Adelaide’s Chinatown is, to be honest, rather underwhelming when compared to those in say Sydney or Melbourne. It is small and consists of just a handful of Asian grocery stores, Chinese herbal and medicine shops and a number of restaurants, tucked in beside the Adelaide Central Market, between Gouger and Grote Streets, the former of which is laden with great cafes and restaurants. While there are Chinese restaurants,and stalls in the food court, in Chinatown (as one might expect!) the majority of eateries are now of other Asian ethnicity with Vietnamese predominating.
As I highly recommend a visit to the Central Market, and indeed Gouger Street, a walk through Chinatown is a very worthwhile five-minute diversion, if you heed that recommendation.
Of course if you want to eat here (food is cheap to moderately priced) you will need to allocate somewhat longer than five minutes unless you just grab something quick in the food court (it’s fine). On my last visit I had lunch in T.Chow’s Chinese Restaurant – see my separate review. The younger and more hip visitor than me may wish to partake of the offerings of the Hello Kitty Café next door though I did note it was empty when I last passed by, unlike T Chow’s.
Located in, Moonta Street, Chinatown is, for effect, best entered via one of two ‘Paifang’ or gates at either end of the street. Two Chinese guardian lions guard each gate. You can also enter Moonta Street directly from the Central Market.
It is thought that the first Chinese people (indentured shepherds) in South Australia/ Adelaide arrived, from Singapore, in 1847. The gold-rush days saw many more arrivals though most of these folk moved on to Victoria where the majority of the goldfields were located. In more recent times (the 1970s and 1980s) Adelaide was particularly popular with an influx of refugees from Vietnam, during and after the Vietnam War.
Address: Moonta Street
Directions: Between Gouger and Grote Streets