Time Out Melbourne

Meander down a city alleyway towards this modern Chinese eatery's beaming red beacon

Off Flinders Lane's restaurant-heavy strip, Lee Ho Fook's bright neon sign beckons diners into a the graffitied laneway that the modern Chinese restaurant now calls home. Since moving from its original Smith St location, Lee Ho Fook now shares the backstreets with neighbours Tonka and Pastuso

Kitschiness has no place here at this modern Chinese restaurant. Outside, tags, paste-ups and graffiti changes almost daily, whilst inside the old warehouse space has been repurposed to house a kitchen and over 70 seats across two floors. The interior expands on the Smith St original's modern look with pendant lighting, exposed brickwork and blond timber furniture. Lightboxes featuring rainbow-like artworks light the way towards the upstairs dining area.  

The dishes hitting tables showcases head chef and co-owner Victor Liong’s love of traditional Chinese flavours... with decidedly modern take. You won't find 30-page menus packed to the rafters with endless menu items, but a banquet style dining experience is entirely possible with the line-up of small to large share dishes – just make sure you come with enough stomach space.

There’s the beautiful two soft yolked egg halves, herbal from a pickling in oolong tea and nutty, salty and slippery with sesame oil, soy and a tiny crown of avruga. The steamed barramundi with the bright green scallop and ginger sauce is another crowd favourite that's making the move downtown. 

Sommelier Masa Nishimoto took care of the wine list, which runs the gamut of accessible as well as old world vintage options easily paired with the bold flavours on Liong's menu. 

It’s all beautiful, refined, and updated Chinese that holds your interest without ever being too clever for its own good. There's unbridled enthusiasm coming from both the kitchen and bar. There's something special happening here. 

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Updated on 12 Aug 2015.

Lee Ho Fook details

11-15 Duckboard Place, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9077 6261

Price per person including drinks $51 to $100

Open Tue-Sat 6-11pm

Lee Ho Fook website

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Lee Ho Fook map

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