Restaurant Guide

Flower Drum: Restaurant review

Behold the retro-glam dining room: linen-dressed tables, thick carpet, and crack black-and-white-clad service team.


17 Market La
Melbourne, VIC


Lunch Mon-Sat noon-3pm;
Dinner Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm,
Sun 6pm-10.30pm


E $10-$35
M $18-$120
D $10-$20;

So the old dog does have new tricks. Look no further than the fried barramundi skin tossed in spicy salt, an addictively crunchy addition to the fin-to-tail movement. Or the single supersized xiao long bao, filled with premium seafood such as mud crab and scallop and swimming in a delicate chicken broth. Flower Drum may have reached its fifth decade but Anthony Lui isn't letting the grand old Canto dame fade into obscurity, with original dishes and gentle tweaks of favourites helping make renewal part of the mantra. For those venturing into Flower Drum's equally august lift for the first time, the manifold pleasures of this most old-school of restaurants remain firmly intact. Peking duck – plated tableside by a crack team of waiters who have trod the plush red carpet for decades – remains a shining example of the art, while wok-fried abalone with velvety swatches of crystal mung bean noodles or the textural zing of a jellyfish salad slicked with sesame oil are a masterclass in Cantonese supremacy. Flower Drum remains at the peak of Australian fine dining. Long may it reign.
(03) 9662 3655
Bookings essential
  • Licensed
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Private room
  • Impressive wine list
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Anthony Lui
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.