Mietta's ReviewGilbert Lau has sold his interest in the restaurant to the staff who have been in the kitchen and on the floor for more than 20 years, he remains a consultant to the business. As you would expect from this fine establishment, the transition has been seamless, just like the dining experience itself. The menu is Cantonese done exceptionally well. The service is elegant and so intuitive it borders on ESP. The wine list is an epic, and easier to traverse with the helpful hints of the sommelier. The Flower Drum continues to out wit the ravages of time, and just keeps getting better.
Other Published Opinions
The Age Good Food Guide 2014 Score: 18/20
The Age Dani Valent, May 25, 2013 "Read full review ...
The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 17.5/20
Gourmet Traveller 2013 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: 2 Stars "While newcomers feverishly push the regional Chinese cuisine barrow, the long-beating Drum continues to champion and redefine Cantonese food in Australia. The stage remains perpetually set for that big night (or lunch) out, from the distinguished cellar and genteel setting big on red carpet and lacquered wood to well-drilled and well-dressed waiters so involved in the ordering process, it's a wonder they don't pull up a seat at the table"
Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 17.5/20 Two Hats
Hardie Grant, 21 October, 2011 "See what all the fuss is about at this iconic Melbourne restaurant.Read full review ...
Sydney Morning Herald Food Food Guide 2012
Gourmet Traveller 2012 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: Two Stars "Though Flower Drum has been around since 1975, it hasn't lost the spring in its step. Under the watch of Jason Lui (son of chef and co-owner Anthony Lui) the front of house - never a slouch in the service stakes - is more focused than ever, the uniformed waiters working the richly hued, carpeted rooms with accuracy and aplomb"
Age Good Food Guide 2012 Score: 17.5/20, 2 Hats
Age Good Food Guide 2011 Score: 16.5/20, Two Hats
Gourmet Traveller 2011 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "Flower Drum is a poster restaurant for getting the balance right. Its warm-toned, high-ceilinged, red-carpeted rooms deliver Big Night Out atmospherics as the fleet of smartly turned-out floor staff provides meticulous, charming service that defines professionalism"
Age Good Food Guide 2010 Score: 16.5/20
Gourmet Traveller 2010 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "There is no better place to eat Carltonese food in this country than in this series of lacquerframed rooms. The decor is lived-in and of a certain vintage, but it feels venerable rather than worn"
Age Larissa Dubecki, 20-3-2009
Gourmet Traveller 2009 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "As recognisably Melbourne as 'Toorak' or 'Collins Street', there was a sense, for a while, that the city's most famous restaurant had slipped into complacency. That torpor seems to have been arrested: there's a fresh sense of endeavour at what is probably Australia's best Cantonese restaurant"
Age John Lethlean
Age Good Food Guide 2008 Score: 17/20
Gourmet Traveller 2008 Australian Restaurant Guide "The Drum has an undeniable sense of occasion. The long wait for the day of your booking to arrive, the lift ride up to the spacious carpeted dining room, flocks of attentive waiters fussing around you all point to the Special Occasion or the Big Night Out"
Age Good Food Guide 2006
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide *** "At Melbourne's haute Chinese institution, it's the tingle of anticipation that carries you past the world's slowest lift, blinds you to the somewhat down-at-heel decor and propels you safely into the hands of the staff - adroit, charming and an example to waiters everywhere."
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide Best Chinese "It's grand and very expensive, but if you can afford to put yourself in a waiter's hands here for the night, the experience is memorable."
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide Best business lunches "If the budget's looking healthy, and the guest from out oftown, there's little to match Flower Drum for brand power."
Age A2 Jane Faulkner 9/4/05
Age Good Food Guide 2005 Restaurant of the Year score 18/20
Gourmet Traveller 2005 Restaurant Guide *** "Celebrated restaurateur Gilbert Lau has moved on but the Flower Drum remains in safe hands. Consistency and equilibrium are central to its success. These are evident in the balance oftraditional Cantonese cooking and innovative dishes, and a dining environment that, despite its spaciousness, retains intimacy."
Age, A2, 15/5/04, Matt Preston
The Foodies' Guide 2004,Allan Campion & Michele Curtis,'The big Grandaddy.Flower Drum isn't voted Melbourne's best restaurant year after year for nothing-just don't forget your credit card.'
Age Good Food Guide 2004 Awards-3 hats, score 18/20
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Australia 2004, 3 Red Stars, Good vegetarian options,'one of the finest Cantonese restaurants and most innovative dining establishments...staff are friendly and always helpful.The menu features the best in locally sourced produce, beautifully turned out with delicate flavours and expert presentation...The wine list deserves your proper attention'
Vogue Entertaining & Traveller, March April 2003
Age Good Food Guide 2003. Best Chinese. Score 18/20
Herald Sun, Weekend, Bob Hart, 30/11/02
The Herald Sun, 29.05.01, Bob Hart Score: 19 out of 20."
Sunday Age, 03.10.99, John Schauble
The Weekend Australian, 9-10/8/03, Alison Crosweller
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