While there are plenty of festivals and events where you can eat till you’re stuffed during Chinese New Year, Melbourne also has some excellent eateries that are perfect for getting into the spirit of the celebrations. Here are five you might like to try (in no particular order)…
Spice Temple Crown Melbourne (pictured)
Neil Perry’s salute to regional China is also one of the more stylish Asian restaurants you’re likely to try. During Lunar New Year celebrations, from 13 February until 1 March, there’ll be a special 10-course banquet design to promote health, wealth and happiness.
Hutong Dumpling Bar Chinatown and Prahran
Three words: shao long bao. These soup-filled dumplings are the specialty of the house, but there’s plenty more on the menu you’ll want to try. If you like it hot, the scallop and eggplant in a claypot with Szechuan chilli sauce is a winner.
Dainty Sichuan Chinatown, South Yarra and Box Hill
If you like your food fiery, get yourself to one of these three popular spots. The specialty is a cook-at-the-table steamboat, where you dunk your chosen ingredients – meat, fish, veggies, noodles – into broth then top with any of the 30 or so hot sauces.
Old Kingdom Fitzroy
There is one perfectly crispy reason to head to this stalwart – the Peking duck. The first course is the glistening skin wrapped in wafer-thin pancakes. The next stir-fried duck with bean shoots, and the final a light duck broth. Book a table and make sure you pre-order your duck so you don’t miss out.
Supper Inn Chinatown
There are no frills within the faux wood-panelled walls of this laneway haunt, beloved of chefs and revellers thanks to its excellent Cantonese dishes and late hours (it stays open until 2am). Go-to dishes include congee, suckling pig and steamed oysters.