Melbourne Swings into the Year of the Monkey

They say those born in the Year of the Fire Monkey are natural leaders; charismatic, headstrong and always up for a challenge. Well, we challenge you to try every place on this list! While you’re at it, why not check out the action at the Chinatown New Year Festival?


Lucky Chan Seafood Restaurant


As far as we’re concerned, yum cha is China’s finest gift to the world. You’ll have trouble finding a more righteous yum cha experience than the one at Lucky Chan. Expect tranquil surrounds, alluring city views and 49 sumptuous yum cha choices. Oh, and don’t forget to try the stuffed crab claws. You won’t regret it!
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“The whole experience was brilliant. The service was excellent with the little extra touches making it perfect. The food was delicious – we had such a hard time choosing from the menu. The serves and quality make it worth it. Will definitely be returning.” – bellareece

What’s nearby…
•  God of Prosperity Visitations (Emporium Melbourne, Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th Feb)
•  Queensland Dragon: Chinese in the North (Chinese Museum, throughout Feb)

Image credit: Dainty Sichuan

Dainty Sichuan


Sichuan cuisine is a bold and brilliant blast of chilli, garlic and pepper, and it’s guaranteed to knock your taste buds right out of this world. Nobody does it better than the highly decorative Dainty Sichuan, where you can enjoy a full feast of Bang Bang Chicken, Spicy Beef Heart and Crispy Sichuan Duck beneath pretty purple lamps. Find out more

“If you are into spicy food with aromatic and ‘prickly ash’ flavours then Dainty’s is a must visit. It’s recommended that you come in a group of 4 or more, so you get to pick more from the menu. Favourites are the cumin pork rib and eggplant. A lot of the food here is fried, but super tasty. Be prepared to drink a lot of water and soy milk to quell the flames. Definitely worth a try.” – svchu1

What’s nearby…
•  2016 Chinese New Year Festival Official Opening Ceremony (Federation Square, Saturday 6th Feb)
•  New Year’s Eve Countdown (Federation Square, Sunday 7th Feb)


Monga Dessert House

Box Hill

A tidy little dessert place with a real Hong Kong vibe, Monga Dessert House is standing by to indulge your sweet tooth this New Year. It packs a nice blend of traditional Chinese flavours and more contemporary options, so everyone should be well catered for. The Snow Fungus & Palm Seed Sweet Soup is well worth a try, just to prove that something with “fungus” in its name can still be delicious. Find out more

“I came here quite recently, and I really love the setting of the restaurant, reminding me of Hong Kong! The cuisine is Hong Kong-Western style, I come here with my friends and we enjoy a nice dessert!” – Evangelinexx

What’s nearby…
•  Box Hill Chinese New Year Festival 2016 (Market Street, Saturday 6th Feb)
•  Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival (Kingsway, Sunday 21st Feb)

Image credit: Oriental Teahouse

Oriental Teahouse


Bright, spacious and just a tad postmodern, Oriental Teahouse is an award-winning restaurant that knows just how important tea is to good yum cha. The décor is an appealing mix of block colours, cobblestones and various fascinating knickknacks, and the balcony overlooking the main floor is a lovely place to enjoy some traditional food (try the chicken feet if you dare!) and a choice of 80 different teas. Find out more

“Went here for dinner on Saturday night, I wasn’t sure at first, but five minutes in I was in heaven. The staff were so friendly and attentive, with each meal brought to the table quickly. The dishes were very tasty and reasonably priced – with the Ginger and Lemongrass dumplings being a standout dish. The Ginger and Lemongrass tea was fantastic, I could not resist buying some to take home.” – mod_janeb

What’s nearby…
•  Chinatown Countdown (Cohen Place, Sunday 7th Feb)
•  Chinese New Year Dragon Parade (Chinatown, Sunday 14th Feb)

Image credit: Flower Drum

Flower Drum


Rich furnishings, richer flavours and a sense of lavish grandeur lay within the sultry confines of Flower Drum, one of Melbourne’s very finest Cantonese culinary havens. The staff will pamper you, the wine list will thoroughly impress you, and the only struggle you’ll face will be trying to eat while you’re busy picking your jaw up off the floor. Especially when they wheel out the Peking Duck… Find out more

“Amazing restaurant. I love Chinese and this is always the first place that pops in my mind when I hear the word. The food is great and fresh, while the service is fast enough for a big restaurant like this.” – Lucinda Earnshaw

What’s nearby…
•  Asian Offerings (Russell Street, Sunday 14th Feb)
•  Celebrations into the Night (Main Stage, corner of Russell St and Little Bourke St, Sunday 14th Feb)

If you’ve got the time, why not leave True Local reviews for any establishments you visit during the celebrations?

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