How would it be if I told you that you don’t need a passport to explore Asian communities and cultures? And of course taste all the different and amazing cuisines that they offer? Do you believe me?
Well, it’s completely possible in Australia! And how lucky we are. The most popular Asian nationalities represented in Australia are Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Filipino.
Today let’s explore Melbourne and it’s vibrant Asian communities.
Just a touch behind Sydney, Melbourne has the next largest Asian population in Australia.
Until recently Vietnamese were one of the largest Asian immigrants to Melbourne but China and India have both stretched out in front with immigration from the two countries doubling in recent years.
Chinese are now clearly the largest Asian migrant group followed by India, then Vietnam, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia rounding out the top 7.
Likes attract likes and birds of a feather flock together and just as those two saying go, so do settling immigrants. Chinese have made Box Hill, Clayton, Doncaster and Carlton their homes.
Sri Lankan’s have made the suburbs of Dandenong North, Lysterfield, Rowville, Noble Park and Endeavour Hills their homes.
Indians have made their homes in the suburbs of Laverton, Williams Landing, Glen Huntly, Albion, Sydenham, Clayton South, Dandenong and Springvale with people living in theses suburbs being born in India ranging between 10-15% of the suburbs populations.
If you are looking to make Vietnamese friends you’ll probably want to head to Footscray, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Braybrook, Sunshine North, Sunshine West, St Albans, Albanvale, Springvale or Deer Park.
Map: Asian Communities in Melbourne
Eating Asia without a passport
With a large immigrant population, the lucky country can enjoy cuisines from across the world. But where to find the Asian restaurant cultures? Where do Asians go to enjoy real delicious hometown food? Here’s where to start looking.
- Chinatown – eastern end of Little Bourke Street CBD – Chinese and East Asian cuisine
- Swanston Street CBD – from Little Bourke Street through to Latrobe Street – South-East Asian cuisine
- Central Footscray – Vietnamese and Chinese plus the large fresh food market near the railway station
- Little India – Foster street and surrounding streets, Dandenong – Indian cuisine
- Central Springvale – Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian plus several Asian food marts in this area
- Glen Waverley – in and around Century City Walk -Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Sri Lankan and other Asian cuisines
- Koornang Road, Carnegie – Between Rosstown Road and Neerim Road – Korean, Malaysian, Chinese, Thai cuisines
- Central Box Hill – Chinese and East Asian cuisine
- Little Saigon – Victoria Street, Richmond – Vietnamese
If you are in the city but don’t have the time to head out of the CBD then Swanston and Little Bourke are the streets to head down. Along either street, it’s mostly Chinese fare but you will also find some Vietnamese and Korean cuisines. You will also find several Chatime drink shops, which is hugely popular with Chinese who love their bubble tea. For a quick casual snack of street-food Chinese style try Mr. Kitchen, and for a quick and casual yum cha hit try China Bar.
There’s also a Taiwanese street food cafe on Swanston Street and for a full dining experience head into Chinatown and follow your nose, wherever you see a queue of Chinese people waiting for a table, jump in that line, Bamboo House is one of the many places that constantly gets great reviews.
Where to buy Asian Groceries?
Want to cook your own Asian treats? Find some real Puer Tea? Well, there are literally loads of places
Tang Asian Food Emporium
Mostly Chinese groceries, one of the best in the CBD. Also known as the Great Eastern Grocery. Open from 10-11pm daily
185 Russell Street
Minh Phat Asian Supermarket
One of the biggest, imported foods through to cooking equipment.
2-8 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford
321-323 Racecourse Road, Flemington
Lots of Asian style fresh fruit, vegetables along with Asian butchers and imported products. Mostly Vietnamese and Chinese.
81 Hopkins Street in Footscray
135 Koornang Road, Carnegie
Korea Town Mart
527 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Hong Kong Supermarket
Very large market. Products from Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand
359-365 Clayton Road, Clayton
Nan Yang Supermarket
Mixed Asian products serving the local community for many years
313 Springvale Road, Springvale
Note: around Springvale Train Station in the shopping precinct you will find numerous markets
Indian and Pakistan grocery lines, lots of spices.
1120 Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly
Fuji Mart Melbourne
Japanese Grocery Store
34 Elizabeth St, South Yarra
One of the biggest Thai grocers in Melbourne
1-5 Ferguson Street, Abbotsford
Golden Dragon Asian Grocery
Mixed Asian groceries
South Melbourne Market – Aisle B – Store 80.
Corner of Coventry & Cecil Streets, South Melbourne
Temples in Melbourne
Tibetan Buddhist Society
Large grounds with magnificent gardens
1425 Mickleham Rd, Yuroke
Sri Durga Temple
705-715 Neale Road, Rockbank
Fo Guang Shan Melbourne
89 Somerville Road, Yarraville
Fo Guang Shan Er You Temple
42 Rutland Road, Box Hill
Heavenly Queen Temple
Chinese Buddhist Temple and Mazu Temple
20 Joseph Rd, Footscray
Bright Moon Buddhist Society
Chinese Buddhist Temple
536-540 Springvale Rd, Springvale
Yun Yang Temple
Buddhist Temple with landscaped grounds and regular activities and events
6-10 Reservoir Rd, Narre Warren North
Culture and Arts
Showcasing the heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community
22 Cohen Place, Melbourne CBD
Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery
Enjoy tea and a collection of Chinese artworks
141 Queen Street, Melbourne
Free Tai Chi
free class every Tuesday morning at Fed Square.
Stat Source: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0main+features102014