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Cheap Chinatown eats

After a no-frills feed or have a crowd to please on a modest budget? Take a stroll down the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest Chinatown.

Chinatown street at night with neon signs, a hanging lantern and people walking


Shanghai Dumpling House

Shanghai Dumpling House has been cooking up northern Chinese classics for generations. Order them en masse, steamed, fried or floating in broth. Drop-in for a big feed on a budget or a quick bite between bars – complete with free, bottomless Chinese tea. You can even get a serve of 20 juicy veg dumplings for 10 bucks!

Le Charme De Saigon

The $9.90 pho special at Le Charme is a lunchtime treasure. Order steaming soup loaded with rare beef and rice noodles plus choose-your-own-adventure toppers.

Plates of noodles, dumplings, rice and curry

Le Charme

Nam Loong Seafood Restaurant

This unassuming icon has kept loyal customers grinning for decades. Go retro at Nam Loong Seafood Restaurant with dim sims and special fried rice favourites. Or try Cantonese classics like sang choi bao, drunken squab and 11 types of congee.

Shanghai Street

Guaranteed you’ve seen the quick-moving queue out the door at Shanghai Street. Join it, and before long you’ll be nodding in agreement with a mouthful of xiao long bao. Order four kinds of soup dumplings at the original digs or the Bourke Street branch.

Dumplings in a bamboo steamer

Shanghai Street

ShanDong MaMa Dumplings

Order the cheap and cheerful pillows, Shandong style, at ShanDong MaMa Dumplings. With three grades of wrapper thickness on the menu, they’ve got it down to a science. Order the signature Daryl noodles at little sister spot Shandong Mama Mini.