While wandering around Bondi Beach, looking for somewhere to eat and desperately avoiding the obvious tourist trap eateries, it was by complete luck we came across Miss Chu.
While I am usually negatively pre-disposed to restaurants mix varying Asian cuisines, I surprisingly found Miss Chu to be absolutely completely delightful. The menu is primarily focused on Vietnamese but the inclusion of Shanghai dumplings, Xio Long bao and Peking Duck Pancakes turn towards China and Taiwan.
A cup of young coconut juice had just the right amount of sweetness. A tiny little fork swam about in the juice to pick up the large smooth chunks of coconut flesh.
Dumplings, Round 1: Scallop + prawn at the back and Shanghai Pork dumplings in the front. While the skins of the Shanghai Pork / Xio Long Bao’s were not as thin and translucent as those at Din Tai Fungs, these were still plump and full of flavour. The pork filling in particular had a richness to it, that lacks in the Din Tai Fung version. The scallop and prawn dumplings were sweet and plump. All the dumplings were perfectly cooked, the skins slippery from sitting in the soy sauce puddle and were a challenge to pick up.
Dumplings, Round 2: BBQ Pork Char Sui buns. The ratio of pork to bun were unfortunately not in favour of the pork, while the actually pork itself lacked the deep red of usual char sui buns and wasn’t as sweet. The saving grace of these was the outer were soft and light and steamed to the right amount.
Round 3: Deep fried pork spring rolls. The wrappers were light and crunchy, with a good porky filling. To keep the spring rolls crisp and fresh the soy sauce was served on the side in a little plastic bottle.
Dumplings Round 4: Another serve of the Shanghai pork dumplings on the left and prawn dumplings on the right. The prawn dumplings were also great. Slippery skins; the finely chopped prawn was light and fresh.
I’m not sure if this is a regular feature, but hanging from the ceiling was an iPhone charger. There is nothing more annoying when your iPhone battery dies. Such a simple idea, but much appreciated.
The menu at Miss Chu covers more than just dumplings. There are rice paper rolls, satay chicken, peking duck pancakes, curry and pho. Now up to 7 locations now (3 in Melbourne, 4 in Sydney); it’s an easy prediction to foresee Miss Chu will open more locations around Australia within the next few years and be extremely successful. Miss Chu has a strong brand identity, very cute concept, well priced food and most importantly of all – it was really really tasty! While I love the food in London, admittedly I would love a Miss Chu to open there – it is a very well executed concept. The closest London has are Ping Pong locations, but Ping Pong is doing its best to serve Westernised dumplings in a ‘posh’ environment.
After our dumpling feast, we headed down to bask in the Autumn sun of Bondi Beach. Yes – this is what Autumn in Sydney looks like. Considering I was still wearing a Winter coat in London in middle of Spring, looking at these pictures makes me sad for what I’m heading back to tomorrow.