Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year is for many a time to get together with friends and family to wish for good luck and a prosperous year ahead. As Melbourne's Asian communities celebrate the Year of the Rooster, join in the festivities all around the city. They're hard to miss, just follow the sound of cracker and fireworks!
This year, the festivities begin on January 27 and lead into Chinese New Year's Day on January 28. They'll continue right up until February 11, so there are plenty of chances to get involved.
Chinese New Year events
Chinatown is where you want to be on Chinese New Year, where festivities are going to really take off on Saturday January 28. The huge Dragon's Awakening Ceremony (firecrackers, lettuce and all) will parade through the streets of Melbourne starting Chinatown. The Chinese Museum is also getting in on the festivities, on February 4-5 and 10-11, kids will be able to create giant dragons and lanterns, or learn the lion dance at the museum.
Queen Victoria Market is getting into the Lunar New Year spirit on Saturday February 11 and Sunday February 12 from 9am-3pm. Check out Asian cheap eats stalls on Queen Street, roving performers and plenty of free family activities as lanterns light the way for a prosperous new year.
Restaurants doing Chinese New Year specials
Dumplings at Din Tai Fung are getting a little festive for Chinese New Year with their Rooster Buns. The baos come steamed to order and come with a blueberry cream cheese filling and would be a great dessert to go with the Kung Pao chicken and steamed pork dumplings.
These dumplings are available from January 20 to February 20 in all restaurants and from January 28 to February 28 at all café courts.
Toast to the new year with some special edition dishes at New Shanghai on January 28. Aside from New Shanghai's signature dishes, diners will be treated to dishes including but not limited to truffle oil-infused stir fry chicken, slow braised pork belly and a red date pudding for dessert. Punters going to new Shanghai's Chadstone location will be treated to a lion dance performance, and all customers will be given red pocket gifts all day on January 28.
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at Neil Perry's Spice Temple, which will be serving up a banquet menu from January 23 to February 5. The kitchen team have carefully chosen ingredients to reflect Chinese traditions, ensuring the year ahead will be a prosperous one. Of the nine courses, there's a lobster and pomelo salad for prosperity, a fried salt and pepper Moreton Bay Bug for fortune, and a red braised pork belly for harmony. The feast is $120 per person, bookings essential.
You'll need a crew to do the HuTong Chinese New Year banquet properly. This ten-course traditional banquet feeds eight to ten people and features Hu Tong signature dim sims, whole deep-fried barramundi with sweet and sour sauce, peking duck, and Australian abalone (it is a probably Chinese feast after all). A full banquet will set you back $1,688 and bookings are essential.
Man Tong Kitchen is celebrating the year of the Rooster with a massive ten-course (yes, ten!) Chinese banquet that you'll need a whole crew to attack. The premium Chinese New Year feast includes a shark fin soup, snow crab with goose pate, black truffle fried rice, and so much more. It'll set you back $1,888 or $2,288 for the extra premium option, but this is a massive banquet made for celebrating with your friends and family. Bookings essential.