We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Yum cha - hits the spot”
Review of Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat
Ranked #1,935 of 4,362 Restaurants in Melbourne
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Docklands
Reviewed January 27, 2014

I have been here twice for Yum Cha. I think if that's what you're after than this place does the job. I can't complain about the food or the service but at the same time I don't think it stands out from any other place that does Yum Cha. The restaurant has nice decor and fast service.

Thank kevvie6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (58)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

30 - 34 of 58 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2014

Dined here for an early yum cha during the Australian Open fortnight, the restaurant was only about 20% full but the service was still quite lacking. We observed a trolley full of deep fried food sitting dormant for 25 mins before being pushed around, and a period of about 20 mins when absolutely no trolleys were moving at all.

The food itself was good without being great, and the restaurant was clean and tidy being the beginning of the trading day.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank eggie168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

Today I bought $55.70 worth of yum cha and requested one particular fried item to be put into a plastic container instead of a paperbag. I wanted these in a paperbag as they would otherwise become mushy. I'm a regular who usually buy between $30-$50 worth of yum cha here. The waitress had added $1 to my bill without informing me. I only realised this when I discovered that I was short-changed. Upon my query, the waitress told me that it was their policy to charge $1 for the plastic container that I had requested! I went inside the restaurant to query this policy with the manager who apologised and told me that there is no such policy! I was refunded $1 although I really was not fussed about the money. Not happy because I wonder how many people this has happened to without them realising it!!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Vivian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

First, I'm a little confused as to which Dragon Boat this is. The address says Clarendon Street but the pictures are clearly of the one on Bourke Street. The page for the Bourke Street one clearly has photos of the one on Clarendon Street. We visited the one on Bourke Street but I'm going to leave my review on both because it's confusing. So, this review is for the Dragon Boat on Bourke Street (the one in the photos), not Clarendon Street.

I was certain this was the Dragon Boat I had been to 12 years ago with my mother, although now I'm not so certain with all the address/photo confusion. All I know is, 12 years ago, I ate at a restaurant in China Town called Dragon Boat and it was the best Chinese food I have ever tasted.

My husband, our niece and I stopped here for lunch one day during our week-long stay in Melbourne, hoping to have the same Chinese food I had enjoyed 12 years ago. We were sorely disappointed.

The last time I was here, we ordered off a menu and our food was brought to us, plates removed when we were done and then the waiter told us to pay the cheque at the register. The staff were friendly and sounded as though they had been born in Australia or some other English-speaking country. Easy, delicious and quick.

This time, we were hurried to a seat in a cramped space. My chair was literally back to back, right up against another ladies chair, so I moved it around the other side of the table and was quickly, and rudely, told that my chair had to stay where it was because the place I had moved it to was a high traffic area. Fair enough, that's where they push their yum-cha carts through, can we move to a different table? "No. Too busy." Even though I could see many other free tables away from everyone else. Whatever, we sat down to eat anyway. We should have left.

Unlike last time, we were never at any point offered a menu (even though other tables were). The waiter took our drink order and surprisingly brought them back quickly. Then the Yum-cha carts started coming ... and coming ... and coming. The same things over and over again.

The whole meal was very interrupted and halted. It was very intrusive and annoying.

The waiters kept coming back every time we took even the tiniest sip of our drinks to refill the glasses from the bottles that had left with us. Some people might find this to be good service, I find it annoying and condescending. I am not a child, I am capable of pouring my own drink into a glass.

Every few minutes another Yum-cha cart would come by and the pusher would rudely interrupt our conversation with "You try this?" Or at least, that's what I think they were saying. I understand that English is not their first language but for people working in the hospitality industry, especially with English speak customers in an English speaking city, they should be able to speak better English than that. It was as though they were trained only to say "You try this?" and whatever the dishes names in English were. They couldn't even understand what we were saying when we asked several times what was in the dishes they had on their carts!

The range of dishes was very poor as well. While the BBQ Pork Buns were delicious, it was not enough to make up for the half dozen other things offered that tasted horrible. White bait, spring rolls, some sort of rice noodle wrap thing with either prawn or pork in it, roast pork or duck with BBQ sauce, some sort of bean soup, and some weird rice and jelly desserts. That was about it. Not even any rice! Or if there was, it was never offered to our table.

We only had the roast pork, BBQ pork buns and spring rolls. Of that, our niece only ate one pork bun and one spring roll ... But apparently that was enough to make her sick for the rest of the day.

The thing that annoyed me the most was that you had no idea how much anything was going to cost! There were no prices anywhere and the people pushing the carts couldn't speak enough English to understand the question "How much?". It ended up costing us over $50 for three drinks and a serve of pork buns (2), a serve of spring rolls (3) and a serve of roasted pork the size of an entrée at any other restaurant! Ridiculous! But we could hardly refuse to pay because we'd eaten the food. If they had told us the prices beforehand, we would have left straight away.

When we had finished our "meal", we sat waiting for almost an hour. Waiting to find out how we were supposed to pay the bill! They gave us a little cheque thing that said "Please pay your waiter" at the bottom but our waiter, or any other waiter for that matter, were surprisingly nowhere to be seen, even after they were constantly hovering while we were eating. The only people we could see was the yum-cha cart pushers and they didn't speak English! After an hour my husband got sick of waiting and went in search of someone. We left immediately after paying, without so much as a backwards glance when they asked how the food was on the way out.

I would never recommend this place to anyone. If I could give this place no stars, I would.

If you absolutely want to go somewhere, maybe try the other Dragon Boat (on Clarendon Street) or any one of the hundreds of places in Chinatown.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Charming_Designs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I've been to this restaurant twice, the first time was great and food was amazing. The second time wasn't so great. The open time is 8am and we arrived at 8.30am and they were still closed. Thinking that they weren't opening we walked around the block and nothing was open, so we went back and they finally opened at 9am.

Very disappointed and probably won't go back.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DJ_Mizit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Dragon Boat also viewed

Melbourne, Victoria

Been to Dragon Boat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing