Restaurants

25 Best Chinese Restaurants In Melbourne, 2023 Edition

By Maya Varadarajan

A large dining room with orange lanterns.

Arguably one of the greatest, most historic and popular cuisines that the world has to offer. Something about it makes it the ultimate comfort food, what with the savoury, salty, complex fusion of flavours.

As a huge part of the Australian food scene for decades now, Chinese cuisine has only become more intricate and delicious. With new restaurants and regional offerings opening all the time, as well as old-school favourites remaining tried and true. Without further ado, here’s a roundup of the best Chinese Restaurants in Melbourne for 2023:

Old Beijing 

CBD

It may be on the higher end of your dinner budget, but Old Beijing and its elevated take on traditional Chinese dining is a true spectacle. The 200-seat diner is located in an unlikely place, the fringe alcove of QV in the CBD.

It is intricately decorated and spaced. Lanterns hang from above, diffusing the light across the room. Artful wall dividers split the table areas. You’ll find plenty of staples, specialties and downright revelations across the dense menu. 

Chopstick Delight 

MULGRAVE 

Well off the beaten track, Chopstick Delight is the definition of a ‘hidden gem’. Paper tablecloths, handwritten menues, and a fish tank in the back. The signature dish, a whole-roast duck, must be ordered 48 hours in advance and arrives golden alongside a dark soy and plum dipping sauce.

For those looking for something from plucked frin the sea, lobster is brought to the table for approval before returning on an equally impressive platter, swimming in a combination of butter, garlic and chilli sauce.

The neon-lit exterior of Chopstick Delight, considered some of the best Chinese Melbourne has to offer.

Ling Nan 

CBD

Ling Nan knows exactly what it is and its lo-fi interior provides the perfect blank canvas the expertly crafted Cantonese cooking, seamlessly streaming from the kitchen at the back of the restaurant.

Be it the clams with XO sauce or the deep-fried pork spare ribs with chilli and spicy salt, there’s always something that’ll you keep you coming back for more. This Cantonese restaurant is one of the best in Melbourne, and for good reason.

Panda Hot Pot

CARLTON & CARNEGIE 

First touching down in Melbourne in December 2019, Panda Hot Pot has become one of the go-to destinations for this traditional Chinese cuisine.

Ideally enjoyed as a group, their signature Sichuan spicy soup is a good place to start. It’s simmered for over 12 hours with a secret spice blend straight from Sichuan, you can then toss in countless additions like their thinly sliced premium beef, pureed prawns or fresh veggies.

To top it off, these delicacies are then dunked into your choice of dipping sauce.

A table filled with dishes at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Rising Embers

CBD

Ascend the stairs to the sibling venue of the Dainty Sichuan team, Rising Embers is all about involved dining with a grill plate front and centre.

Diners are immediately served collection of spice mixes, sauces and pickled condiments which pair up with what’s sizzling across that hot plate—be it strips of A5 wagyu to whole-skewered squid, eggplant with minced chilli, or simply order up on the unforgettable fried rice.

Din Tai Fung

CBD

On the top floor of Emporium, juggernaut Din Tai Fung lets you combine two of the best things in the world: shopping and dumplings. This Chinese haven was founded by dumpling master Din Tai Fung, who opened his first restaurant in Taiwan back in 1974, and now has  stores across Asia, the US along with a handful in Australia.

It's safe to say this guy knows what he's doing. The crab meat and roe with pork dumplings are glorious. We recommend trying the fried rice and pork buns too.

A chopstick reaching into a tray with steamed dumplings at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Dainty Sichuan

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

One of Melbourne's oldest Chinese haunts, Dainty Sichuan is a hub top notch Asian food. A little different from your local Chinese restaurant, the South Yarra location boasts a huge and luxurious interior. A fountain dominates the entrance and there's many a gold Buddha smiling at you.

Chinese art sits on the walls and you're dining on rounded tables complete with in-set hotplates. Dainty is known for its love of chilli, with generous hotpots and beef dishes being the most popular things on the menu. 

Lagoon Dining

CARLTON

Lagoon has a hefty authentic Chinese-inspired menu. Exploring traditional techniques and combining them with contemporary spins, dishes include kimchi fried rice, stir-fried beef with fried potatoes and charred capsicum or steamed barramundi with shitake mushrooms and pork scratchings.

There’s also an extensive wine and drink list, so grab the team’s recommendation of what booze will work best with your meal.

People dining inside one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Simon’s Peiking Duck

BOX HILL

The spelling might be a touch off, but Simon’s Peiking Duck is home to some of the most ultra-affordable Peking duck in Melbourne. Sadly, the man himself, Simon Lay, the godfather of Melbourne Chinese food, passed away in early 2017.

His family are still running the business though, and the duck is as good as ever. You can get two different “Peiking duck” banquet deals here, and each set includes a tender whole duck with soft homemade pancakes, crispy duck skin, fresh spring onion, cucumbers and special plum sauce.

Gold Leaf

PRESTON, SUNSHINE, SPRINGVALE, DOCKLANDS

Make sure to book for this one, lest you rock up at 10am on weekend and expect to find a table, there’s absolutely no chance of scoring a seat at one of Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants (and one of the oldest).

The Yum Cha at Gold Leaf is legendary, at the dinner menu is something to write home about. Try out the seafood San Choi Bao, an assortment of veggies and seafood in a lettuce leaf cup that packs a punch of flavour.

Moonhouse

BALACLAVA

Moonhouse is an elegant yet approachable two-storey Chinese-inspired bistro on Balaclava's Carlisle Street. The menu is laden with modern takes on timeless classics, from XO-sauce pippies with just the right amount of kick, a delicately balanced prawn toast, to an outright banging Hainanese chicken club sandwich.

There are plenty of hints of the Chinese influence of Moonhouse, take the seasonal jelly served in citrus skin—a mature take on dessert and a nod to the tradition of serving fruit and jelly after a Chinese meal. 

A plate of noodles at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

Bamboo House

CBD

Serving authentic Northern Chinese and Cantonese cuisine since 1984, Bamboo House is a Bourke Street classic. It's got an elegant red and gold interior, lined with bamboo, and you know you're in a good Chinese restaurant when you’re parked right in the middle of Chinatown.

The Peking duck is a must at Bamboo House, but other faves include the steamed scampi with garlic sauce, Sichuan tea smoked duck, and their pan-fried eye fillet pot stickers. 

Lee Ho Fook

CBD

A CBD go-to for Chinese is Lee Ho Fook, the lovechild of the money-makers behind Pei Modern and MoVida, and this year is their 10th anniversary. In a tight, industrial-looking space, Lee Ho Fook is casual but the food is fancy.

There’s the crispy eggplant with spiced red vinegar, Cantonese-style steamed toothfish and their specialty grilled Blackmore Wagyu with peanut Shacha sauce. This isn’t your average Chinese restaurant, and its price tag reflects that, but it’s certainly worth it. 

A white table with Chinese food, considered some of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

China Bar

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

The place we’ve all landed at after a steady night of drinking, China Bar still dishes up good, cheap Chinese for the hungry and the hopeful. Whether you're picking up steamed pork buns, or dining on some of the best Singapore noodles money can buy, there's an endless amount of choice on the menu. 

Spice Temple

SOUTHBANK

With an epic wine list, a sexy, moody interior and Neil Perry behind the stove, this is where you should nudge your date to take you for a night of deliciousness.

Spice Temple is housed in Crown and, though it's always busy, it somehow pulls off that restaurant trick where you feel like you're the only table that matters.

The menu touches on numerous regions of China (a rarity), including Yunnan, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangxi, and has plenty of the usual Perry magic. Fun fact: the cocktails are named after the Chinese Zodiac, so make sure to try your birth year’s namesake. Bookings are highly recommended for this classic Melbourne Chinese restaurant. 

A table of dishes at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Dolan Uyghur

CBD, CARLTON, BOX HILL, SPRINGVALE

As far as Chinese restaurants go, Dolan Uyghur is one of the more interesting places in the CBD. It's a tiny restaurant specialising in Uyghur food, a Muslim cuisine from northwest China.

Think steamed buns, raw potato salad, spiced lamb skewers, sweet tea and huge bowls of hand-pulled chewy noodles, swimming in sauce. 

There are Dolan Uyghurs in the CBD, Carlton, Springvale and Box Hill, so take your pick. 

David's

PRAHRAN

Housed in a light-filled, airy nook with white-washed wooden walls and high benches, David's is clean, sophisticated and modern dining with a street-food edge. 

If you’re after a solid dinner, you can't go past their smoked dug legs with salted duck egg creme, or their Dongpo pork belly with pan-fried mini Baos.

They also do unlimited Shanghainese-inspired Yum Cha with an alternate vegan menu if you so desire—Chinese restaurants in Melbourne don’t get better than this. 

A takeaway box of Chinese from David's, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Shark Fin Inn 

CBD, KEYSBOROUGH

As ancient as the Chinatown temples, Shark Fin Inn and Shark Fin House are home to some never-fail classic banquets. Think roast Peking duck with pancakes, Yangchow fried rice and ice cream topped with sugary lychees. Yum Cha Banquets, aka all-you-can-eat yum cha, is also available, so prepare yourselves and your stomachs.

This Chinese CBD classic has also branched out to the burbs of Keysborough, so you don’t have to go too far depending on which side of the Yarra you’re on. 

Hutong Dumpling Bar

PRAHRAN, CBD

Possibly one of the most well-known dumpling purveyors in Melbourne, HuTong pumps out dumplings faster than you can eat them, although you’re welcome to have a go. These famous Chinese restaurants are always busy, but they’re worth lining up for.

As well as Xiao Long Bao, there's the famous Szechuan hot and sour soup, Wuxi style braised pork ribs, and the scallop and eggplant clay pot. The dishes are designed to share, so get a whole range of plates and crack open that bottle of vino you picked up on the way over.

A bowl of steamed dumplings at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

One Noodle Friendship

PRESTON

You may not even see this little joint tucked away in the middle of the arcade, and we wouldn’t blame you. 

There is no fuss and frills with regards to the decor, the focus remains on the flavour of the food. While handmade noodles in hearty broths are the calling card, you'll also find all your old Chinese favourites here.

Fried rice, dumplings and even spiced pigs ears are on the menu, but it's the homely vibe that'll have you back weekly. It's cheap and it's BYO, and it’s hard not to love it here.

New Shanghai

CBD, CHADSTONE

Located in Emporium and Melbourne Central as well as Chadstone, New Shanghai is one of our favourite dumpling spots, and one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

The Shanghai stir-fried noodles are hard to get past, as is the rainbow beef, the prawn wontons with a banging peanut and chilli sauce, and the slow-cooked pork belly, glazed with a sweet soy sauce. 

A chopstick picking up a dumpling at one of the best Chinese restaurants Melbourne has to offer.

Pacific Seafood BBQ House

RICHMOND, FLEMINGTON, SOUTH YARRA

You can guess what they're about given the name—Chinese seafood. Signposted by the Peking ducks hanging in the window, Pacific BBQ is first and foremost a Richmond icon (before opening up shop in Flemington and South Yarra), famous for its overcrowded atmosphere, well-priced feeds and super friendly staff.

It's perfect for a midweek feed with your housemates, so don't forget the BYO wine. This institution Melbourne Chinese restaurant won’t leave you disappointed (or hungry). 

Drumplings

CBD

Just as the name suggests, this place is dumplings galore. But don't be fooled, these aren't just your regular steamy parcels with meat or fish inside. The guys at Drumplings have worked some sort of witchcraft on traditional dumplings by creating cheeseburger dumplings, mac and cheese dumplings and beef rendang dumplings.

Not a fan? No worries. They've got your classic delicate prawn and chive, a cracking shitake mushroom for the veggos, and the obligatory pork and ginger gyoza skins, too.

Flower Drum

CBD

The fanciest of the lot, Flower Drum takes the cake for presentation, tastiness and authenticity. With incredible decor—giant floral arrangements, Chinese panelling, reds, golds, and little pagoda roofs—it's a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Flower Drum has been the piece de resistance of Chinatown for over 30 years, and rightfully so, with those Peking duck pancakes and mud crabs sending customers home with much lighter wallets, but satisfied bellies.

A dimly lit interior of one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

Supper Inn

CBD

The Supper Inn has been around for a while. We're talking roughly 40+ years, but it's still just as popular as ever. This is the place to come if you're looking for some good, budget Chinese delight.

Even better—they don't close until 2:30am, so you can embark on a drunken, Chinese food expedition without killing your bank account and hating yourself the next day.

Check out more of Melbourne's best: 
Melbourne's best restaurants
Melbourne's best cafes
Melbourne's best bars
Melbourne's best pizza
Melbourne's best Japanese

Image credit: Panda Hot Pot (Supplied)

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