Miss Chu has arrived in Melbourne for all of the right reasons. At last, I was finally able to give their newly opened establishment in Melbourne a real fair go. Miss Chu in Sydney is just truly sensational and their Melbourne establishment is worth giving Vietnamese food a real shot for. Whether you have been to Vietnam or not, you will feel like you have temporarily scored a free flight to Vietnam, and with free Wi-Fi access - what is there to not love about the Chu?
Walk into an oasis, that is relatively quiet come opening time at around 11am. Watch out from 12:30pm onwards as this place can be packed out; you will still be able to score yourself a wooden table and chair - but come 1pm you might as well forget it. Perhaps come a little earlier next time round to avoid yet another disappointment.
The ambience gets extremely loud like you are on a busy subway when this establishment is packed out, but you won't mind at it all, as Miss Chu is designed as a place to get in, get fed and get out as quickly as possible, without feeling like you are being forced out the door.
The service is friendly, yet it is not over the top. A hint of pleasantness with a bit of "let's get on with it" attitude. No mucking around here. Miss Chu also delivers within a 1km radius, and online and fax orders are advised in advanced. The staff at Miss Chu are extremely organised, and a quick decision on what to eat is welcomed and encouraged.
Just like yum cha, it can get very tempting to tick away. I know this could sound a little petty, but bring your eraser just in case an your wallet is a little light. It is much quicker and easier to pay cash, and this is how the staff prefer you to pay for your food at the end of the Miss Chu experience. Within two minutes it is so easy to tick like a maniac as the menu items are just that great. Think menu items such as roast duck and banana flower rice paper rolls, two for $9. I tried the latter at their Sydney restaurant, and they are that great.
Miss Chu's Satay Chicken and Coconut Young Rice Paper Rolls
Their pho has adopted the modern wagyu, but you might think (especially if you love and appreciate pho) as to why on earth you would want to mess around with something that is already so great. As they say "if it aint broke why fix it." Yet judgements aside, once you have tasted their wagyu beef pho, you will understand why, and it is one massive relief that a gamble of this nature has paid for itself many times over.
Recently when I came to have a laid back lunch here and I decided to order a small pot of their genmaicha green tea. For $3 for a small pot, this is exceptional value. The meals are quite cheap for fresh, quality food and drinks. For a small pot, I was struggling to drink half of it, let alone all of this great, refreshing tea. If you love Jasmine Tea, then you will love this tea on the menu. It is enough green tea to last me for a week, therefore if you are eating out at Miss Chu's in a group of no more than four people, a small pot is just enough, but this will also all depend on how heavy a tea drinker you are.
I gave the traditional peking duck pancake ($3.50) a go. I knew the pancake would be quite small, yet not as small as it turned out to be. Don't panic just yet. Upon taking one bite, I was already feeling quite full despite coming into this establishment quite hungry. The duck was juicy and well cooked, and the special sauce blended in quite beautifully. Like a friand version of a muffin, small was much better on this occasion as well. Rejoice for beautiful duck which would easily slide off the bone - the way it should.
The satay chicken and coconut young rice paper rolls, $7.50 for two were fresh, flavoursome, filling and quite fantastic. The only letdown for me (despite eating in) is that the rolls came to me in plastic takeaway packaging to begin with, and then I was given a plate to assemble the rolls onto the plate for myself. It would have been bliss had the rolls been delivered to my table on a plate in the first place. Never mind. The sweet chilli sauce was hot, yet mild. The rice paper rolls had beautiful fresh salads and the chicken blended in so nicely. I left Miss Chu full and satisfied just $14 later, and had I written the Best Cheap Eats in Melbourne article. Miss Chu may have just made it on this list, but then again it depends on how hungry you are and how your taste buds are feeling.
A great Asian tuckshop with a simple décor that makes you feel comfortable in a pit stop kind of way. Yes I will be back.