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Australia’s Best Chinese Restaurants

Compiled by Freya Ensbey.  

The influence of Chinese food in
Australia began in the gold rushes of the 1850’s and 1860’s, when the first
groups of Chinese people came to Australia in search of gold. For more than 150
years, Chinese cooks and Chefs have made Australia a vastly more interesting
place to eat, and today, Chinese cuisine contributes to our country’s food
identity, just as much as Italian or French. As we celebrate all things Chinese
spice, we bring you a collation of some of Australia’s best Chinese restaurants.

 

Flower
Drum
| VIC

Opened in 1975 by Gilbert Lau, Flower Drum has a
well-established history amongst foodies and Melbournians alike. Flower Drum’s
vision has always been to create a Cantonese cuisine to penetrate the tough
Australian food market, ultimately establishing a Chinese restaurant that would
rival the dominant European cuisines of the city. Residing in an unlikely
building set along Market Lane in the heart of Melbourne your taste journey may
begin with a starter of marinated jellyfish with sesame dressing or before
moving onto authentic mains like the Peking duck wrapped in a pancake with plum
sauce or Sichuan diced pork with fried tofu, radish and pine nuts.

Taste
Gallery
| QLD

When
Sunnybank locals crave Chinese, they visit the friendly staff at Taste Gallery,
based in the Market Square Centre on the corner of McCullough Street and Mains
Road. Nab a menu and a round table by a fish tank for easy plate sharing with
family and friends or slide into a comfy booth to ensure a steady flow of
conversation in this warm and lively restaurant. Rich and flavoursome Asian
fusion dishes are presented in tasting plates and large mains, all made from
fresh, local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

Photo: Spice Temple Sydney’s snake beans stir fried with pork and XO sauce. 

Spice Temple Melbourne and Sydney

When thinking contemporary Chinese cuisine, we couldn’t go
past Spice Temple nestled along Bligh Street in Sydney, created by the Rockpool
Group, adding to their acclaimed sister establishment residing at Crown
Melbourne. Spice Temple entices guests into an elegant and sultry atmosphere
styled with red velvet carpet, deep wood furniture and ambient pendent
lighting. Order dishes designed to be shared from the a la carte menu or opt
for The Golden Banquet and indulge in an array of visually stunning, refined dishes.

Ricery
Hurstville
| NSW

Set
along the busy street of Forest Road in Hurstville, is a little store front
packing big flavour, Ricery Hurstville in Times Plaza. Ricery is an ode to all
things rice, with a menu encapsulating several Asian cuisines and influences,
serving rice options of Taiwan white and germinated brown or black as an
accompaniment to any dish. Delve into plates plated with flair, like the must
try dim sums and select from tasty options of pork and chive dumplings or the
dragon warrior dumplings served in an aromatic, white broth.

Photo: Lee Ho Fook’s Hiramasa kingfish with leek, cloud fungi, radish, burnt garlic, ginger and white soy cream. 

 

Lee Ho Fook | VIC

Perched in Duckboard Place, just off the famous Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll find a little taste of China at Lee Ho Fook. A contemporary interior is styled with exposed brick walls, whilst whimsical landscape artworks adorn the walls illuminated by pendant lighting hanging from the high ceilings, creating an inviting space to stay for hours among the buzz of cheery locals sharing in conversation and authentic Chinese fare. Sample inventive creations like the Typhoon Shelter – two textures of tofu or perhaps the blue swimmer crab with chrysanthemum leaves, red vinegar and Avruga caviar. 

Dumplings
& Beer
| NSW

A
hidden gem in Sydney’s Potts Point, Dumplings & Beer has fast gained a
loyal following for their bite-sized eatery on Ward Avenue. An elegant interior
design and tightly winding staircase is matched by vibrant splashes of colour,
adorned with elaborate tasseled candelabras and large Asian style artwork for a
cosy, exclusive ambiance. This hole-in-the-wall eatery more than makes up for
what it lacks in seating space by packing a short but sweet menu full of big
flavours.

Billy
Kwong
| NSW

Combining the warmth and charm of a neighbourhood Chinese
eating house with the dynamism of an open kitchen, Billy Kwong in Potts Point
is a place for the community to meet, talk, eat and drink in a comfortable,
nurturing atmosphere. Billy Kwong’s menu showcases an authentic
Australian-Chinese food that Kylie Kwong has made her very own. The sweet,
sour, salty, oceanic, peppery, tart, citrusy, bitter, floral and woody notes of
Australian native ingredients deliver a natural affinity with the flavour
profiles of Chinese food. Integrating indigenous produce into the recipes has
allowed them to create a cuisine that is authentic in taste, yet giving nod to this
land and its people. 

Waves
Restaurant
| QLD

When
looking to feast like royalty in the heart of Surfers Paradise, head to Waves
Buffet Restaurant, tucked into the Watermark Hotel and Spa on Surfers Paradise
Boulevard. Spaciously arranged, diners can unwind among a timelessly furnished
setting, surrounded by earthy tones and a whirl of tantalising aromas. Exciting
tastes are on offer, inspired by the much-loved flavours of Asia, India and the
Mediterranean, perhaps start with prawns and rock oysters before moving through
spicy curries, tangy stir-fries, marinated meats and a selection of vibrant
side salads.

Photo: Me Wah Hobart’s crayfish. 

Me
Wah Hobart
| TAS

Spoil
yourself and loved ones with a feast of creative Cantonese cuisine in
sophisticated surrounds at Me Wah Hobart in Sandy Bay. Dark and moody tones, an
ambient glow of light and intricately detailed furnishings set the scene for
decadent dining with an air of elegance descending upon diners as they give in
to tempting aromas. Unravel the culinary mysteries of Me Wah’s menu, perusing
through many delectable banquet options that lay down a path for discovery, or
embark on an unchartered flavour journey through a tantalising selection of a
la carte dishes.

Sun
Wah
| VIC

For
Asian fusion cuisine by the bayside, be sure dine at Sun Wah, situated at the
foot of Mordialloc Bay. Recently renovated to showcase the original brickwork,
adornments like white lanterns, American oak table tops and quirky artwork
create a chic vibe, attracting a loyal crowd of trendy visitors looking to dine
in an intimate ambiance. The menu focus is given to Modern Asian fusion,
incorporating European influences for an innovative take on classic Chinese
fare. Mouth-watering combinations of citrus and sweet tastes satiate those seeking
a burst of flavour, while those who like it hot can enjoy chilli and other
tantalising spices.

Gawler
Palace Chinese Restaurant
| SA

Offering
a doorway to the delights of the orient is Gawler Palace Chinese Restaurant,
situated close to the major wine district of the Barossa Valley. A local haunt
for many folk about town, this third generation family friendly restaurant
provides a warm and welcoming setting to feast on banquets of delicious Chinese
cuisine complemented by country hospitality. With a vast selection of meat and
vegetable based dishes to choose from, Gawler Palace’s menu may feature the
likes of short soup filled with wontons for starters followed by mains such as
sizzling lemongrass steak and sizzling fillet steak in Mongolian inspired
flavours.

Tim Ho Wan | NSW/ VIC

Featuring three
restaurants across Sydney and the addition of a Bourke street establishment in
Melbourne has been the achievement following several decades of experience in
making dim sum by both Chef Mak and Chef Leung, the visionaries behind building
the Michelin starred brand Tim Ho Wan. Producing affordable, high quality dim
sum, utilising only the best ingredients, Tim Ho Wan’s dim sums are freshly
made-to-order, having locals return daily to sample the little morsels of
flavour explosions. Also sample decadent bites like the braised chicken feet
with abalone sauce, spinach dumplings with garlic and Enoki mushrooms or
perhaps the glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf.

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