- c. 1972
Yin Bun Low & Co was established at 201 Little Bourke Street in 1899 but due to the construction of Wallach's Furniture Factory in 1907 they moved temporarily to 112-114 before moving again in 1908 to 202 Little Bourke Street. In 1920 they moved again to 195-197 Russell Street where they were also known by the western name 'Oriental Cafe'. They remained in Russell Street until the 1972.
Over this period the firm was run by a number of different people and was probably owned by a fluctuating group of people. Mr Ron Wong Loy ran the cookshop in the first part of the twentieth century. At this time about six people worked in the shop including pastry cooks. The cafe served dim sims, kai see min, chop suey, roast duck, boiled chicken, dow sar bang (black soy bean biscuits), Chinese shortbreads and boxes of imported dried lychees and ginger. Although their customers were mostly Chinese there was also a 'good sprinkling of Australian men'.
The Museum of Chinese Australian History has a chop that has the name Yin Bun Low in Chinese characters in its collection which was obtained from the Num Pon Soon building at 198 Little Bourke Street in 1998 when it was cleaned out in 1998. This suggests the business had links with the Num Pon Soon society at some stage.
Sources used to compile this entry: Couchman, Sophie, 'Tong Yun Gai (Street of the Chinese): Investigating patterns of work and social life in Melbourne's Chinatown 1900-1920', MA thesis, School of Historical Studies, Monash University, 2001; Museum of Chinese Australian History collection.
Prepared by: Sophie Couchman, La Trobe University
- Couchman, Sophie, 'Tong Yun Gai (Street of the Chinese): Investigating patterns of work and social life in Melbourne's Chinatown 1900-1920', MA thesis, School of Historical Studies, Monash University, 2001. Details
- Yin Bun Lowe cookstore, unloading bananas in Little Bourke Street
- c. 11 February 1899
- Australia - Victoria - Melbourne - Little Bourke Street
Created: 10 May 2001, Last modified: 2 August 2009