The extremely average and uninspired fare of The Moon Café has been the only late-night option in Northbridge for far, far too long. From the team behind The Classroom and Cocktail Gastronomy, Lucky Chan’s is open from noon until 2am and serves a variety of food which I can only describe as Modern Australian Asian Fusion, which has certainly become a cuisine in its own right. The décor is on point with a grungy laundromat façade and there are three levels including a rooftop bar. Expect to see a line on Friday and Saturday nights.
Don’t expect anything traditional; Lucky Chan’s attitude towards food, and indeed its entire business model, is entirely postmodern. Sadly this means I can never take my grandma there because she’d have a heart attack, although I maintain that their dishes are far more than a clumsy assortment of ingredients that white people call “Asian”. Cantonese, Japanese, Szechuan and Southeast Asian elements are brought together harmoniously, for the most part, in a variety of shared plates, noodle bowls and desserts.
The menu features bao with miso glazed lamb, satay tofu and enoki. The buttermilk ramen chicken bao with sriracha mayo ($7ea) is especially good. There’s also a decent choice of vegetarian and gluten free options. The Shoyu ramen ($14.90) has all the right parts – egg, nori, fishcake with the little pink swirl. Noodle game is strong but the soup lacks the depth of flavour required for the perfect bowl of ramen.
The bar menu includes sake and Japanese whiskies, and Asahi “Super Dry” ($10.50) is on tap. They stock my personal choice of cider, Kirin Fuji Apple ($16). The Lychee Mojito Bubble Tea ($18) is made with Havana Club 3 year old rum and comes in a plastic bubble tea cup with fruit pearls and an oversized straw. It’s deliciously fresh and kitsch.
Food – 3.5/5
Bar – 4/5
Ambience – 5/5
Words by Prema Arasu.