Melbourne's best East and Southeast Asian food

The cuisines of China, Japan, and Thailand are well-represented in this corner of Australia, but these 11 restaurants are experts' absolute favorites.

by Michael Carl Budd

Flower Drum, a decades-old Melbourne instutition, serves highly-acclaimed upscale Cantonese cuisine while Supper Inn is the no-fuss, no-frills Cantonese option. You'll find diverse Asian influences on Shakahari's vegetable-based menu and innovative pan-Asian dishes at Supernormal.  From the traditional to the modern and from Japan to Thailand, these 11 restaurants offer the best food East and Southeast Asian food in Melbourne. 

Flower Drum 89

17 Market Lane

This capacious restaurant is quite simply the finest Chinese restaurant in Melbourne, if not Australia.

- Rough Guide

Supernormal 82

180 Flinders Lane

Sweet and squishy New England lobster rolls and the twice-cooked duck – a half or quarter bird with anise-fragrant meat and shatter-crisp skin for tearing up and eating in soft steamed buns.

- Time Out

Shakahari too 79

225 Clarendon St

This vegetarian stalwart has a reputation for good value, inventive menus with a mainly Asian feel.

- DK Eyewitness

Minamishima 78

4 Lord St

The whole city has gone mad for sushi chef Koichi Minimishima's omakase menu, created from the finest ingredients Australia has to offer as well as select imports from Japan.

- Travel + Leisure

Chin Chin 86

125 Flinders Lane

Yet another great option on Flinders Lane, Chin Chin does delicious Southeast Asian hawker-style food designed as shared plates.

- Lonely Planet

Lee Ho Fook 77

11-15 Duckboard Place

Occupying an old brick warehouse down a fabulously skungy laneway, Lee Ho Fook is the epitome of modern Chinese culinary wizardry

- Lonely Planet

Supper Inn 79

L 1 15-17 Celestial Ave

The Supper Inn has been providing Melbourne revellers with cheap and delicious Chinese food at all hours for the past 20 years.

- Time Out

Hutong Dumpling Bar 85

14 -16 Market Lane

Very popular three-storey dumpling bar, a little fancier than some of its counterparts, but the extra dollar or two is worth it.

- Rough Guide

Spice Temple 80

Crown Entertainment Complex 8 Whiteman St

When he's not at Rockpool next door or in one of his Sydney restaurants, well-known chef Neil Perry pays homage to the spicy cuisines of China's central provinces at this excellent waterfront eatery

- Lonely Planet

MissChu 78

276 Toorak Rd

The self-proclaimed 'queen of rice paper rolls', Misschu continues to expand her empire of hole-in the wall eateries serving cheap and tasty Laotian-Vietnamese hawker-style food.

- Lonely Planet

seamstress 78

113 Lonsdale St

This bar-restaurant occupies a heritage-listed four-story building that has housed an undergarment manufacturer, a 1930s sweat shop, and even a brothel and a Buddhist temple.

- Fodor's

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