Heritage quarters with decorative ceilings create a premium setting at this upmarket riff on Chinese.
What to order: A glass from Penny Grant's broad-ranging list and the kitchen's riff on classic prawn toast.
Shop 3, 171 George St, Brisbane, (07) 3243 4838
Bunker-style interiors meet a roving line up of greatest hits, with a left-field round-up of wines by-the-glass.
What to order: The value banquet.
East St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, +61 413 246 890
Modish interiors provide a smart backdrop at this modern Chinese fine diner, from the team at Rick Shores.
What to order: The tangle of goodness that is the Chinese Bolognese.
6 Warner St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, 0431 619 884
Nothing dainty about the fiery flavours at this ever-expanding Melbourne empire.
What to order: Fish-flavour eggplant.
Multiple locations including, 176 Toorak Road , South Yarra , Vic, (03) 9078 1686
Homestyle Shanghai cuisine and great tea in stylish warehouse surrounds.
What to order: Spring onion noodles with dried shrimp
4 Cecil Pl, Prahan, Vic, (03) 9529 5199
Dragon Hot Pot
24-hour spicy soup specialist, big on flavour, low on price.
What to order: Fiery malatang broth base.
213 Russell St, Melbourne, (03) 9662 1833
A luxe temple of Cantonese excellence and superb service with fans spanning generations.
What to order: Sautéed pearl meat.
17 Market Ln, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9662 3655
Multiple levels of dumpling magic and pan-Chinese distinction from Shanghai to Sichuan.
What to order: xiao long bao.
14-16 Market Ln, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9650 8128
Cool space with modern Chinese and a smart drinks list to match.
What to order: Tangy ox tongue.
16 Liverpool St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9090 7778
An institution complete with live seafood tanks and fast-paced service. Still one of Sydney's busiest, and best places to be at 2am.
What to order: Live pipis in XO sauce.
393-399 Sussex St, Sydney, (02) 9212 3901
Multileveled and multi-flavoured, Mr Wong is a well-oiled machine playing the classics, just better.
What to order: Dumplings, mud crab and deep-fried ice-cream.
3 Bridge Ln, Sydney, 2000, (02) 9114 7317
All style and intrigue, Neil Perry's Chinese diner spotlights regions less travelled with fierce attention to detail.
What to order: The lamb pancake.
10 Bligh St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 8099 7088
Head to Newtown for cut-above pubstyle Chinese, or Manly for spins on takeaway classics.
What to order: Oversized xiao long bao.
2/167 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW, (02) 9114 7333
Serving Hunanese fare made with care. Full of addictive spice and textures.
What to order: Broad beans with pork mince.
189 Anzac Pde, Kensington, NSW, (02) 9697 9189
Xi'an Biang Biang
Slippery noodles slick with chilli, no-frills service and full-on flavour.
What to order: Rou jia mo, and biang biang noodles, of course.
Shop 39/1 Dixon St, Haymarket, NSW, (02) 9261 2745