The Lunar New Year will fall on Saturday, February 10th, coinciding with the new moon and marking the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. Word on the street is that you’ll want to head to Victoria Park to celebrate with night markets, lion dancers, a light show, and tasty Asian eats galore.
The cultural and foodie hub perched on the southern banks of Derbarl Yerrigan (the Swan River), and only ten minutes from the Perth CBD, is brimming with fun to be had. Here’s your inside scoop on what’s going down:
Lunar New Year Night Market and Light Show
On Friday, February 16th, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, you can expect excitement and festivities aplenty in the form of a night market event and Lunar New Year-themed light show by VJ ZOO, plus a vibrant dance and music scene.
There’ll be swing, pop, and traditional Chinese music performances by Zola Li and Sino Swing, Yaolin will take the entertainment reins with a spectacular lion dance show, coupled with Chinese folk dancers and face painting. And it’s all happening outside the Business Building at 328 Albany Highway.
From lantern-making to New Year’s wishes and a traditional Chinese dress-up photo booth, you can get involved with a range of fun and interactive activities at the markets. Not to mention clay doll painting, a game stall, and dragon hat making for kids.
For a Bite and Tipple
Perthites are well aware that Victoria Park is the place to go for authentic Asian cuisine, so naturally, it’s the perfect destination to ring in the Lunar New Year. With a bounty of spots to choose from, you really can’t go wrong, so make a night of it and pair your celebrations with a visit to one of the many nearby restaurants plating up devilishly morish eats.
Dinner-wise, Yum Yum Tree has honed the art of authentic Malaysian, and generous servings. Makan2 Cafe is another Malaysian haunt plating up a variety of tasty eats including fried mamak chicken, sambal eggplants, and laksa curry.
With a menu designed to be shared, Neho specialises in Southeast Asian cuisine with a range of inexpensive small-plate and snack dishes fusing Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavours that hit the spot. Think rendang short rib, Thai barbeque pork, tofu goreng, and fried chicken wings.
Bentori is a cracking Japanese eatery, brought to you by the same guys as the popular neighbourhood dessert bar, Bar Spoon. We’re talking traditional teishoku sets, and all things teriyaki chicken rice bowls, sushi, vegetable tempura, and pork gyozas. As well as the affordable eats, it’s BYO, so if you’re on a budget, you’re in luck!
If you’re headed to Kuza, another Japanese joint, you want to start with one of their signature craft cocktails. Incorporating the traditional izakaya style of informal eating and drinking, their food is designed to be shared.
Saka is another Victoria Park foodie gem with crowd pleasers including the teriyaki chicken bento, katsu chicken, and Japanese noodle soup.
Good Fortune Roast Duck House is a traditional Chinese restaurant specialising in roast duck and seafood dishes. Their Chinese New Year menu features the likes of the cult favourite peking duck, braised lobster noodles, deep-fried crispy chicken, and scallop seafood soup.
For sweet and sour pork, honey chicken, and satay beef, head to Water Margin Chinese Restaurant. They also know their way around mapo tofu, double-cooked pork slices, and gong bao chicken.
Dessert and Drinks
No matter how full you are, there’s always that teeny tiny space just big enough for dessert. And boy, do we have options! Brown Spoon, for starters, do a damn good s’more dipping set with chocolate, Nutella, and cookie mixed with baked gooey marshmallows and crackers. They also do a souffle waffle made from meringue, seasonal fruit, ice cream, and obviously, maple syrup.
Mimochi opened its doors in 2021 and cemented itself in Perth’s history as the very first Japanese mochi doughnut joint. Crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside, they are cooked to perfection in a variety of flavours, including glazed and the classic plain version.
Housed inside an extremely Instagrammable turquoise storefront, Sweet Land Desserts is one of Victoria Park’s newest hangouts. After opening in late 2023, the beach-themed cafe has become known as a sweet tooth heaven. Word to the wise: head straight to their range of cleverly decorated mousse cakes.
To find out more about what’s happening in the Town of Victoria Park visit victoriapark.wa.gov.au.