Chu the Phat
Chu the Phat is hard to miss. Walking past its huge glass frontage on Melbourne Street, the bold, illuminated signage pretty much screams that something is happening here.
That something is a two-level, 300-seat Asian street food venue from the owners of Madame Wu on Eagle Street. While Madame Wu caters to a mostly formal, business crowd, Chu the Phat gives the team a chance to spread its wings into something more spontaneous. The concept was to make Chu the Phat a casual, pop-in-anytime kind of place.
This sense of play extends to the food, with executive chef Brendon Barker mixing Asian flavours with abandon. Grab a lychee-topped cocktail and snack on red, fried pig tails or some brioche stuffed with a meatball, cabbage and aioli. Mains like smoked and fried half duck and chicken fried in buttermilk encourage serious finger-licking. Vegetarians are also looked after (mung-bean pancakes with kim chi caramel, anyone?) and there’s an entire gluten-free menu.
The wine list samples a healthy variety of Australian growers, with featured drops handily described on the front page.