As one of the southern hemisphere’s premier cultural destinations and an epicentre for cosmopolitan cuisine, Melbourne really does have it all. Often labelled one of the world’s most liveable cities, Australia’s second-largest metropolis is known for its variety of Asian dining options. And when it comes to Chinese restaurants in particular, Melbourne really is the place to be. Influenced by decades of immigration from the more northern reaches of the Asia-Pacific, the chefs of Melbourne are serving Chinese restaurant fare ranging from dumplings, dim sum and spring rolls to sweet and sour pork and everything in between. So there really is something for everyone!
Melbourne’s Chinatown is located in the heart of the CBD, near the junction between Lonsdale Street and Russell Street. It was founded during the days of the Gold Rush in the 1850s, which was a period of great prosperity for workers migrating from China to Australia to look for a better life. Back then, Chinatown served as a place for Chinese gold seekers to stop and rest on their way to dig for gold in rural Victoria. These days, it has the distinction of being the longest continuous settlement spot for Chinese people in the whole of the western world! While now it no longer has a connection to gold mining, the same excitement and energy can still be felt today as you wander the streets and stop to sample the finest Chinese restaurants that Melbourne – and Australia – is home to.
For authentic Chinese restaurants in Melbourne, head to Little Bourke Street in the heart of Chinatown, where you’ll be simply spoiled for choice. With the red lanterns adorning the laneways, the area is bathed in a soft scarlet light every evening – you should prepare to be totally enchanted by the atmosphere. Melbourne restaurants are renowned for service with a smile, and the service at the Chinese restaurants in Melbourne are particularly impeccable. And the menus here offer a wide variety of regional cooking styles, including Cantonese, Sichuan and Yunnan among many others. Sample Melbourne’s influence on Chinese restaurant fare by choosing a dish with creative flair, like the wok-fried snow crab, for example. As you would expect, meat plays a large role in the Chinese restaurants in Melbourne. You’ll find an array of meats ranging from beef, chicken, duck, pork, seafood and more unusual meat dishes like fried eel slices as well. Alongside though, are plenty of vegetarian dishes, and you’ll find tofu, egg and vegetable dishes in Melbourne’s Chinese restaurants, so everyone will be well-catered for.
While the general quality of cuisine on offer in Chinatown is top-notch, if you’re looking for a gourmet fine dining experience, the Chinese restaurants then Melbourne offer an experience like no other. There are lots of elegant, high-end Chinese restaurants located in Melbourne, where you’ll find impeccable dishes like local fish smothered in delicious soy custard, for example. You’ll find some impressive high-end dining options located in Southbank, too. This high-rise suburb, located across the Yarra River, boasts several restaurants offering enticing selections including salt and pepper calamari and expertly cooked Peking Duck. With Quandoo, you can find the perfect fine dining Chinese restaurant in Melbourne, ideal for a special meal out with your loved ones.
There are nightspots located all over Melbourne, and Chinese restaurants are a perfect way to kick off the fun. If you’re going to a show or concert, take a look at the selection of cute Chinese restaurants available on Melbourne’s Little Collins Street to dine in before your gig. If you’ve got a slightly later night planned, Chinese restaurants are never far away from the party. One of our favourite pre-party meals is of course, dumplings. For late servings, try Ants Bistro on Corrs Lane in the CBD or Richmond’s I love Dumplings, for a selection of delicious morsels. Whatever your dish of choice, Melbourne’s top Chinese restaurants will be sure to fill your boots.
The aromatic spices and savoury flavour explosions on offer in Melbourne’s Chinese restaurants might lead you to believe there isn’t much to satisfy your sweet tooth. But fear not, all across Melbourne, Chinese restaurants are serving up palate-cleansing desserts designed to satiate your sweet cravings. Indulge in a classic after-dinner treat like banana and pineapple fritters, fried ice cream or ginger milk curd. For something more unusual, go for a red bean pancake topped off with a delicious sweet treat like vanilla bean ice cream. The choices are truly endless!