Supper Inn, Celestial Ave

There are places in Melbourne that make you feel as though you are in another place, or another time and sometimes you stumble down an alley or a laneway and you could well be in both another place and another time. Walking down Celestial Ave, in the heart of Chinatown at any hour of the night or day is precisely one of those experiences. If it wasn’t for the multi-storey carpark towering over the street you would easily expect to see Woo, of Deadwood fame, sitting down beside of one of the stores with his pigs, and his whores. Yet, he isn’t there and in his place is an overflowing dumpster and an angry asian chef having a sneaky cigarette perhaps a beer.

Who can hold it against him though, when the Supper Inn advertises its opening hours until 2:30am and you would have to think that if there were people there wanting to order at half 2 the kitchen surely wouldn’t be closed. The food is great, it certainly isn’t the cheapest between the red gates of Chinatown but it doesn’t seem as jam packed with artificial flavours as other restaurants. $20 will net you the barbecued suckling pig which was very tastey, but quite a small portion and $18 will get a Szechuan Beef and a Sweet and Sour Pork. Of particular note was the sweet and sour pork which was not only extremely tasty but also a great sized portion. The menu consists of traditional style Chinese food, all sitting around this price range. It’s probably the best food in Australia that money can buy at 2 in the morning.

Working our table was an older chinese man who’s lack of conversation was refreshing, considering our conversation was hilarious to us, but almost certainly less so to him. He was happy to pour our cheap ‘Bulli Bulli’ Shiraz which was quite a surprise but nothing compared to how he wielded the spoons when he served us our special fried rice. This was something that has to be seen to believed, the spoons were snapping faster than a pitbull in a cattle yard and before we could say, “Cheers mate” our bowls were overflowing with rice.

Service with a smile and a nod.

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