Melbourne’s Best Spots for Asian Food

We’ve been in Melbourne for a little over two weeks. In that time we’ve pretty much lived on Asian food. Korean fried chicken, Japanese ramen and Chinese dumplings to name but a few. To be honest, it’s so bloody good, I see no reason for this to change!


I’ve not been to Asia yet but I’m sure the food here is much more authentic than we get at home. My other half lived and worked in South Korea for just over a year and he’s especially loving the Korean food. The variety is much wider, and the taste apparently more authentic than we’ve found in the UK and he’s delighted to see things he’s not had since he was in Seoul.

So far we’ve eaten at some amazing places and so, without further ado, here are my initial top picks for Asian food in Melbourne…

Hataka Gensuke for Ramen 

Just on the edge of Melbourne’s China town you’ll find Hataka Gensuke. How will you know you’re there? Look for the queue. And then join it. They’ll bring out menu cards for you to order with, this speeds the process along. Service is fast, loud and hectic. Just go with it and enjoy the ride.

There are four ramen dishes to choose from and you can customise everything from the noodle texture to the level of flavour in your broth. Between the three of us we tried the Signature Tonkotsu, the Black Tonkotsu and the God Fire (spice level 2 of 4) – I would not recommend going above level 2 unless you’re a complete chilli fiend, I love spice and it blew my head off!

In Chinatown you’ll see lots of places advertising ramen and I’m sure there are some really great options out there but now, Hataka Gensuke has my heart. I’ve eaten a lot of ramen in my time but these guys are something else. The flavour of the broth is just incredible and those eggs… I was literally rendered speechless. That’s saying something.

We went to Hakata Gensuke here: 168 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000 but they also have a place here: 4/860 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122


Shandong Mama Mini for Pan-fried Dumplings  

We love the lanes just behind Flinder Street, full of tiny little shops, cafes and coffee stops, jostling for space and attention. Seek out Shandong Mama Mini, grab a table and enjoy watching life pass you by. Between three of us we ordered three plates of crispy pan fried dumplings (5 pieces per plate) and it made a perfect light lunch. Their mackerel gyoza are what they are known for but the prawn, chive & black fungus ones were my favourite! The home made chilli oil is amazing and made a perfect dipping sauce with a dash of vinegar and soy sauce.

Find Shandong Mama Mini here: 5 Centre Place, Melbourne VIC 3000. They also have a restaurant round the corner at Mid City Arcade, Shop 7, 200 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Juicy Bao for Steamed Bao & Dumplings 

Right in the heart of Chinatown, Juicy Bao caught our attention over the other restaurants because of the the women in the front window rolling the dough for their bao and dumplings. We weren’t disappointed, the food was delicious!

Again, between three of us we shared three dishes. This place was really great value for money as we were not expecting the portion sizes we got! We ordered the Signature Pork Xiao Steamed Bao, the Steamed Chicken and Prawn Dumplings and the Pork and Prawn Wonton in Peanut, Chilli and Spice Sauce.

The pork and prawn wonton in the sauce were delicious! We were pretty much scrabbling over who got the last one – resorting to scissor paper stone to make the decision (I didn’t win). I really enjoyed the steamed bao with pork xiao too. It’s something I’ve had before but the bao were less sticky and doughy than I’ve had in other places. Massive thumbs up!

Find them here: 178 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

Oriental Spoon for Ddoekbokki 

We headed out on Saturday for a cheap lunch at a place we’d seen advertising $9 bibimbap. Actually when we got there, they said the offer was ‘coming soon’ despite having the posters on the walls. Hmm… annoying.  With our hearts set on Korean food we carried on walking down the road and came across a large and busy restaurant Oriental Spoon. Peering through the windows, the food looked great so we headed in.

The decision was taken out of our hands when we saw the food being eaten by the middle aged Korean couple on the next table. We ordered exactly what they had. The bubbling bowl of stew at the back of the photo is Pork and Kimchi Jjigae (뒤지김치찌개). I’ve made this at home but the flavours in this bowl were something else. Deliciously spicy and warming. 


The large platter in the middle is Ddoekbokki (떡볶이) and this is what I want to talk to you about! It’s something I’ve only eaten once at Saranghae in Nottingham but I loved it then. It’s a dish made of rice and fish cakes coated in a sweet spicy chilli sauce with spring onions. This one was not as spicy as the one in Nottingham but I loved it, especially with scoops of sticky rice which soaked up the sauce. If you ever see this dish on a menu, definitely get it. Totally different to anything I’ve tried before. 

Find them here: 254 La Trobe Street, Melbourne VIC 3000


To see more of the amazing food I’m eating in Melbourne – follow me on instagram and twitter

Do you know any other great places in Melbourne for Asian food? I’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg and would love to hear your suggestions.

Leave a comment

  1. 23rd November 2016 / 2:21 pm

    That dim sum looks and sounds amazing! Looks just as juicy as the name suggests too! Gary x

  2. 23rd November 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Great round up, I'm definitely bookmarking this for our trip next year. GG

  3. 24th November 2016 / 5:49 pm

    I keep hearing how fantastic Melbourne is for East Asian cuisine and your experiences and recommendations certainly bare witness to that!

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