With Lunar New Year on January 22, the Year of the Rabbit is rapidly approaching. Arguably one of the best ways to celebrate is to eat some seriously good food. Luckily for us, Melbourne has plenty of incredible restaurants serving up massive banquets, sweet desserts and other special dishes for the Lunar New Year. Gather your friends and family and spend the festive season feasting on prosperous and delicious dishes. Here are our recommendations.
1. Spice Temple
Spice Temple is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a limited-edition banquet. Enjoy a feast of auspicious dishes, including golden scallop dumplings, Yu Sheng prosperity salad, glazed duck breast, roasted pork and more. This feast costs $159 per person, with a rabbit cocktail on arrival.
This is available from January 17 to January 29. More info here.
📍Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
2. Din Tai Fung
Head to Emporium Melbourne and welcome the Year of the Rabbit with adorable, rabbit-shaped buns. Loaded with chocolate and crunchy biscoff biscuit crumbs, these sweet treats will make your heart melt. Din Tai Fung also has other special Lunar New Year dishes, including Prosperity Toss Salad and fried whole barramundi with chilli sauce.
These Lunar New Year dishes are available from January 18. More info here.
📍Level 4/287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
3. Old Beijing
Feast on grand banquets from Old Beijing, with festive dishes like Prosperity Yee Sang, signature Peking Duck, 8 Treasure Lotus Leaf Rice and more. Banquets start at $568 for four people. The special menu is available from January 21 to February 6.
Outside, you’ll also find lion dance performers meandering from the square at QV to Old Beijing. Find the lion dancers at 7pm on January 21, 22 and 26.More info here.
📍31-37 Artemis Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Celebrate Lunar New Year at Longrain with lion dance performances and celebratory dishes. Enjoy festive items like spanner crab with X.O fried rice or steamed red coral trout with fermented green and red chillies. These dishes will be on the menu from Sunday January 22 until Tuesday January 24. Meanwhile, lion dances will take place at 6:30pm and 8pm on Sunday January 22.Find more info here.
📍44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This upscale restaurant is offering an Abundance Banquet to help you welcome the Year of the Rabbit. Feast on Yee Sang Prosperity Salad, Wok Tossed XO Lobster Tail, Hainan Chicken, Whole Steamed Barramundi and more. This banquet starts at $588 for 4 to 6 people.
If you’re not interested in the banquet, opt for their Lunar New Year specials, including 5-hour, slow-braised pork belly and White Rabbit Candy and red bean-flavoured mochi.
The Lunar New Year dishes are available from January 19 to February 5. Bookings are essential.
📍350 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
6. Secret Kitchen
Indulge in festive banquets and special menu items at this restaurant in Chinatown. There’s multiple banquets to choose from, starting at $988 for 6-8 people, with dishes like Chinese 5-Spice Smoked Fish, lobster and Chinese New Year Prosperity Lotus Root Soup. If you’re not after a banquet, you can also order special dishes on its own, like Prosperity Yu-Sheng, wagyu beef with black truffle paste or crispy garlic chicken. There will also be lion dances on January 21 and 22.Check out their menu here.
📍222 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Celebrate Lunar New Year with an Unlimited Yum Cha Dinner at David’s. Expect plenty of tasty dishes including braised pork belly, steamed barramundi fillet, BBQ pork buns, white radish spring rolls and more. There will also be an interactive lion dance experience to bring you good fortune and luck for the year ahead.
This celebration will take place on Sunday January 22, with bookings from 6pm, and lion dance from 7:15pm. More info here.
📍4 Cecil Pl, Prahran VIC 3181
Moonhouse is celebrating the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Lunar New Year festivities, with a special menu. Choose from an optional five-course set menu, with options like duck pancakes, metre-long noodles and sesame doughnut with apricot ice cream. Moonhouse will also offer a lucky dip. Receive a red envelope containing vouchers ranging from $5 to $100. These vouchers can be used at Commune Group venues, including Moonhouse, Tokyo Tina and New Quarter.
The menu costs $88 per person, and is available on February 3, 4 and 5. Bookings and more info here.
📍282 Carlisle St, Balaclava VIC 3183
9. Oriental Teahouse
Enjoy yum cha either in the city and in South Yarra at Oriental Teahouse. Both locations will have lion dance performances on Sunday January 22, to help usher in good luck for the year ahead. While you’re there, feast on an array of their most popular dumplings and dishes.
Seating times in the city are for either 11:30am or 1:30pm, with a lion dance at 2:30. Meanwhile, the South Yarra location is taking bookings from 5:30pm onwards, with a lion dance at 6:30.
📍378 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000 and 455 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
10. Hawker Hall
Hawker Hall is going all out for Lunar New Year. Take part in the lucky fortune cookie giveaway, for the chance to get free cocktails, vouchers, and one major $888 voucher for Hawker Hall. Join them for dinner between January 19 and January 22 to take part in the giveways.
Then, enjoy a special Lunar New Year banquet, and feast on lucky dishes like XO Rock Lobster, crispy duck leg pancakes, scallop dumplings and more. The banquet costs $88 per person, or you can dine à la carte. The banquet and Lunar New Year specials are available until January 29.
There will also be lion dance performances from January 19 to 22.
For more details and bookings, click here.
📍98 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181
11. Tokyo Lamington
This bakery in Carlton is doing a special Pineapple Tart Lamington for Lunar New Year. Believed to bring in good luck and prosperity, pineapple tarts are usually served as a snack or dessert at family gatherings. Tokyo Lamington have put their spin on the classic treat. Enjoy vanilla sponge filled with pineapple jam, dipped in white chocolate, coated with crushed pineapple cookie crumbs and topped with red sprinkles. The red sprinkles will remind you of getting a Hong Bao or Red Packet from your older relatives.
This lamington is available for pick-up, delivery or dine-in from January 18. Learn more here.
📍258 Elgin St, Carlton VIC 3053
12. Black Star Pastry
Black Star Pastry is celebrating the Lunar New Year with a new range of shortbread cookies. These buttery cookies are coated with white chocolate and garnished with a coconut crumb to create an effect that will remind you of soft rabbit fur. The seven-pack of cookies spell out BLKSTR, with the final cookie being a lucky rabbit. The rabbit holds a chocolate coin featuring a traditional message of good foturne. The coin is infused with strawberry and raspberry flavour.
You can grab the seven-pack for $35, or purchase the lucky rabbit on its own for $6. Pre-orders are open now, and are available in-store from January 13 to 22.
📍2C Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182 or Kiosk 0105, Lower Level, 1342 Dandenong Road, Chadstone Shopping Centre.
13. Albert Park Hotel
Happy Valley at the Albert Park Hotel is celebrating Lunar New Year with a signature banquet menu. Expect traditional dishes including the Yee Sang Prosperity Salad and longevity lobster noodles. The official celebration will take place on Sunday January 22, with lion dancers performing at 6pm. The banquet itself will be available from January 22 to 28, and costs $120 per person. More info here.
📍85 Dundas Pl, Albert Park VIC 3206
14. Yugen Tea Bar
Yugen Tea Bar is welcoming the new year with an adorable Lunar Rabbit tart. This sweet bunny-shaped treat features white chocolate and mandarin, and is available for a limited time. It costs $16, and is available both online and in-store. Learn more here.
📍605 Chapel St at the Capitol Grand, South Yarra VIC 3141