I frequent Melbourne at least 4 times a year but I seldom blog about the restaurants in Melbourne. As my trips were usually work related and I just want to grab something simple and go back to my hotel room to rest. During my latest visit to the city, since Maureen aka Miss Tam Chiak is in town, I decided to bring her to Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar at Oliver Lane. I have enjoyed the food there when my colleague brought me there for dinner once.
Kingfish Sashimi 4.5/5
The cuisine at Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar is inspired from Pan Asian flavours in the form of sharing plates. We started with the Kingfish Sashimi. The sashimi are topped with thai basil and toasted coconut. What makes the fish jump out of live is the green chilli sauce that is packed with depth and robust flavours. It hits the spot with the characteristic sweet, sour and spicy flavours in Thai cuisine.
Pan Fried Spinach & Water Chestnut Dumpling 3.8/5
Maureen and I have mixed opinion on the Pan Fried Spinach & Water Chestnut Dumpling. She likes the modern take with the Sichuan chilli oil which gives you a slight numbing mala kick. I like the interpretation bu I thought the dough was a bit too thick. A worthy note is that the dumplings are made freshly on order. We were seated at the bar counter and we can see the chef making batches after batches of dumplings right in our eyes.
Korean Fried Chicken Bun 4/5
Using the Chinese steamed bun, we tried both the Korean Fried Chicken Bun and Crispy Pork Bun. The korean fried chicken bun is sandwiched with tender chicken dressed in a spicy gochujang sauce while the crispy pork bun is paired with spicy kimchi & kewpie mayo. The bun is really soft and fluffy and it goes really well with the different fillings, elevated by the delicious sauces.
Crispy Pork Bun 3.5/5
If I am to pick a favourite I would probably go for the Korean Fried Chicken Bun over the Crispy Pork Bun. I find the crispy pork is too dry. It lacked that fatty texture underneath the crackling skin I was looking for.
Roasted Short Rib with Rendang Curry 4/5
For the big plate, we had the Roasted Short Rib with Rendang Curry. It comes with rice, achar and chilli sauce. The short rib is huge. It is cooked to a beautiful fork tender, which falls off the bone with ease.The rendang curry was creamy with a coconuty base. It is a well executed dish. However, I felt that the rempah lacks the fragrant that we get in Malaysia and Singapore. Maybe that is the acceptable standard in Melbourne.
Lucy Liu may ring a bell but the restaurant is not opened by the famous American actress that acted in Charle's Angle. If you are interested to know how the restaurant gets its name, you can find it on their website. If you are new to the restaurant, it offers set course menu as well as a la carte. Recommendation would be to go for about 3 to 4 small plates and a big plates to share.
Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar
23 Oliver Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +613 96395777
Daily: 11am - 11pm