Whether you’re looking for lunchtime dim sum or to settle in for the full banquet, Hobart has plenty to offer in the Chinese dining stakes. Here’s our roundup of the city’s best.
With linen-clad tables, rarefied hush and scene-setting Chinoiserie, Me Wah is thoroughly deserving of its status as Hobart’s special-occasion Chinese restaurant. The southern capital’s answer to Flower Drum, it boasts a broad Cantonese menu with numerous sweet spots: impeccable dim sum, luxe seafood (try the king prawns coated in sea urchin roe and salted egg yolk) and an unimpeachable Peking duck plated with due ceremony at the table.
16 Magnet Court, Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay; (03) 6223 3688
Asian Gourmet on the Pier
Many roads in Hobart lead to the Elizabeth Street pier and Asian Gourmet is one such reason to tread the boards. Design-wise, this Cantonese specialist largely leaves the theatrics to the marine view but the food outguns the utilitarian surroundings. Yum cha covers all the bases from classic shao mai to boneless duck, while going à la carte yields treasures such as a comforting chicken and corn soup and stir-fried Tassie beef hor fun with flat noodles.
Elizabeth Street Pier, Hobart; (03) 6224 4428
The Dragon Bowl
You’ll find the typically encyclopaedic Canto menu of beef in black bean sauce, sweet and sour pork and prawns in XO sauce at this central Hobart restaurant but also look out for the assured sub-section of dishes from the owner’s home province of Sichuan. Ma Po tofu, perhaps the most famous Sichuan dish of them all, gets a spicy run, as well as the lesser-known (but just as delicious) green beans with pork mince.
196 Macquarie Street, Hobart; 0487 796 368
North Hobart’s Mu Lan brings the glam thanks to soft lantern lighting, filigree screens and secluded booth seating. This contemporary Chinese restaurant in the heart of North Hobart does the classics with aplomb – think salt and pepper tofu, stir-fried cumin lamb and garlic king prawns – then adds a few curveballs in the form of Chairman Mao pork (translation: Sichuan-spiced pork belly) and the claypot “three-shot” chicken braised in Shaoxing wine and sesame oil.
343 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart; (03) 6231 3609
Har Wee Yee
The dependable player of the Hobart Chinese food scene, Har Wee Yee sticks to the design brief with large octagonal windows, a vivid neon sign and enormous fringed lanterns. It keeps the flame burning with a confident Cantonese menu where flash-fried Sichuan quail and Shanghai chicken ribs fly the flag for regionality.
302 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart; 03 6234 1402
Chinese flavours meet Tassie terroir at Hejo’s, where the proudly local produce includes grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and calamari plucked from the east-coast waters. The ageless appeal of sesame prawn toast and honey chicken (made with Tasmanian leatherwood honey) is matched by an intriguing range of claypot dishes, such as braised roast duck with vermicelli and sliced pork belly in a wash of chilli.
133 Elizabeth Street, Hobart; 03 6234 6131
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