macau, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Scotland, it has been a process of learning on the job, researching and testing for new dishes, and a journey of evolution.

china-doll_front-cover_hrFrank has now collected together the very best of his recipes for his first cookbook, China Doll which invites the reader to discover China Doll’s culinary pleasures and enjoy the experience along the way while cooking and serving recipes from a master chef of renown.

Beautifully photographed, China Doll showcases a modern take on culinary traditions from China, Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia. The recipes are well laid out, easy to follow and you will find most ingredients readily available from your local supermarket or Asian supermarket.


Alaskan Crab with Black Pepper Chili & Lime


Grilled Indonesian Style Spatchcock with Kaffir Lime Sambal

While every recipe in China Doll will have the reader licking their lips and excited to prepare, cook and eat, I am excited to say that the ‘desserts’ section in this book is absolutely outstanding. Far from the usual Asian desserts in most books, China Doll has a range of lip smacking recipes including Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Beetroot Gel and Plum Chantilly, Lemongrass Panna Cotta with Poached Cumquats and Ginger Crumble, White Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake with Jasmine Tea Jelly and Tiger Beer Ice Cream.


Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Beetroot Gel and Plum Chantilly

China Doll is the ultimate cookbook if you love to cook and want to extend your repertoire to restaurant-quality meals. From the easiest-to-make sambal to yum cha dumplings, chili salt squid and Chinese roast duck; you’ll find a range of recipes to prepare that will amaze and delight friends and family.

Published by New Holland Publishers in Hardback format – RRP AU$49.99

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by Carol Sheridan