Australia has undergone a food revolution, and today, Asian food is at the forefront of a dynamic dining scene.
Anyone who's visited Melbourne recently will know that Sichuan Chongqing hot pots spice things up and bahn mi keep things fresh. Diners and chefs have had to work hard to tap into Melbourne's once Greek/Italian-influenced food market. The city's layout too means many of the best restaurants are hidden down laneways or on unremarkable shopping strips, and to turn heads, food has to be spectacular.
While Melbourne may be a stand out when it comes to Asian food, it's by no means the only place in Australia in which you can get a great feed. Asian food plays an important part in the whole of Australia's food scene, and favourites around the country include:
Southern Star Vietnamese Restaurant – Vietnamese
1/132 Terrace Road, Perth WA
Just a short stroll from Concert Hall sits Southern Star, which specialises in the finest Vietnamese cuisine and provides diners with consistent, quality food and outstanding service. The beautifully decorated dining room sits right on the waterfront and looks out over the Swan River and Langley Park. In addition to Vietnamese, Southern Star also offers Singaporean rice noodles, Hainanese chicken and curry laksa soup. You can even create your own wok by choosing from a long list of your favourite fresh ingredients.
Flower Drum – Chinese
17 Market Lane, Melbourne VIC
In China, "Flower Drum" is known as a traditional dance famous for its beauty and elegance. The restaurant displays elements of refinement, combined with fine Cantonese cuisine and dedicated service. Named The Age Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year not once but five times(!), it's been recognised as one of the world's best Chinese restaurants. As well as an extensive a la carte menu, Flower Drum offers a range of lunch and dinner banquets, starting at $45 per person.
Hidden Jade – Yum Cha
9 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC
Hidden Jade is a hidden delicacy endeavouring to combine Australian ingredients with authentic Sichuan flavour. Yum Cha is available every day and as you tuck into dishes like pork spare rib with black bean and garlic sauce, chicken and prawn shumai with crab roe and honeycomb tripes with satay sauce, you can gaze out at the spectacular view over the Albert Park lake. If Yum Cha isn't what you're after, Hidden Jade offers premier seafood hot pots and an extensive a la carte menu.
Coda Bar and Restaurant – Vietnamese
Basement 141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC
Nestled in one of Melbourne's most iconic laneways, Coda is a stone's throw from the Yarra River, a short walk from Flinders Street station, and only moments from Federation Square. The menu is listed as French-Vietnamese or 'Modern Asian', but essentially it's about passion for balanced flavours, seasonality, and innovation. The dishes are influenced by Executive Chef Adam D'Sylva's extensive travels around the globe and include delights like calamari, green papaya and cucumber salad with nam jim, peanuts and crispy anchovies.
Bar H – Chinese & Japanese
80 Campbell Street, Surry Hills NSW
Bar H is a relaxed, vibrant and fun place to eat. A wine bar-style eatery, its concept is to serve the finest quality food, drinks and service in an informal and casual setting. The cuisine combines head chef Nobu Maruyama's cultural home of Japan and his new passion for Chinese food, plus all the indigenous ingredients native to Australia. Be it for a cocktail, a sake or a Wagyu rump cap with miso, kale and turnip, you're in good hands with Bar H.
Chop Chop Changs – Asian Street Food
185 Boundary Street, West End, QLD
Set in the heart of West End's dining precinct, Chop Chop Chang's is all about fresh local produce. Its pan-Asian menu is reminiscent of honest 'street food' found in temple stalls and hawker markets throughout Asia. The dining hall is perfectly catered for functions, but offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere no matter how many of you go. An Asian-inspired cocktail list is the icing on the cake (think Yuzu lemonade with lychee and ginger).
Embassy XO – Chinese & Yum Cha
Cnr Duke & Bryan Street, Sunshine Beach QLD
Located in the heart of Sunshine Beach, Embassy XO is Noosa's premier Asian dining experience. It offers a number of banquet options incorporating entrees, mains, sides and desserts and for those preferring Yum Cha, it's available Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunch. Every Wednesday and Thursday, Embassy XO offers a delicious 3-course menu for $49 per person. Overlooking the beach, it's the perfect place to be.
Faraja – Global
94 Carrington Street, Adelaide SA
Faraja is Swahili for 'relief, comfort and hope'. It reflects the restaurants philosophy, which is to provide a space for casual dining in which you can connect with family and friends over good food, wine and conversation. The menu is designed for multiple courses, and encourages you to try dishes from all around the world. While Asian is the dominant theme, you can have a global food experience from the comfort of one dining table.
The Tamarind – Thai
88 Obi Lane South, Maleny QLD
Specialising in Modern Asian, The Tamarind's menu effortlessly combines sweet, sour and spicy flavours with fresh local produce. The result is innovative taste sensations that will keep you coming back time and time again. Served in a relaxed setting in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, is a special place where tradition meets the new.
Monsoon – Thai Fusion
46a Hampden Road, Battery Point, TAS
Set in historic Battery Point, Monsoon Thai Fusion is a unique and funky dining establishment renowned for its exciting fusion menu. Attention to detail and customer service makes it a favourite for the locals, but anyone who visits will come away with a smile on their face. Monsoon's signature dish of Bangkok Noodles King Prawns is a must try, as is its Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce.
No matter where you go in Australia these days, there's pad thai, pho, wontons, baozi, char sui, laksa, peking duck, rendang and more to enjoy.
Got a Good Food Gift Card burning a hole in your wallet and fancy something sweet, salty and a little bit spicy? All of these restaurants are participating partners of the Good Food Gift Card, so book your next visit today.