Mar 19, 2011

Miss Chu, Darlinghurst. A Girl's Night Out With Carly Findlay.

You'll probably read this many times on my blog but Sydney, I think summer has well and truly left the building.  I love summer in Sydney.  I still love you in autumn, winter and spring, Sydney - but it's not the same.

Friday evening started with spitting rain against a backdrop of ominous grey clouds.  Fortunately there was still some late summer light so strolling from my bus stop to Darlinghurst was not was bleak as it could have been.

So, what was a self confessed Friday night couch and Macbook surfer doing dressed up and out in the city?  To meet Carly Findlay, of course.  It's become a tradition between us now but we got so caught up in talking that we never quite got around to taking a photo together.  I also made two really lovely new friends, K and S.  In fact, Carly and I have K and S to thank for choosing such fun and delicious places for dinner, dessert and cocktails.

After meeting at Carly's hotel, we headed down the road into the heart of Darlinghurst's food district.  As K said, Miss Chu's is a Sydney institution.  I've been meaning to go for ages so needless to say, I was stoked (the 'youth lingo' goes with the 'Darlo' territory even if you're a bit of a nanna from the 'burbs).

Miss Chu is a hole in the wall evening eatery where you order at the counter either to go or to eat at one of the low key tables and chair crates on the sidewalk.  I've decided that in the hipster areas of Sydney, this is a key indicator to the deliciousness of the food being served.  I'm still reminiscing about my excellent pastries at Black Star in Newtown where I had the most amazing brunch on the sidewalk, sitting on inverted milk crates.

The prep area is tiny and the staff of 5 somehow all managed to serve food, drinks and arrange home deliveries in this confined space.

Service is sharp and snappy, though you do get called 'darling' if you can match the chap at the till with his sharp banter.  That would be score 1 to SSG.

All orders are called by name from the counter and you saunter over to pick up your food.  It really is a saunter because the footpath is on a downward slope and the patrons (me included) were dressed in and ecclectic array of gait alerting shoes and clothes.  Oh there were some great outfits and fashion inspirations.  I want high waisted skirts and strands of pearls to wear with my specs - stat!

There's a very efficient tick box 'tuck shop' form as well.  You can fill it out whilst you wait in line.  Or at least that's what I chose to do.  I think it's meant to be a fax in form for home delivery customers.  Never mind.

There is no outfit post on account of the fact that I was rushing out the door after work to make it time to meet Carly.  So as a compromise here's a snap of the witty Miss Chu menu (or entry visa) and the leopard print sheer top I wore.  It was a bargain.  From the new and improved Cotton On at Rhodes. 

Finally (the queue was massive all night), Mr Snappy At The Till called our order.

The prawn and crab deep fried spring rolls with a little screw top bottle of dipping sauce.  Perfect!  Crisp, fresh and tasty but not rolling in grease.  Not obviously, anyway.

The hip flask bottles of water that got us through dinner, when we weren't eating or chatting.

There's free wi-fi and some pineapples on display.  I love that contrast of elements of tropical Asia  against the streetscape of inner city Sydney.

Sorry about the photos.  It wasn't the ideal set up for photos but we did our best.  We had a serve of Shanghai pork dumplings and one of the scallop and prawn.  They are both very filling and more rustic than the way dumpling houses present them.  But I think that's a good thing.  Some of the youngsters flitting around us as we ate could certainly do with the extra nutrition.  Oh to have the metabolism of a twenty-something.....

The skies cleared for us and it was very pleasant sitting outside and having dinner.  I missed a snap of the home delivery bikes but K informed me that they were electric bikes and I think they only deliver withing a limited radius of the store.  I so want to live in Darlo now.  But Mr SSG just reminded me I can't park under stressful conditions to save myself.  I'll just get parking cameras on our next car and then we can move.

We ended up getting two serves of these Peking Duck pancakes.  The pastry was very soft and the duck wasn't fatty at all.

The fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls are the bomb.  They sell out fast so get in early if you have a preference for popular varieties like the roast duck and banana flower ones.  We ended up with the satay chicken and young coconut.  Generous with the chicken and the rice paper isn't tough or too thick.  I love the dipping sauce.

We went back for a second order, Carly and K had the pho which they loved.  I was pretty happy with more dumplings and duck pancakes.  We lost track of time and missed out on desserts and the fancy drinks.  There will be a next time to explore these options.

So we hit the colourful stretch of road over to our next stop for dessert and cocktails.  The Victoria Room, which I've reviewed previously from a high tea point of view.  Can't find the post to link it here at the moment.

The Victoria Room was packed.  It really is a lovely venue as a supper club.  Where you can go for a snack and a drink late in the evening.  Everyone's friendly, the chairs are comfy and you are neither a suffocating passive smoker or newly deafened by the sound system.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a great place for photos either.

We shared two desserts.  The pannacotta which I could not, for the life of me actually photograph.  And this tarte tatin.  The caramel sauce was amazing and the tarte tatin itself was heaven.

I had a champagne cocktail featuring mint and vodka the Chanticleer Royale.  Mmmmmmmm.

All too soon, it was time to head home.

It was a lovely evening, of old friendships and new, of the power of goodwill to all and hope for the future.

We even had this Cinderella moment courtesy of someone who decided to cut an uncomfortable shoe loose. 

Miss Chu on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks like a lovely evening, SSG!

    Isn't that lovely to meet up with Carly from the blog-world! I remember your posts from when you were in Melbourne and met up, alittle while back.

    I am liking the sound of the leopard print top too, BTW!


  2. Oh, I always love to read your entries about your life in Sydney! I've never been to Australia but you really make me want to visit! Have a great weekend!

  3. Sounds as if you had a wonderful evening out with Carly SSG.. and the food and Miss Chu's look amazing.. Happy weekend to you. x

  4. Looks like you had a great night out! Vietnamese rice paper rolls are the bomb. There's a fab Viet place at Darra that I just love, complete with dodgy decor and $1 cans of drink.

    TDM xx

  5. That looks SO delicious.
    A Miss Chu has opened here, her family owns a couple of Vietnamese restaurants here that are very popular. We used to live literally across the road from them.
    I'm so excited to eat at her venture here.

  6. It does sound like such a lovely evening. And xiao long bao to boot. Nom.

  7. Thank you for this wonderful post :) I had such fun. I loved the food and company. But again, no photo!!
    Your top and shoes were amazing.
    Thanks for giving up couch time for me.

  8. You gotta love all the seasons though:)

    Spring is finally coming to us...

    It is so nice to meet other blogger friends....have a great day.

  9. You said it right.. I too love Sydney as I can enjoy all the four Seasons over here.. I hope you had a wonderful night out with your friends in Sydney. I really love your blog and way of writing as Your Nikon camera (guess) also speaks a thousand words.


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