Chinese is one of the most ancient and varied cuisines in the world, yet it often gets oversimplified in Australia. Cantonese and Sichuan may be the most prominently represented of China’s regional cuisines in Melbourne, but they're just two of “the eight great cuisines” (the others are Jiangsu, Zhejian, Fujian, Hunan, Anhui and Shandong).

It’s actually uncommon to group the food of the country’s regions together. Despite Australia’s long history of Chinese immigration (which started in the mid-19th century), it’s only in the past few years that we’ve seen dishes from some of China’s lesser-known cuisines make appearances in Melbourne. And they’re still mostly bound to Chinese-community enclaves such as Springvale or Box Hill.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty Middle-Eastern-inflected stew (commonly served in China’s far-west), a fiery Sichuan hotpot or a basket of the best xiao long bao in town, there’s a place in this guide for you.

Roast Duck Inn

Cantonese chefs with more than three decades of experience serve up suckling roast duck.

29-31 Carrington Road, Box Hill
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Chef David

This 160-seater has more than 100 ingredients on offer to cook in your choice of eight different soups – and it’s open until 2am.

Level 1 462 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Panda Hot Pot

Under the watchful eye of a 1.5-tonne steel dragon, Australia’s first outpost of international chain Panda Hot Pot is serving fiery DIY soup with a choice of 80 ingredients.

100 Victoria Street, Carlton

TuanTuan

A Hong Kong style eatery from the founders of Chinatown’s Dessert Kitchen, serving creamy congee, Macanese dishes, and sweet and savoury snow buns.

R1 139 Queensberry Street, Carlton

Flower Drum

One of the true icons of Melbourne dining.

17 Market Lane, Melbourne
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Spice Temple

Neil Perry's homage to Sichuan.

Crown Melbourne 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
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Red Door Yum Cha

A BYO, down-to-earth spot for dumplings and other yum cha classics.

1-3 1-3 McIlwrick Street, Windsor

Tim Ho Wan

With 20 locations spread across Asia and Australia, this Hong Kong dumpling chain must be doing something right.

206 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Din Tai Fung

It's the dumpling chain with a Michelin star and outlets all around the world. What more encouragement do you need?

M002/4 Emporium Melbourne 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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Mya Tiger

This Cantonese resturant up the stairs at Melbourne’s iconic Esplanade Hotel has incredible views and Chinese cuisine classics.

11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
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Super Ling

Sichuan tofu jaffles, elegant steak tartare and wonton-skin mille-feuille.

138 Queensberry Street, Carlton

Rising Embers

Release your inner grill master – or leave the cooking to the pros – at this Sichuan barbecue spot.

Level 1 139 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Karlaylisi Restaurant

This Uyghur restaurant serves springy hand-pulled spicy noodles, beef dumplings, and flaky pastries filled with lamb and cumin.

4 203 Ballarat Road, Footscray

Lee Ho Fook

Modern as they come.

11-15 Duckboard Place, Melbourne

Supper Inn

Supper Inn is a BYO Melbourne institution. Just ask Melbourne’s top chefs.

15 Celestial Avenue, Melbourne

Lau’s Family Kitchen

Cantonese food done Gilbert Lau-style.

4 Acland St, St Kilda

Dragon Hot Pot

Cheap and delicious, with good service and a fun novelty factor.

213 Russell Street, Melbourne

David’s

Award-winning country-style Shanghai fare.

4 Cecil Place, Prahran
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Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet

Some serious spice by If You Are the One's all-too-clever host, Meng Fei.

382-384 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

ShanDong MaMa

The fish dumplings don't disappoint.

Shop 7 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Ruyi

Challenge your palate with inspired combinations.

16 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
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Sun Kitchen

The cellar alone is worth $1.5 million, with 6000 bottles of wine, and spirits from 888 premium labels across Australia, France, China and Europe. Settle in for refined Cantonese and Sichuan fare and spectacular views.

9 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park
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Dainty Sichuan South Yarra

Heaven for chilli lovers.

176 Toorak Road, South Yarra

China Red

Xiao long bao and touch-screen ordering.

Shop 6 206 Bourke Street, Melbourne

HuTong CBD

Quality dumplings delivered fast.

14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne

Pacific Seafood BBQ House

Cheap-and-cheerful.

Shop 8, 240 Victoria Street, Richmond
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