Kicking off yesterday and running until 15th October, the Asian Food Festival is a multicultural celebration of all things sweet and sour, mild and spicy, and utterly delicious.
Presented by the City of Melbourne, The Chinatown Precinct and the Chinese Restaurateurs Association of Victoria (CRAV), the 24th annual Asian Food Festival will be centred in Melbourne's Chinatown precinct. This year's lineup includes something for everyone, with events ranging from dumpling-eating contests, to five star dinners at Melbourne's top Asian restaurants.
With such variety come difficult decisions: Pad thai or peking duck? Nasi goreng or nigiri sushi? Roti canai or rice paper rolls? Why choose just the one?!
Suitably hungry, here are our pick of the best events:
14th September 2013, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Who doesn't love dumplings? Pork or prawn, steamed or fried, we're crazy over these little parcels of joy. Come along to this all-you-can-eat dumpling lunch and watch contestants battle it out for the title of dumpling king. You can join in the fun too, eating loads of dumplings and oodles of noodles until you're ready to burst.
Cost: $48 per guest (including tea) | $35 per child (5-12 years) | $25 per child (2-5 years old)
Bookings: 0418 589 778 Email
Pop Up Chinatown Treats – Chinatown Market Day
Heffernan Lane (between Russell and Swanston Streets)
3rd Friday of every month, 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Heffernan Lane in Chinatown will be packed with scrumptious food from various hawker style stall - think freshly steamed dumplings, charred satay skewers and gelatinous cakes aplenty. Gorge yourself until late, pick up a few souvenirs and watch the laneway transform into a true night market.
Great Food by Great 'Sifus' (Including Cooking Demonstrations)
Shark Fin House
18th September 2013, 6:30pm
A night of pure indulgence, here you can dine on rock lobster in a minced garlic and XO chilli sauce, suckling pig, king prawns, lobster, coral trout, poultry, filet mignon…just to name a few! There will be cooking demonstrations from three master 'sifus' (chefs) and interactive activities throughout the night. This event is perfectly suited for large corporate groups, so forward this on to your boss and keep your fingers crossed!
Cost: $200 pp
Bookings: 0418 589 778 / Email
The Biggest Yum in Little Bourke Street
Little Bourke Street
11th October 2013, 12:00pm
Three entire blocks, from Spring Street to Swanston Street, will be shut down to celebrate with an outdoor dining experience like no other. Tables and chairs on the streets, diners will be served up a wonderful lunch spread by local traders from each block. Entertainment is included too, so expect to see some lion dancers and other roving performers. A percentage of proceeds will be donated to Australian Prostate Research (APCR) and Epworth Healthcare, so open your wallets and pop your buttons for a good cause.
Cost: $79 per head
Bookings: 0456 530 033 / Email
Whether your tastes are more budget or blow-out, hop onto the website to plan your Asian adventure.
Love Asian flavours? Here's the lowdown on two of our fave Vietnamese restaurants!