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September 4, 2014

How to… Chinatown food court

A menu is a minefield. Never put a foot wrong with this quick guide to getting the best out of the Chinatown food court and impress your lunch-long companion along the way.

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  • Pictures: Sven Kovac
  • Words: Joshua Fanning

Find success amongst many dubious dishes and tread deftly through the Chinatown food court with our guide to a four course meal. Our approach is a mixture of lessons learned, personal preference and solid suggestions gleaned over countless trips here. It is a big list though, so take a friend.

1. Buy time with a hotdog from Nanna Hot Bake.
The original sweet and savoury bakery in Adelaide is definitely the best. We would recommend just about anything from the cabinets here. Nanna Hot Bake is open early and bake continuously all day for their customers who purchase by the boxful for the home and office audience, so let the server know you’d “like it heated up please”. Oh and “sauce” – always sauce with a hotdog.


Market Plaza Food Court
Access off Moonta Street
on the Market side

2. Decision time
The hotdog is good for strength, and you’ll need it for the tough decision ahead: “old” or “new” food court. Of course it’s the new food court every time but, even so, it remains a difficult choice. The size of the hotdog should just about carry you through to the first port of call, Seng Kee Yum Cha. It’s amazing that you can get yum cha when it’s not Sunday – and maybe that’s why everything here tastes so good. Extra delicious are the:

  • Siu Mai
  • Fun Kwor
  • Sticky rice
  • Radish cake

3. Mum’s Kimbap
By now you should be feeling nourished, not full. If you’re full already, this really is your first trip to the food court. Loosen the belt, maybe get a beer and then proceed to the main course and the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap from Mum’s Kimbap. Perfect rice and shredded sizzling beef as well as fresh diced vegetables with an egg on top. Massacre the egg with your chopsticks, stir it through with some chilli sauce and dive in. One bowl between two is good at this stage because maybe that beer actually makes you more full than we thought.

4. O-Bun Chef
This dessert is legend. The man who revolutionised the dessert game in the food court started with a pop-up stall in the atrium in front of Aces Bar. He never stops smiling and he’s got a second store now on the corner of King William and Pirie Street. The only ingredient you’ll find listed on his custard tarts is “delicious.” Because they are.


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