After being away from home-cooking for over a week, I found myself hunting down a Chinese restaurant. Claypot King sits on Swanston Street and immediately grabbed my attention because… well, how often would you find a Chinese restaurant with alfresco dining?

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - entrance

Alfresco dining

With appetites which had been expanding over the duration of the flight down from Sydney, we decided to start with plenty of entrees. The xiao long bao (steamed mini pork bun) was enormous and meaty. No sight of soup at all though! The har gow (prawn dumpling) were pretty average as well and I was fooled into thinking the pandan dumpling was a savoury entree! The pandan essence and sweet mung bean filling were delectable, nonetheless.
Then out came the peking duck; crisp skin on a thin slice of meat, cucumber, hoisin sauce and a shallot stick were wrapped inside steaming hot pastry sheets.

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - xiao long bao (steamed mini pork bun, or, soup dumplings)

Xiao long bao a.k.a. steamed mini pork buns a.k.a. soup dumplings

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - har gow (prawn dumplings)

Hargow a.k.a prawn dumpling

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - pandan leaf dumpling

Pandan leaf dumpling

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - peking duck entree

Peking duck

Its pretty hard to find traditional herbal soups in Summer so we were thrilled to find a whole menu full of authentic variations.

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - herbal soup of dried scallop with watercress and duck kidney

Herbal soup of dried scallop with watercress and duck kidney

I decided to play it safe and had the chicken and mushroom claypot rice which seemed to be their hero product. If you’ve never had claypot rice, it’s a bit like getting a warm Korean bimbimbab or eating overcooked rice (but this is somehow more pleasant). The soy and ginger based marinate was so hearty and comforting.

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - chicken and mushroom claypot rice

Chicken and mushroom claypot rice

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - combination seafood claypot rice

Combination seafood claypot rice

We finished off with a ice kacang. There was plenty of peanuts, corn kernels, grass jelly, rose syrup, red beans, condensed milk, lime jelly and a mountain of shaved ice.

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - dessert of ice kacang

Ice kacang

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - ice kacang with sweet corn, peanuts, grass jelly, rose syrup, condensed milk, shaved ice, lime jelly, red beans and more

Inside the ice kacang

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - the bill, tax invoice

The small damage 🙂

Then off we went to discover the back streets of Melbourne.

Claypot King Chinese Restaurant, Swanston Street Melbourne - outdoor seating with view of tram and yellow cab

View of street from our table

Claypot King
209 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC
Phone: (03) 9662 3222
Trading Days: 7 days, 10 am – 11 pm

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.