Stroll down Gouger St next to the Adelaide Central Market and you can’t help but catch a whiff of the abundance of Asian eateries, including dozens of top quality Chinese restaurants. Here are 10 of the best places you can go to taste authentic Chinese cuisine in the South Australian capital.
Loud, lively and much loved by locals, Ying Chow is a Gouger St favourite that serves generous servings of Chinese fare until late. Their speciality is ‘BBC’ — bean curd, broad beans and Chinese chutney — as well as other dishes from the Guangzhou region, such as tea-smoked duck and black pepper beef.
From the outside, Citi Zen still looks like the Irish pub that used to occupy the building before the Chinese restaurant moved in a few years back — but on the inside, there’s no mistaking the elegant red decor and dimly lit chandeliers. The massive 350-seat restaurant specialises in Cantonese cuisine, while lunchtime yum cha is popular, too.
This establishment stands out from many of its rivals on Gouger St, winning award after award for the best Chinese restaurant in South Australia. Located in an elegant space that’s a little more upmarket than some of its neighbours, Concubine dishes up delicious banquets stuffed with local seafood such as crispy squid, spicy barramundi and South Australian prawns.
Located just a short stroll from the Adelaide Central Market, Park Lok promises to bring Chinese infusion to Adelaide with a unique twist on the classics. This inner-city eatery recently received a new head chef as well as plenty of new dishes on the menu — don’t miss the stuffed eggplant with garlic.
One of Adelaide’s newer Chinese restaurants, the name of this Unley institution means ‘Cantonese’, and it dishes up the finest fare from the Guangdong province. As if the south Chinese wok-tossed classics weren’t enough of an attraction, Yue is also renowned for its complimentary fried wonton skins — a bit of a step up from old school prawn crackers.
‘Ding hao’ roughly translates to ‘very good’, and that’s a very apt label for this Gouger St yum cha joint. Queues snake out the door for a table at this old-school Chinese restaurant that serves a mixture of authentic and Aussie-style dishes — perfect if you want to knock back a big plate of sweet and sour pork with a couple of Tsingtao in hand.
This restaurant is named after its executive chef, Mr Dong, who opened this establishment in 2014 to serve more traditional Cantonese fare than his first Adelaide eatery, Fortuna Court in Norwood. Using plenty of fresh South Australian seafood, specialties include lobster with noodles as well as steamed trout with ginger and shallots.
Friendly service and generous banquets of traditional Chinese food is what you can expect from this unpretentious eatery in the heart of Adelaide’s Chinatown. Duck is the core ingredient in most of T-Chow’s signature dishes, such as crispy skin duck, taro duck and the sumptuous treasure duck, which requires 24 hours notice to prepare.
While plenty of other Gouger St restaurants come and go, Wah Hing has stood the test of time with its modest decor and consistent Chinese cuisine. The seafood-heavy menu hasn’t changed in years, and nor have the simple tables and chairs — just as the punters like it.
There’s nothing fancy about this cash-only eatery at the Adelaide Central Market, but their dumplings are to die for. Pork, chicken, prawn, vegetarian — whichever variety you order, Dumpling King truly lives up to its name. It’s also friendly on your bank balance, with few dishes above the $10 mark.