This bustling eastern ’burb boasts the city’s largest Chinese community and a dynamic food scene. Here’s the lowdown on where to eat, drink and stay and what to do when you visit.

Eat

Dainty Sichuan, Box Hill

Zero Mode is the new kid on the Box Hill block, rocking a day-to-night modern Asian menu with a cheeky sense of fun. Look no further than waffles with bubble tea pearls and a shape-shifting take on smashed avocado with spicy salmon tartare. Dainty Sichuan, on the other hand, is Melbourne’s Sichuan food pioneer, putting the focus on individual Chongqing-style hotpots at its rambunctious 220-seater. Select from about a dozen broths (novices beware the super spicy) then add anything from whole prawns to pork meatballs, wild bamboo shoots and duck gizzards.

SEE ALSO: Neil Perry’s Guide to Melbourne’s Chinatown

Drink

The circle motif seen throughout The Penny Drop is a nod to Chinese symbology, while the cocktail list is a tribute to the enduring joys of the Espresso Martini and Berry Mojito.

Do

Box Hill Central’s fresh food market is one of Australia’s oldest and most authentic Asian produce markets. You’ll find a dizzying array of edible exotica along with a traditional Chinese herbalist to cure whatever ails you.

Stay

Book a room at The Chen, Box Hill

Get a room

Check into – or simply check out – The Chen. The latest Art Series luxury boutique hotel celebrates the work of acclaimed artist and Box Hill resident Zhong Chen.

SEE ALSO: The Best Boutique Hotels in Melbourne

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