Dining across China: Different provincial Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

CHINESE international students missing the taste of home can get their fill by checking out some of Melbourne’s top Chinese restaurants. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Liaoyu Zhou and Menghan Zhang reviewed three different Chinese restaurants.

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Dan Dan Noodles of Dumpling Plus – one of the restaurants we visited! Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Chinese food is popular around the world but for Chinese international students, they’re more than just exotic dishes – they’re reminders of home.

China has many provinces each with their own distinct flavour. After speaking to fellow students at Trinity College Foundation Studies, we explored their top three Chinese restaurants and found them to be traditional reflections of China’s provinces.

Dainty Sichuan Food
Level 2, 206 Bourke St, Melbourne

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Though China’s Sichuan province might be home to some extremely spicy cuisines, it’s actually quite popular among people from almost all regions across China.

So it’s certainly no surprise why some overseas students from China find Sichuan food to be a good treatment to homesickness as it reminds them of the taste that can be found in their home town.

Dainty Sichuan Food is one of the most popular Sichuan food restaurants in Melbourne and offer both hot pot and traditional, of course, Sichuan cuisine.

Through the price is slightly higher than average, the size of the portions justify the price! Therefore the best way to enjoy eating out at at this restaurant is by gathering a group of friends for a large meal at the restaurant.

Given that we were a two-person team, we tried the boiled fish with pickled cabbage and chilli, and assorted small hot pot. It was more than enough, we felt, and for one of us who is from the Sichuan province, was actually quite impressive!

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Dainty Sichuan’s boiled fish with pickled cabbage. Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Assorted small hot pot at Dainty Sichuan. Enough for two people! Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Colourful Yunnan
680 – 682 Swanston St, Carlton

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Providing the local flavour of the Yunnan province, Colourful Yunnan offers a selection of tropical and spicy meals from southern China.

For us, we consider this to be on top of our list of most popular Chinese restaurants in Melbourne not just for its traditional, familiar-tasting noodles, but also for its convenient location opposite on Swanston Street – perfect for a quick, budget-friendly lunch!

Don’t miss out on the restaurant’s original and most popular dish Yunnan rice noodles: boiled rice noodles with pork and chicken soup, assorted meats and vegetables all waiting to be added into the bowl.

We tried that and the rice noodles with beef soup. The most interesting part of the experience was the sliced fish in the Yunnan rice noodles. Though it appeared uncooked, the fish quickly began to turn white in the soup. Due to the thin cut of the fish, the high temperature of the soup is able to cook it (so be very careful when drinking the soup!).

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Yuunan rice noodles. Add the noodles, meats and vegetables into the soup broth yourself! Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Rice noodles with beef soup at Colourful Yuunan. Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Dumplings Plus
269 Swanston St, Melbourne

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Dumplings Plus generally serves all kinds of Chinese cuisines that one might expect a Chinese restaurant to carry. With spicy and traditional options available, you can go into Dumplings Plus to enjoy a regular Chinese meal and only have to spend $20 or less!

Compared to the previous two restaurants, however, the portions found at Dumpling Plus were noticeably smaller.

After trying their Dan Dan Noodles, Meat Dumplings in Spicy Sauce, Stewed Beef Rice and Chinese Hamburger, we strongly recommend the plain cuisines in this restaurant. They tasted more authentic than their spicy variants.

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Chinese hamburger at Dumplings Plus. Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

Meat dumplings in spicy sauce. Photo: Liaoyu Zhou

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