Shark Fin Inn

It was the morning after my friend Clare’s wedding and I was feeling very hungover.  There was only one thing for it – yum cha.  Unlimited dumplings and a bottomless cup of green tea has to be the best hangover cure out there.

Yum cha at Shark Fin Inn

There’s two levels of pleasure in store at Shark Finn Inn up the top end of China Town.  Not much has changed here since the restaurant opened in the 1980s, the carpet is pretty retro and the rooms are full closely spaced tables topped with lazy Susans.

Deep fried prawns at Shark Finn Inn

There’s just enough room for the heavily laden trollies to get through.  On board the trolleys were  crispy deep fried prawns which were like some sort of manna from heaven for my hungover state.  However whoever had made the salt and pepper squid was a bit heavy handed with the batter and the squid tasted like it had been sitting a while instead of straight out of the fryer.

Scallop dumplings

Of the dumplings the gow choi (prawn and chive dumpling) were the best with fresh seafood filling and a light almost transulcent skin.  The siu mai (pork and mushroom dumplings) were also good with their rich moreish filling.  The char siu pao (barbecue pork steam buns) were billowy and soft but the pork filling and sauce could have been richer.

Salt and pepper squid

I admit that all the photos I’ve taken seem to be of deep fried dishes or dumplings but I swear we did have some greens in there as well.  Opinion seems to be divided in Melbourne as to whether Shark Fin House or Shark Fin Inn is the best option in China Town.  The quality seems to change from visit to visit but on this occasion I really enjoyed Shark Fin Inn and service was actually quite pleasant with frequent refilling of our tea.  By the time we left I almost felt human again.

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Details: 50-52 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 (Ph: +61 3 9662 2681)
Damage: Reasonable.  Dim sum starts at $4.20 a plate.  Our bill came to about $30 a head.

Shark Fin Inn on Urbanspoon


  1. What are the chances? You’ve reviewed a Melbourne restaurant at which I’ve actually eaten at!

    Can’t remember much about my dinner there, but I do remember the name Shark Fin Inn.

  2. I reckon the Shark Fin group is actually quite decent. Can’t tell which side is better but Shark Fin House is usually considered slightly more modernised, especially the a la carte dishes but just!

    I reckon Cantonese Food in Melbourne is quite decent, here, Plume, Taipan, Mahjong, Choi’s, Silks, Lucky Chan super expensive but good!!, Flower Drum (too Westernised nowadays), Crystal Jade in the past before moving, etc. They are all run by chefs from ex-famous restaurants migrating away from Hong Kong. In fact Bamboo House and Mask of China are in the same situation. I think HK Chefs who left for overseas have kept their cooking standards they just lose out a bit of new novelty items!! And MSG is a problem in too many places 😛

  3. Mr Noodles – finally! It’s a memorable name isn’t it? And yes it is a Melbourne icon.

    HK Epicurus – I agree HK they do a good job. Yes Melbourne does do Cantonese food well it is the other areas of China that are not as strongly represented.

  4. Mouthwatering stuff, m’dear! Will make sure to give it a visit next time I’m in the area x LZ

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