Friday, October 29, 2010

Darlinghurst: Food: Miss Chu

Ah, Miss Chu, I missed you. For a while there, I thought I may never eat here again after Ruby Molteno decided she had eaten enough Miss Chu to earn her honorary Vietnamese citizenship. Ruby lives across the road, you see, and she quickly became addicted to Miss Chu's efficient service, delicious desserts and handy location on Bourke Street.
So Ruby went on a Miss Chu fast, which happily for me, ended last week.
From afar Miss Chu's shopfront doesn't look all that interesting. But move closer and you'll find the finest Vietnamese attention to detail, character and colour:

The service window with bamboo awning, bamboo steamers and bunches of bananas.

The blackboard specials with opening hours.
Note: Miss Chu does not open weekends.

Some extra specials

So you order at the little window, give the server your name and within 10-15 minutes your food is ready in a white paper bag. If you don't want to take it with you, you can eat it at a little footpath table:

Because we were breaking a fast, we ordered up big and spent about $45 on food for two:

Fresh Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls - $6 for two

Deep Fried Spring Rolls - $5 for four

Lemongrass Beef Vermicelli Salad - $12
We also ordered some Traditional Peking Duck Pancakes ($2.20 each) and Steamed Dumplings ($5 for three), but I scoffed them before I remembered to pull out my camera. Oh, and I ordered a dessert too, which was like a coconut agar-agar wrapped in a banana leaf jewel box ($3).

Refreshing Lychee Crushie - $4.50

Now there's something I really should tell you about Miss Chu. She doesn't take any shit and has zero tolerance for idiots. But lucky for this idiot Miss Chu's present target is the City of Sydney council who last week fined her $3000 for loud music and for having more outdoor tables than she is permitted. Soon after, this sign appeared in her window:
No because the City of Sydney Council received an anonymous call complaining of misschu's music and extra seating on the footpath so council were obliged to issue us with a $3000 fine; and no, council will not approve our application for more seating other than the existing nine chairs and three tables which were originally approved 25 years ago, and definitely no music!

And then in finer print:

Misschu will move out of the neighbourhood when our lease is up so that the neighbourhood can return to its foccacia and muffin greasy average food ways and those who love it the misschu way can still order in - we'll just deliver to you from our new store at the Opera House on our electric push bikes.

The Electric Push-Bikes

I told you Miss Chu was feisty. But the predicament outlined in her ballsy letter, just exemplifies the stupidity of the City of Sydney council who publicly say they are promoting the "Villages of Sydney" in trendily-designed fliers that bomb our mailboxes, but then behind the scenes refuse to be reasonable to small business owners.
The letter also highlights the nonsensical fools who move to buzzing, busy Darlinghurst and then complain about noise. I believe the complainant lives on William Street, which is possibly one of the noisiest streets in the neighbourhood, so I am assuming that personal reasons - and not noise - were behind their complaint to council. Or perhaps they really are a fool.
I just hope Miss Chu is not being serious about the move to the Sydney Opera House when her lease expires next year. As the Queen of Vietnamese Finger Food, she already provides catering for the Opera House, so it's not such a big leap. And she already offers electric-bike home delivery within a 1km radius of the Miss Chu tuck-shop, so that's nothing new either.
Oh, Miss Chu, please don't leave us to die a slow food death from foccacia and muffin-greasy-average-food!

Miss Chu
1/150 Bourke Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 8356 9988


Anonymous said...

this place looks amazing. love the beef vermicelli salad!

Anonymous said...

Miss Chu may not suffer idiots, but that's not really an excuse to treat everyone like idiots by default.

I'm not surprised about the complaints - she does nothing to endear herself to the locals, as evidenced by her note mocking the rest of Darlinghurst in her response to the council fine. Her perception of us is apparently eating foccacia and muffins; really how contemptuous?

And just because Sydney is "city of villages" does that mean that a hatch on Bourke St automatically has rights to disrupt the neighbourhood with music and excess customers? It doesn't make the person complaining a fool - it makes her a fool for not abiding by the council requirements in the first place, one assumes no once forced her to put out extra tables and play loud music?

Violet Tingle said...

Ah, Anonymous 2, no more soup for you!

Anonymous said...

AH! Violet Tingle, Ruby knows the truth of the matter. It may be an enjoyable experience for a short stay to listen to amplified music in a residential street, but when it comes on at 11 a.m. and lasts till 10 p.m., rising and falling at the times when the traffic on William Street reaches a crescendo,and all that penetrates the quietness of your residence is the constant drum machine noise, it gets very VERY monotonous. So before you call someone a fool, think that there maybe another explaination for the need to complain.