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Seamstress Restaurant, Melbourne (VIC)
18 photos

INSIDERAsian Romantic

Seamstress Restaurant

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


Seamstress Restaurant

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Meet the Chef

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)



Excellent411 reviews











Real experiences from real dinersOnly people who have booked with TheFork or paid with TheFork PAY can leave a rating and review.
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What diners said about this restaurant:

Good value for money
Very short waiting time
  • Keith C.9 reviews

    9 March 2023


    Haven’t been to Seamstress for some time. The food was absolutely delicious. Attentive service in a cosy environment. Absolute gem. The steak was just fantastic and the pot stickers superb.

  • Sandra R.1 review

    18 February 2023


    Nice little eatery. Food fantastic and staff. Close to Theatres. Kudos to kitchen staff who climb the stairs multiple times per night to deliver the yummies from the kitchen. You are heros.

  • Bill G.15 reviews

    15 February 2023


    The food was amazing and the service really friendly and extremely helpful. We used the bar beforehand which was also really good. Beautiful flavours with an Asian theme.

  • Robert L.172 reviews

    12 January 2023


    Food was tasty, service was ok, not that many people there on a Thursday night so not much of a vibe. The crab dish we expected more, it was a much smaller portion than the other “small sized plates” only two tiny pieces. The other small sized plates had four pieces.

  • Grant M.2 reviews

    4 January 2023


    This was their first night open for 2023 and the food was good and service fine but not outstanding. Perhaps as a little older than their normal clientele we did not enjoy the darkened staircase entry and wondered what it would be like after a few too many drinks - has anyone fallen down? would seem to be easy to do.

  • Ahmed E.2 reviews

    9 November 2022


    I have been probably to this gem over a dozen times. The quality of the service, the variety of the food and consistently delicious dishes, and the great atmosphere never ceases to amaze me.

  • Rosalie S.2 reviews

    8 October 2022


    My friend and I had a fantastic experience! We started with cocktails in the bar where the service and drinks were excellent. The staff in the restaurant were welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu and the food was wonderful- particularly loved the tempura cauliflower! Highly recommend this restaurant!

  • andrew s.3 reviews

    5 October 2022


    Outstanding food and great combinations of flavours. Very inventive. Service was also excellent my wife and I had a great time. Location is a little quirky which is great.

  • Gordon M.1 review

    24 September 2022


    Lovely people, explained the concept, and then backed it up with wonderful food. Be aware, that the entrance is easy to miss. It's up one flight of stairs, carry on up another for amazing cocktails.

  • Alyson S.2 reviews

    19 August 2022


    The food was lovely however some was cold and the rest just luke warm. The service was good. It was very cramped and a little more room between tables would be nice

  • Julie C.1 review

    11 August 2022


    Great place, decor is just so cool without being pretentious. Great ambience and mixed age group of patrons. Food was plentiful and extremely good. Staff were friendly and helpful. We loved it and the bar upstairs. Looking forward to a return visit.

  • Daniel M.15 reviews

    3 May 2022


    For entrees, I ordered the Crispy Softshell Crab and Flame Wok-tossed Vegetables. The crab was impeccable. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Bursting with flavour, succulent, crispy, well-sauced. The vegetables were light and crunchy – delicious. My main was the Crispy Pork Belly. It lived up to its name: crispy! I particularly enjoyed the cashew and peanut garnish and Red Dragon Sauce. However, I felt that some of the pork pieces needed more of the sauce; also, the Vietnamese mint salad was rather bland. The ambience is excellent – the music wasn't blasting during lunch time, making it the perfect place for a good conversation with friends or colleagues.


    See 2 photos

  • David S.14 reviews

    12 April 2022


    First, the waiter got our order wrong (a medium instead of small). When this was pointed out and admitted to we thought the issue was resolved - but when the bill arrived they still attempted to charge us for the wrong size. The food was generally lacklustre. The soft-shell crab was over-cooked (dark brown), and the oil in the deep fryer was clearly not fresh. The pork belly also seemed to have been through the same deep fryer, rather than having been roasted. We will not be back.

  • Michael E.27 reviews

    30 March 2022


    The martini was great, food right up there with the best I’ve had, topped off by the excellent and personal service of Dimitri!!! My wife and I loved it.

  • Marcus P.18 reviews

    26 March 2022


    Wow! What tastes abound in this place, tucked away upstairs! Absolutely divine! From the moneybag dumplings to the pork belly, seafood to cocktails, everything was amazing. Food melts in your mouth, leaving pleasures usually restricted to the bedroom! Please indulge, it’s a share based menu, not lengthy, short and sweet but what they do excels above all expectations. Thank you, we’ll be back for seconds!

  • John H.8 reviews

    19 March 2022


    Cocktails to kick off the evening were lovely and waitress happy to advise on off menu options - great selection. The food was magnificent - great flavours and generous dishes. Loved the fact you could order small, medium and large sizes and waiter was great in helping us choose the right size so we did not order too much. Loved all the food!

  • Jason L.1 review

    22 January 2022


    Great little restaurant, beautiful food and knowledgeable staff. Excellent drinks menu to partner the rich Asian inspired flavours of the wonderful dishes we enjoyed as part of the banquet.

  • Pru M11 reviews

    17 December 2021


    Lovely to be back to enjoy good service and a great range of interesting drinks / cocktail options. Favourite dishes: the wontons & the brussel sprouts

  • Nadz A.7 reviews

    13 December 2021


    The food was nice but nothing to write home about. The Korean fried chicken should really be boneless. It was also quite dry. The "crispy" pork belly was anything but crispy. The softshell crab and dumplings were nice. The waiters were quite inattentive and came across as snobby. Seamstress has lots of potential but need to improve their food and service.


    See 5 photos

  • Krystle W.3 reviews

    30 November 2021


    Food was fabulous, server was really lovely and full of personality. The front of house when she greeted us looked like she would rather be anywhere but where she was which let it down abit.

Tripadvisor reviews

501 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


Steak, , , Lunar New Year, Pre Theatre

Frequently Asked Questions

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