Sup­per Inn Chi­nese Restau­rant

Mel­bourne’s din­ing land­scape would be un­think­able with­out this veteran Canto palace. By Larissa Dubecki

Time Out (Melbourne) - - FOOD AWARDS 2017 -

IT’S BEEN A while. Maybe 35 years. Maybe 36. Maybe more. The ex­act fig­ure is lost to the mists of time. When it comes to putting a date on Sup­per Inn, let’s just say it threw open its doors around the time Mal­colm Fraser was Prime Min­is­ter, which means it’s reached the restau­rant year equiv­a­lent of the Ming dy­nasty. There’s some­thing to be said for con­stancy in the restau­rant world. These days they ar­rive in a flash of so­cial me­dia glory and dis­ap­pear al­most as quickly, but Sup­per Inn will broach lit­tle in the way of so­cial me­dia. It doesn’t go in for such new­fan­gled things, and any­way the dé­cor and light­ing aren’t ex­actly In­sta­gram-friendly. In­stead, it built its rep­u­ta­tion the old-fash­ioned way with just plain straight-up ex­cel­lent Can­tonese food with a 2.30am clos­ing time that means it’s a mag­net for the city’s hospo crowd look­ing for a post-work feed that won’t break the bank. The menu is long. As in re­ally, re­ally long, but any­one who’s been a cou­ple of times will know which dishes to bee­line for. Congee with chicken, flecked with gin­ger. The Pa­cific oys­ters in an aro­matic soy-stock lake. A whole steamed floun­der, and siz­zling chilli quail. The hot­pot with pork and oil-soaked, gar­licky egg­plant with salted fish used like sea­son­ing, and the roasted suck­ling pig with the sweet­est meat and skin like chewy, salty tof­fee. That it’s all de­liv­ered with ser­vice that ranges from smi­ley to hostage sit­u­a­tion, in sur­round­ings that fondly channel the days when tim­ber pan­elling was de rigueur – well, that just makes it even more mem­o­rable, and de­serv­ing of its Ce­les­tial Av­enue ad­dress. Thanks for all the good times, Sup­per Inn. Don’t ever change.  15 Ce­les­tial Ave, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9663 4759.

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