Subscribe to our regular 'What's on in Victoria' newsletter

Cantonese classics served up in a historic ballroom just landed at Sorrento’s newest dining destination

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

Hotel Sorrento boasts Cantonese classics in a brand new restaurant Shi Hui Shi housed in a historic ballroom. If you like sea views, crisp white wine, and your prawn toast thick and juicy, then you will love Sorrento’s newest dining destination.

Shi Hui Shi is a Cantonese-influenced restaurant that serves some of the best dishes from the region’s fine dining playbook, such as rich and voluptuous steamed Murray cod, whilst playing on the post-colonial tropes of dishes such as the aforementioned deep-fried prawn toast with whipped cod roe.

The chef is Jerry Yi, formerly sous chef at Red Spice Road. He has created a menu with culinary hits such as chicken truffle dumplings, and chicken and corn spring rolls. Look for punchy dishes like kung po cauliflower and King Ora salmon with the soft tang of Szechuan pepper.

Jerry was originally an interior designer from Tsingtao in Shandong who moved to Australia in 2009 and started his culinary career at the French-influenced Le Cordon Bleu institute. He has layered his understanding of Chinese cuisines with Australian produce, producing dishes such as Peking duck pancakes made with excellent Great Ocean Ducks from the West Coast.

Behind the bar is head mixologist Mel Waller who has a background running distilleries, wineries, and bars on the Mornington Peninsula. Mel has designed a beverage list in Shi Hui Shi that has all the classics with a unique twist, such as the Machatini – an espresso martini with macha powder or a Gingerjito – a fresh cocktail with rum, ginger, lemongrass, and mint topped with soda.

The action takes place within the limestone walls of the Hotel Sorrento’s historic late 1800s ballroom. Back in Sorrento’s halcyon days, when steamships would ferry visitors from Melbourne down the bay, pleasure seekers would dine downstairs and then make their way to the ballroom to dance the night away.

Shi Hui Shi sees the old ballroom taken over by artworks inspired by the eateries of Hong Kong back in the British colonial era of the 1960s, the monumental black and white photographs of Chinese photographer Fan Ho and second-wave Hong Hong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai.

Shi Hui Shi is a fun, flavourful, and fresh take on Cantonese classics in a historic room with an exotic artful twist.


What: New wave Cantonese
When: Open now
Why: Did we say thick prawn toast and whipped cod roe?
Who: Ex Red Spice Road chef Jerry Yi
Where: Hotel Sorrento, 5-15 Hotham Rd, Sorrento
More Info: Hotel Sorrento

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
Every week we send you
our picks of the best
stuff happening outside
We will never share your information with a third-party.