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Chinatown Mall

Sample authentic and affordable Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean cuisine in this typical Asian precinct in the heart of Brisbane’s bustling Fortitude Valley.

Treat your tastebuds to a restaurant visit in Brisbane’s pedestrianized Chinatown Mall, a little slice of the Orient in the heart of the otherwise all-Australian Queensland capital.

Brisbane’s Chinatown Mall is a single-street precinct marked by a traditional paifang, a columned arch with curved roofs. Pass between the two stone lions, there to protect those inside against evil spirits and to welcome all visitors.

Opened on the first day of the year of the Rabbit in 1987, Chinatown Mall has become an integral part of Brisbane’s urban landscape. While this is no longer Brisbane’s main hub for oriental food — that title now goes to the distinctly multicultural suburb of Sunnybank — it’s the most central one and the closest to the nightlife of Fortitude Valley.

In the street’s exotic grocery stores you can shop for noodles, Asian spices, Peking duck and spicy sauces to cook up a feast at home, but it may be just as cheap to eat out. Just follow your nose to one of the street’s many restaurants, with everything from yum cha or steamed pork buns to vegetarian fried rice on the menu. If you find it hard to choose between Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai and Korean, just keep coming back here to grab lunch or dinner.

Sample as many dishes as you like, because it’s all very affordable by Australian standards. Most restaurants are BYO, which means you can save money by bringing your own beer or wine. After your meal, join the trendy crowds in the nearby nightclubs.

Come back on Saturday or Sunday to buy affordable clothes or trinkets at the weekend markets. If you happen to visit during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in summer, watch the lion dance parade, taste traditional Asian street food and see the fireworks.

The Chinatown Mall spans the short length of Duncan Street, but Chinatown itself spills out into the surrounding streets. Metered street parking is limited and expensive. The parking garage along Gipps Street serves Chinatown best, but could cost you more than your meal. Save money by walking here or by hopping on a train or bus to Fortitude Valley.


Guide to Exploring around Chinatown Mall


Map

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