Chinese Laundry – Sydney, Australia – Review


After hearing about Chinese Laundry for months and months on end, and seeing it have so many ‘fans’ on this website, I decided to take a shot and go see it for myself: after all, the nightclub that was voted #1 in Sydney must have something incredible to offer for a night out, right? 

Perhaps it was my high expectations, but I ended up being a little underwhelmed. The experience was average, and – while the club was okay – everything else was a little disappointing. The concept of the club is great: an outdoor garden area, three themed rooms, and a crazy variety of music should merge together into the ultimate clubbing destination… but this concept was lost on me as I went through this nightclub that is most definitely overpriced and overrated. 

The first problem I had occurred before I even stepped into the door: that notorious entry fee. On Friday and Saturday nights entry is $ 20, which is a lot when you are a poor university student. When you are paying $ 20 to get in to a nightclub, it can put a downer on your night and skyrocket your expectations of how good the location is. On top of this expensive entry fee, the drinks were also expensive: while $ 6 for a 355mL of Pure Blonde is not absolutely ridiculous, it just doesn’t seem worth it when had to pay entry fee AND you could get it for $ 3-5 anywhere else. 

Once I was in there, I must say that despite everything, I enjoyed some of the decor: there is a strong sense of theme to the rooms and the Asian-style figurines do add something extra to the nightclub. However, the ceiling in the rooms ruined the atmosphere with how low they were, and the rooms were not adequately lit: when you’re clubbing, you want to have darkness with bursts of bright lighting, not darkness with no light. The music is great for lovers of electronic beats, and average for those of us with loves for other genres of music; the tracks are danceable and can be enjoyable, but if an international song comes on then expect to take a break from dancing and start being clueless. 

In all honesty, all of this would have been tolerable if not for the aspect that disappointed me the most: the people. Normally if a nightclub doesn’t live up to expectations, the night can still be salvaged if the energy or the people are good. Chinese Laundry has some great people, but there is too much of an age difference in its clubbers: I found 18 year olds and 30 year olds all within five seconds of walking around. This age difference makes Chinese Laundry feel seedy, as opposed to the class that Merivale usually bestows on all of its locations. 

The bottom line is this: Chinese Laundry is a place that you can enjoy if you are rich, drunk, with a massive group of friends, or if you love electronic music. While it may be an incredible experience worthy of the title “Sydney’s Number One Club” to some, my experience of it was simply this: One of Sydney’s most disappointing nightclubs.