The round-up: Brisbane’s best Chinese restaurants
From natural disasters to virus outbreaks, it’s been a pretty rough start to the decade. It’s no secret that small local businesses have taken a big hit in 2020, and the best thing we can do is support them. We’ve encouraged you to buy from the bush, we’ve encouraged you to travel to bushfire-affected areas – now we’re encouraging you to eat Chinese food. Due to the fears surrounding coronavirus and international travel bans, our beloved local Chinese restaurants on home soil are suffering. There is no need for us to go on a noodle strike – the best course of action is to get out there and show support for our Chinese-Australian friends. So get your chopsticks ready – there’s a Chinese restaurant nearby just waiting to feed you!
Donna Chang, Brisbane City: Guests that cross the threshold of Donna Chang’s entry will be greeted by a stately and lavish interior, full of lush textures and light pastels. But it’s the food here that will really blow minds. Donna Chang’s menu of modern-Chinese fare is acclaimed for its mix of Sichuan flavours and authentic Cantonese flair, resulting in dishes such as kung pao tiger prawns, Chinese roast duck with Davidson’s plum, braised wagyu brisket with silken tofu and char-siu sweet roasted pork neck with rockmelon and honey.
Taste Gallery, Sunnybank: A popular choice for dim-sum lovers, Sunnybank’s Taste Gallery has all bases covered when it comes to Chinese eats. The restaurant’s yum cha offering is loaded with traditional favourites and some awesome vegetarian options. Try the Shanghainese steamed mini pork bun with crab meat and the tofu and coriander salad – you won’t be disappointed.
China Sea, Milton: One of the most highly-regarded Chinese restaurants in Brisbane has a legacy stretching back 25 years. China Sea, its restauranteur Stanley Cheung and chef Philip Cheung craft a delightful dining experience, specialising in Cantonese cuisine. From its lobster with ginger and shallot and crackling roast pork to Hokkein fried rice and chilli mud crabs, if you’re dining here you’re choosing the best.
Little Valley, Fortitude Valley: The Rick Shores team hit another home run when it opened its swish modern-Chinese restaurant Little Valley on Warner Street. Head chef Jake Pregnell (ex-Rick Shores) casts an eye across China’s distinct and varied regions to compile a menu that incorporates scrumptious servings of dim sum and yum cha, as well as traditional dishes given an imaginative spin.
Landmark Restaurant, Sunnybank and Chermside: Anyone that visits Sunnybank regularly will tell you that Landmark Restaurant is one of the best places to eat. Period. That being said, it is also one of Brisbane’s best spots to get your fix of authentic Chinese food. The yum cha selection here is almost unparalleled – be sure to come hungry.
King Tea, Paddington: After starting its life as a Spanish-inspired tapas joint, King Tea’s transition to a pan-Asian eatery has been a true stroke of genius. King Tea’s menu features a range of Asian-inspired bites designed to be eaten easily and often, ranging from Chinese pickles and cumin lamb ribs to kingfish yusheng, Chongqing chicken, crispy duck leg, broccoli lamb and coconut and lime rice pudding.
Phoenix, Brisbane City: A familiar name for any Sydney-based yum-cha lovers, Phoenix brought its brand of Chinese hospitality north in 2019, opening at Brisbane Quarter. Phoenix’s yum cha menu has a phenomenal array of steamed and fried morsels, including fresh crab-meat xiao long bao, king prawn and bamboo shoot dumplings and steamed pork ribs in mild chilli sauce. Larger plates include whole Peking duck, lobster tail with garlic butter, pan-fried wagyu beef in roasted-sesame sauce, jumbo king prawns in chilli bean sauce, and five spices beef shank.
Sun Sun, Aspley: The crew at this northside institution has been serving locals traditional Chinese dishes for more than 25 years. If its lengthy tenure isn’t enough to pique your interest, then have a closer look at the menu – snake beans with minced pork, duck in sweet-and-sour sauce, king prawns in black-bean sauce, Peking pork ribs and much, much more.
Happy Boy, Fortitude Valley: One of the best places you should try is definitely Happy Boy, which offers up regional-style Chinese food in a refined setting. Happy Boy sets the benchmark with dishes such as crispy bao sliders, fish slice drowned in Sichuan chilli broth and flash-fried lamb in Sichuan spiced oil. Happy Boy also boasts a neighbouring wine bar and eatery called Snack Man, which serves bite-sized Chinese eats including flame-grilled chicken skewers, open-top prawn dumplings, honey-glazed chicken buns, and more.
Stanley, Brisbane City: Inspired by the lively waterfront of Hong Kong’s Stanley Bay, this two-level restaurant blends the intoxicating aromas and tastes of traditional Cantonese cooking with moody aesthetics and Brisbane’s own maritime heritage, creating a world-class dining experience that is singularly memorable. Must-try dishes include the Peking duck pancakes, honey-glazed pork char siu, Cantonese roast duck, wok-fried pipis in XO sauce and the irresistible dim sum platters.
Little Lamb Hot Pot, Runcorn: Want to test the limits of your stomach capacity? This Runcorn restaurant offers an incredible all-you-can-eat buffet option that includes barbecued morsels, buffet dishes and authentic hot-pot. Fill your plates with ingredients and start cooking – we guarantee you’ll walk out of here content.
Chu The Phat, South Brisbane: One of Fish Lane’s biggest tenancies is home to the spacious and vibrant eatery Chu The Phat, owned and operated by the culinary minds behind Madam Wu on Eagle Street. Chu The Phat takes inspiration and flavours from the street food scenes of Hong Kong and Taiwan, with a large menu of options including smoked and fried duck with pickled green chilli sauce, Diamond Shell clams tossed with pork mince and Black Onyx beef stir fried with Jerusalem artichokes.
Little Hong Kong BBQ, Sunnybank: This Sunnybank spot is indeed little, with patrons cramming into the small space to get a taste of the authentic barbecue on offer. Crispy pork belly, roast duck, BBQ pork and other meaty morsels are piled high, with a large range of other dishes available to fill the gaps.
Sichuan Papa, Everton Park: This vibrant neo-Chinese eatery specialises in spicy and aromatic Sichuan-inspired fare, friendly home-style service and old-school neighbourhood restaurant intimacy. The kitchen serves a tidy mix of traditional and new Chinese meals prepared with home-cooking and modern techniques, including Sichuan ‘double cooked’ pork belly, traditional Sichuan poached fish, stir-fried cumin-spiced lamb, signature crispy chilli chicken, black-pepper beef and even wok-fried intestine for the adventurous eaters.
Kingsfood, Sunnybank: This south-side powerhouse is a go-to for many Market Square regulars, and it’s easy to see why! Kingsfood specialises in Taiwanese flavours, with recommended dishes including beef brisket hot-pot, crispy shredded beef in sweet-chilli sauce, mixed roast platters, roast duck noodle soup and a colourful range of milk and pearl teas.
LUCHA Kitchen + Bar, Brisbane City: FudoDori’s LUCHA takes inspiration from several exciting trends growing in popularity in China and brings them to Brisbane diners. The offering here varies from from grab-and-go takeaway bubble teas and tea-infused cocktails to modern Chinese dishes that use various teas as a key ingredient – think roast chicken with tea leaf-infused dipping sauces, stewed tofu with jasmine tea, fried king prawns with black tea, and wok-fried beef with oyster and tea sauce.
The Little Cube, Sunnybank: Another Sunnybank spot that you must visit is The Little Cube, which specialises in Sichuan cuisine. Quick service and great value can be found here, as well as a range of tasty dishes such as braised chicken pieces with mushroom, pork belly cooked in spicy bean past, garlic and tender leeks and deep-fried ice-cream for dessert.
Billy’s Pine and Bamboo Chinese Restaurant, Cannon Hill: A beloved Cannon Hill staple, Billy’s is the kind of wholesome neighbourhood restaurant that you can’t help but pick time and time again. Consistent quality and service is key, and by all reports Billy’s had both in spades. The menu is extensive, offering everything from five-space crispy duck to crab meat and sweetcorn soup – a must-try option for fans of authentic Chinese fare.
Yum Yum Duck, Stones Corner: Specialising in Chinese cuisine with some small Vietnamese twists, Yum Yum Duck plates up a fantastic array of dishes that are perfect for sharing amongst groups. As the name indicated, Peking duck is a specialty, with dishes such as whole roasted ducks, crispy duck skin on pancakes, duck-meat san choi bao and roasted duck banh mis are just a portion of what’s available.
Fat Dumpling, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills: Some of the most authentic Chinese dumplings in Brisbane can be found at Fat Dumpling. Both the Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills locations serve up plates of poached, steamed and pan-fried dumplings with a range of other meals including shredded chicken noodle soup, crispy chicken curry with rice and traditional fried rice.
New Shanghai, Brisbane City: Queens Plaza is home to New Shanghai, which offers modern Shanghai-style cuisine incorporating soup dumplings, noodles, hot pots and pan-fired buns. If you drool at the sight of plates upon plates of dumplings, or can’t get enough spicy soup, you have found your next dinner destination.
Sichuan Bang Bang, Kenmore, Wilston: The south-west Chinese province is a veritable goldmine for tasty food, as evidenced by the popular Sichuan Bang Bang chain. Peking duck pancakes, Shanghainese pork spare ribs, sizzling Singapore chilli prawns and Kung Pao chicken are just a few of the must-try dishes on the menu. You can sample the sumptuous fare in Kenmore and Wilston.
Fat Noodle, Brisbane City: Luke Nguyen’s acclaimed Chinese and Vietnamese noodle bar is a great place to warm up over a bowl of broth. If slurping soup isn’t your thing, try Fat Noodle’s Hainan chicken, stir fry spicy beef, sizzling calamari plate or the duck and prawn fried rice.
Madame Wu, Brisbane City: Situated at Riparian Plaza, Madame Wu is a swanky 200-seater that boasts a menu of cuisine from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Settle in for some light fare including wagyu dumplings and stir-fried mushrooms before tucking in to beef cheeks braised in rock sugar and soy, broken rice noodle with pork mince and dak bal sauce or go all in on a banquet.
Ben’s Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant, Woolloongabba: Another hybrid location offers some great lively atmosphere and inexpensive but tasty fare. Dishes such as grilled marinated pork chops, Peking steak, flame pork ribs special sauce, BYO and karaoke? Sign us up!
King of Kings, Fortitude Valley: This Fortitude Valley icon is the home to some of the best yum cha in town, cementing its legacy through consistency over a long period of time. If plates piled high with steamed dim sum, glutinous dumplings and deep-fried squid make you salivate, book a table ASAP.
Little Red Dumpling, various locations: Little Red Dumpling is a vibrant home for delicious dumplings, which has long been a symbol for happiness in Chinese culture. Pan-fried pork dumplings, pork chives, vegetarian and chicken and prawn dumplings are available in spades, plus a range of noodle and rice dishes and Chinese tea. Little Red Dumplings boasts locations in Sunnybank Hills, West End, New Market, and Victoria Point.
Dumpling Republic, Brisbane City: If the name didn’t clue you in, this spot is one of the best locations for dumplings. Dumpling Republic has turned dumpling making into an art form, with picture-perfect parcels of yumminess available by the truckload.
Super Bowl, Fortitude Valley: Fortitude Valley revellers love kicking off their night with a sizeable feast at Super Bowl – its location and cost-effective dishes make it the ideal destination for dinner before you hit the town on an evening out. BYO is available, and if it’s your birthday expect the staff to make a bit of a fuss – ice-cream topped with sparklers and a birthday song bringing all the attention to your table.
Enjoy Inn, Fortitue Valley and Hamilton: Whether you are wandering around Fortitude Valley or Hamilton, you have a great Chinese spot close at hand with Enjoy Inn. A beloved mainstay in the Chinese cuisine scene of Brisbane, here you can feast on baskets of dumplings and pork buns to your heart’s content or sample some of the other choice dishes on the menu.
Know of a place you think we’ve missed? Send your Chinese restaurant recommendations to [email protected] and we’ll make sure to check it out! Also be sure to read up on Brisbane’s best yum cha with our mouth-watering dim sum and yum cha round-up!
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