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Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
18 photos

INSIDERAsian Romantic

Seamstress Restaurant

113 Lonsdale Street, 3000 Melbourne (VIC)
Average price A$65

Seamstress Restaurant

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Restaurateur Jason Chan is quite used to the sight of confused-looking tourists hesitating at the door of his inner-city Melbourne establishment, Seamstress. Guidebooks clutched tightly, they are expecting to find a place of calm in the city where they can worship while on holiday. Instead, they've happened on one of the most popular restaurant and bar complexes in town and it's little wonder, says Chan, that they seem befuddled. "This building has had a very interesting past. It was a Buddhist temple for a while and is still listed as one in quite a few of the older Chinese guidebooks. People get a bit of a surprise when they turn up." Less embarrassing, though, than if the visitors had been expecting carnal, rather than culinary, pleasures. The 112-year-old building was once also the home of a well-known Melbourne brothel. Fortunately, Chan and his business partner Anthony Herzog chose to be inspired by another chapter in the building's life when selecting a decorating theme: for many years it housed a garment factory. Notoriously, in the 1930s it was raided by police for being a sweatshop. Chan was born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand and is a fifth-generation restaurant owner. He recently sold Imbibe in Wellington and was part of the winning 42 Below Cocktail World Cup team in 2005.

Restaurant menu

Chef Jason Chan
Crispy Brussels sprouts, white miso & lemon dressing with togarashi
Asian garden herb salad with nuoc cham dressing
Rocket & broccoli salad with pickled ginger & miso dressing

User photos

Pork belly - Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
Crab - Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)



What diners said about this restaurant:

Excellent value for money
Short waiting time
Moderate noise level

Tripadvisor reviews

502 Tripadvisor Reviews


More information

How to get to the restaurant

113 Lonsdale Street, 3000, Melbourne (VIC), Australia

Additional information

Melbourne CBD, Melbourne City

About the restaurant

Things aren't what they seam

The Seamstress Restaurant lives in a house steeped in history. This is one of Chinatown's hidden gems. At first it kinda feels like you're climbing up stairs into a forgotten attic but once you're there the space is a pleasant surprise. You see, Seamstress restaurant lives in a 120-year-old building that was once a textile factory and even an old Buddhist monastery. Now it's a jazzy restaurant that does modern Cantonese food with panache. It's a pretty sight to behold, and a break from the red and gold Chinatown standards. With bare bricks and light polished wood, this restaurant has a fresh and contemporary atmosphere. Here you'll find a lunching business crew and curious customers after an elegant dinner. Based on the dishes of China, the menu also makes some detours into the flavours of Asian, and each item has a small medium and large so you can build your own delicious course or share the goodness with friends. Forget raucous Chinese restaurants and getting nudged by yum cha trolleys! Come to Seamstress and make the most of Chinatown's best kept secret.

Best dish: 12-hour braised Berkshire pork belly, jicama salad and kohlrabi kimchi


Meat Cuisine, , Father's Day,

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