What a freaking find, after finding this place I feel like I have been in the dark ages of life living on the Coast, well I can’t really use that excuse as I constantly eat out at divine establishments in Sydney. But when I leave a screening I always walk one way to my car. On this night I watched a film with Kernel Lady Dara she parked in the same car park and told me her way to walk there was quicker and took me through this incredible little underground Asia Town right next to George St Cinemas in Sydney. It was incredible and she showed and filled me in on Miss Chu’s. I was hooked at the look of the place, the smell of the food and was determined on my next screening at George St that I would eat there instead of the pub on the other side of the cinemas. In the last two weeks I have eaten there twice and have formed a slight obsession with the place and have a crush on Miss Chu and am considering moving to Vietnam 🙂
Miss Chu herself is a phenomenon and her tuckshops are out of control HUGE. Nga Chu, known to everyone as Nahji or misschu was born in Luang Prahbang, Laos, in 1970. Nahji and her family escaped the Pathet Laos Regime in 1975. They sustained themselves on the meager living conditions afforded by the various Thai refugee camps they inhabited over a four year period before the Chu family’s number came up and the Australian government made them one of the first Vietnamese/Laotian refugees to settle in Australia.
Everything about her restaurants are design and marketing examples of near perfection – how? She is an RMIT graduate, her family owns multiple restaurants throughout Melbourne, she was a broadcast journalist, a film maker, has set up multiple restaurants herself in and around Melbourne and she set up her own catering business in Sydney in 2005. This is where she became well known – her “sublime Vietnamese inspired canapés.”
The misschu tuckshop in Bourke Street Darlinghurst, opened in 2009 and in 2010 at the new Opera Kitchen at the Opera House; in January 2011 misschu opened in Exhibition Street, Melbourne and November 2011 in Bondi Beach. 2012 saw the opening of her Sydney CBD store and South Yarra store in Melb. Misschu is set to open in London Oct 2013 and Qld, SA and Perth in 2014.
Here is a picture of my food hero of the moment I have borrowed from her own site – if this becomes an issue I will gladly remove it.
Since then she has become one of the top 10 business women in Australia, is known as Queen of Rice Paper rolls and has recently introduced deliveries around Sydney and CBD on electric bikes with a tongue in cheek humour of “YOU LING WE BLING”. Everything is style, perfection, clean and marketed to perfection – this woman should be studied at business schools.
I have only been to one of her tuckshops, but from her own words they are described as the first of their kind anywhere in the world and can be described as a modern day hawker takeaway with high end food at a low price tag. Designed for the modern eater on the go. To me they remind me of the takeaway joints in Bladerunner, those quick outdoor caravan like places with amazing Asian food being cooked in it with benches all around the caravan. For this alone I was hooked – throw in her food and OMFG!!!
So one of my great mates, and regular JK film screening companion Tom, was talked into attending Miss Chu’s with me the first time and he got experience me have multiple foodgasms and moan through the best dish I have eaten in Sydney since I had my first dumpling at Din Tai Fung. For two of us it cost exactly $50 for dinner, that was for two mains, an entree to share and a beer each. We started with a Traditional Hanoi Seafood spring roll plate to share – HEAVEN. Then Tom had the Chilli King prawns and loved them and I had (seriously) one of the best foods I have ever had. HANOI STEW – it was Hanoi caramelised free-range pork belly stew served on a bed of quinoa mixed with wild red rice, choy sum and a coddled (free-range) egg. I have never had pork belly like it – it melted in my mouth and made butter feel course. I have no idea how they did the coddled egg but it was like the outside was blow torched – it was heaven. And the rice/ quinoa combo works so well. When I was there a tourist was asking the waiter about it and the waiter did not speak English too well and could not explain quinoa to him – lucky I am obsessed with it and had no issues jumping in to explain and spell it for him to buy when he gets home.
On my second visit I went with Lady Dara before we entered the Gatsby screening and Dara had the Pork and Wood Ear Mushroom Banh Cuon – these are a traditional steamed rice crepe – I got a taste and nomnomnomnomn – they were lovely. I chose a Lemongrass Beef with steamed rice and greens – it was the same rice as the pork and had beautiful lemongrass flavours – but I spoiled myself on the first visit and this dish could not match the Hanoi Stew.
Now I just had to add a pic of the Sriracha Sauce because it is like the best thing since sliced bread and is an international phenomenon at the moment – if you don’t believe me then check out this Buzzfeed search page on all their articles on the divine hot sauce – there is even recipes to make it 🙂 http://www.buzzfeed.com/search?q=sriracha
Now I cannot rave enough about Miss Chu – it is amazing and will become a staple of mine for now at all screenings at George St – I have organised a dinner there for my birthday with a friend and am going there two days prior with some of the Salty Kernels before multiple screenings. My gushing article will not do it justice so get your butts to one of her places and see for yourself. I LOVE YOU MISS CHU. Go HERE FOR HER WEBSITE and on her site there are links to her FB and Twitter. And suss this odd film she had commissioned – I think the meaning is “we are what we eat therefor we eat ourselves”. It is very misschu, odd and clever and oh so intriguing.