Dining in other areas Outside of Los Angeles

The Best Chinese Restaurant I have ever been to-“Flower Drum” in Melbourne, Australia (1/05)


I have to share what a great overall dining experience I had on my trip out to Melbourne, Australia.  Words cannot describe the overall excellence of the Flower Drum establishment.  From the nice decor, impeccable service from water being filled up anytime the glass was not full to a full change in silverware and plates for every course. 

The food was second to none from what I ate. An incredible 8 course meal is offered with allowed substitutions if you prefer one thing over another. I started with the Baked Crab Shell consisting of succulent crab meat & onions served exquisitely in the Shell with Turmeric sauce. Next was the quail in a lettuce cup. So tasty with a diverse selection of finely chopped bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, chinese mushrooms and sausage with a side of Hoi Sin sauce. The fresh fish of the day (which changes daily) was the popular local fish called Whiting lightly fried and so sweet and delicious.  I needed a small break as I wasn’t even half done.

While sipping some nice Chardonnay from their extensive wine list, out came the very Popular Peking Duck. Now I have had this before but this was premium served in a pancake with special plum sauce that had me wondering if I was going to have enough room to finish this extravagant meal. Some of the best Lobster (called Crayfish down under here) was the next course served out of the shell in a light garlic sauce with spectacular thin chinese noodles that had me grasping for air.  It couldn’t get better than that until the most tender well-aged beef I have ever tried was wheeled out next. Kevin Wong, who has been there 30 years & (The most hospitable manager who kept attending to me and other tables to make sure all was going well, said the meat comes in regularly from New South Wales and Queensland.  Chicken & Mushroom Fried Rice was the last course of the main food.  That was just part of the Fixed Price Course Meal.  

You can also order ala carte but you will not get to sample all the signature dishes.  Other great combination courses include specialties such as: Steamed Assorted Dim Sum (delicate crab meat/prawn/ and scallop Dumplings; Stuffed Boneless Local Garfish which was lightly fried with pea pods with a tasty mushroom sauce; deep fried squid with salt and pepper; Roast tendor Duck (made a bit different from the Peking Style with a side of plum sauce; Saute of Prawns with house made spicy chili sauce and chinese noodles; and Boneless, Delicious Rack of Lamb with leeks served with soft bread (pita style).  Lastly,  I had dessert and chinese tea coming after a glass of some beautiful Port Wine.  Banana Fritters is what I had but there was a nice selection of other after dinner treats from Fresh Mango Pancake with Mango Sorbet to Fresh Fruit Items to name a few.  Flower Drum is NOT To MISS whenever you visit Melbourne. Located right in the heart of Chinatown which is adjacent to the city center.  A great landmark that has been there for 30 years and not just a tourist trap as many locals and Asians often frequent which is a good sign how amazing the Flower Drum is. Head Chef, Anthony Lui, is the master behind the creations and fantastic tastes. Reservations are suggested by calling (03) 9662 3655. Address is 17 Market Lane in Chinatown.  Email is  [email protected]