If you’ve taken in the galleries, shopped till you dropped at the many markets and stared in awe at the city’s architectural wonders, it’s time to sit down, relax and enjoy some of Melbourne’s finest Asian eateries.
Chef Andrew McConnell has taken inspiration for his Supernormal menu from standout eating experiences in Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong. The result is a wonderful fusion of classic and contemporary. With a menu designed to be shared in slick surrounds, it features dumplings and bao along with a raw bar of seafood delights. P.S. There’s karaoke downstairs.
180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Designed with a street food feel, Lucy Liu is as much for architecture buffs as it is for keen foodies. With a fitout featuring exposed criss-crossing Good Wood Victorian Ash battens, it creates a wondrous feeling of space with stunning patterns of light and shadow. The food is just as impressive with small bites like Tempura Soft-Shell Crab, dumplings, buns and ‘plates’ like Yellow Fin Tuna Tataki.
23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne
The philosophy behind Thai restaurant Chin Chin is that every diner is treated equally, so even when the place is packed, you get to eat (albeit after queuing). A sensory overload is promised and it delivers—not only through the amazing aromas and flavours created by chef Benjamin Cooper, who trained under David Thompson, but it’s in the sounds by the resident DJ and in the visuals with artworks by well-known and up and coming artists.
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Kisumé and Kuro Kisumé
One of the newer additions to Melbourne’s dining scene, Kisumé declares “a pure obsession with beauty”. A three-level experience, it offers Kisumé—a sushi bar and restaurant—in the basement, then Kuro Kisumé up on the first floor with three rooms—The Table, Private Dining and the Chablis Bar—each presenting a unique experience. The pinnacle is The Table, where up to twelve guests are hosted by Master Chef K.S. Moon, who crafts a bespoke seasonal menu to cater to each diner’s “tastes, energy level and mood”.
175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Red Spice Road
Executive chef John McLeay’s first spark of love for Asian food was ignited in Thailand and quickly grew as he developed a fascination with the fare of Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Burma, Laos and Malaysia, so expect a reinvention of these cuisines with Australian flair. Pork belly is the signature dish and other favourites include the Salmon Betel Leaves and Duck Curry.
27 McKillop St, Melbourne
Accolades abound for this relaxed restaurant, which has maintained a Chef’s Hat since 2009 and boasts Head Sommelier Travis Howe, winner of Sommelier of the Year and Wine List of the Year. Chef Adam d’Sylva has travelled the world collecting flavours to feature at Coda, resulting in palate pleasers, including Blackened Quail with Baby Radish and Shiso Salad, and Diamond Shell Clams Hunan Style.
32 Irving St, Melbourne
For Vietnamese food in a flash, Paperboy Kitchen is all bowls (satay tofu, spicy BBQ pork, pulled lamb and hoisin, etc.) and rolls (crusty—BBQ chicken, panko fish, pork, etc.—or rice paper—fish, lemongrass chicken, smoked tofu).
322 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Lee Ho Fook
With a name from a line in the famous Warren Zevon song ‘Werewolves of London’, fans of this funky restaurant have been howling over its delicious Chinese dishes since it began in Collingwood. Just over a year ago, it moved to its current premises in Duckboard Place, just off Flinders Street and has continued to impress, recently winning a Chef’s Hat with chef Victor’s Liong’s contemporary menu including dishes like White Cut Chicken with black vinegar dressing & aromatic Sichuan chilli oil, and Steamed Barramundi, Ginger and Spring Onions.
11-15 Duckboard Pl, Melbourne
Guhng The Palace
This premium Korean BBQ restaurant presents contemporary style behind a heritage-listed façade. You can either sizzle your own meats, or let the waitstaff take care of it as you enjoy the ambience. Don’t forget to leave room for the dessert platter with decadent morsels like Green Tea Ice-Cream and Fig Leaf Panna Cotta.
19 McKillop St, Melbourne