Gong-Xi-Fa-Cai Melbourne or Happy New Year in Mandarin speakers. It’s that time of the year where oranges are traded for red packets (aka angbao), Chinatown is at its craziest and busiest and dragons parade down the streets. To help you figure out the best way to ring in the year of the rooster, we’ve round up Melbourne’s best Lunar-inspired nibbles, drinks and markets.
LUNAR INSPIRED BITES & DRINKS
Din Tai Fung
This world-famous dumpling hot spot is offering a limited-edition bao that will have you clucking over getting the perfect Instagram shot. Their Instagram-worthy rooster buns are filled with a delish blueberry cream cheese filling and steamed to order. And with three different colours to choose from, we’ll take an entire bamboo steamer!
If you’re looking to impress, look no further than LuxBite. They’ve got an impressive selection of Lunar-inspired sweet treats. Pick from delicate rooster macarons filled with pineapple and marshmallow, mandarin and orange Lunar New Year pound cakes and stunning full-size cakes adorned with an inverted prosperity sign and gold ingot boats. Plus, their packaging is absolutely gorgeous.
Gan-bei! Or cheers! Be sure to grab a Chinese New Year themed cocktail at Father’s Office. Pick between Lychee Fresca (Midori, triple sec, angostura bitters, sparkling wine and lime) and Jade Elixir (cranberry-raspberry Fresca, vodka, Soho, peach bitters, ginger and lime).
The uber talented Lee Chan from My Kitchen Rules (MKR) has popped up at Queensbridge Square with a range of the most INSANE CNY inspired Superhero Spring Rolls. With flavours like BBQ pulled pork, mayo, pork floss and Beef rendang curry, yoghurt, cucumber or Mac n cheese, cheese sauce, bacon – you will be salivating. She also has an insane dessert spring roll! Our number one pick!
Here’s a KitKat fun fact: Japan has over 200 different flavours of KitKat! Think miso, green tea and soy sauce. And for a limited time, Melbourne’s KitKat Chocolatory will be offering 500 special bars of Asian-inspired flavors like red bean and coconut and citrus crème brulee to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Hot Tip: If you spend $100 or more at Melbourne Central on February 1, you can score a FREE special edition Chinese New Year KitKat.
MARKETS & FESTIVALS
Melbourne’s favorite bakers and sweet tooth enablers are popping up for the Lunar New Year and they’ve got some special treats to ring in the New Year. Expect to see Agathé Patisserie, All Day Donuts, Shortstop Coffee & Donuts and more!
Chinese New Year Food Truck Park
This weekend, Melbourne’s best Asian food trucks are taking over Southbank and Docklands. Think The Hungry Panda, Knife & Fork, Flying Woks and more. Be sure to stay for the spectacular lighting installations, fireworks and cultural performances.
Part of this content was created in support of the City of Melbourne Summer Campaign.
Nadine is a recent graduate of media communications and psychology from the University of Melbourne. In her spare time, you’ll typically catch her reading a good book, hitting up Melbourne’s coolest restaurants and bars, or finding her next adrenaline rush. She also can’t say no to a good scoop of gelato or pizza slice. See what she gets up to on her Instagram.