Flower Drum

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Flower Drum
Flower Drum logo.png
Restaurant information
Established May 26, 1975 (1975-05-26)
Current owner(s) Anthony Lui, William Shek, Patricia Fung
Previous owner(s) Gilbert Lau
Head chef Anthony Lui
Food type Chinese
Street address 17 Market Lane
City Melbourne
Postal/ZIP code 3000
Country Australia
Website flowerdrum.melbourne

The Flower Drum is a notable multi-award winning Chinese cuisine restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. The Flower Drum is widely regarded as a Melbourne institution.[1][2] It is frequently booked months in advance.[3][4] It is located just off Bourke Street in Market Lane in the Chinatown precinct of the Melbourne CBD.


The Flower Drum was established by Gilbert Lau and opened on the 26 May 1975.[5] The restaurant originally opened in a converted car park at 103 Little Bourke Street and took its name from the 1961 film, Flower Drum Song, a Rogers and Hammersein musical about expatriate Chinese and their life in America.[6]

In 1980 the restaurant scoring two chef's hats in The Age's Good Food Guide's first edition.[7] Since then the Good Food Guide has named it 'Restaurant of the Year' on numerous occasions.[8] In 1985 the restaurant moved around the corner to its current site.[5] In 2003 Lau sold the restaurant to his employees: executive chef Anthony Lui, William Shek and Patricia Fung.[9]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Erlich, Rita (2012). Melbourne by Menu: The Story of Melbourne's Restaurant Revolution. Slattery Publishing Group. ISBN 9781921778582. 
  • Apple, R. W. Jr. (2010). Far Flung and Well Fed: The Food Writing of R.W. Apple, Jr. McMillian. ISBN 9781429929028. 
  • The Age (1985)
  • The Age (1985)
  • The Age (1976)


  1. ^ "The Bulletin". 16 January 2000: 22. ISSN 1440-7485. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Andra (30 December 2003). "Local Flower a NY Jewel". The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Faulkner, Jane (9 April 2005). "Rise to the Occasion". The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Plant, Simon (2 November 2013). "Matt Preston names Melbourne's Top 10 most influential restaurants". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Carbone, Suzanne (26 January 2015). "Australia Day honours: Flower Drum founder Gilbert Lau awarded AM". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Preston, Matt (3 August 2004). "A long way to the top". The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Barrett, Peter (6 June 2015). "Flower Drum celebrates 40 years". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Wells, Rachel (31 August 2004). "Flower Drum beats them all - again". The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Lethlean, John (29 March 2003). "The tables have turned at the Flower Drum". The Age. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 

External links[edit]