Finally, on my 5th visit to Lucy Liu, I have brought my camera with me to take some presentable photos of the delicious food I love and happily sharing with other foodies. Truly, iPhone does not work in the dimly lit room that's the problem I had in my previous after work dinner. This time we booked a table for a late lunch / early dinner at the weekend. The restaurant was relatively quiet (No queue and loud music!) and we enjoyed the slightly relaxed atmosphere and the friendly chats with their staff... a different type of vibe than the peak-hour craze of a buzzing nightclub which we enjoyed too.
The entrance to Lucy Liu is on the cobblestones Oliver Lane just off Flinders Lane. You won't miss it as you look inside there is the big red neon sign"Lucy Liu" on the wall. The interior of the room is a combination of a bar on one side and the dining and open kitchen area on the opposite side. There are lots of timber structure on the walls and high up to the ceiling with the polished concrete floor. The room looks modern with the oriental feel in the particular collection of many bottles of Shao Xing wine over the kitchen bar. Once you sit down, the placement menu which is a laminated picture of a little boy kissing a little girl will immediately put a smile on your face... so sweet.
Lucy Liu is serving an Asian-fusion cuisine. You will find familiar dishes from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand on the menu but with some interesting twists to create some new flavours. The menu has a good selection of sharing dishes from starter to main which suits the meat eater, pescetarian or vegetarian.
Here is the selection of dishes we chose for the weekend feast.
Yellow fin tuna tataki with apple ponzu and wasabi - the lightly seared tuna is so fresh and tender. The tangy ponzu sauce with a slightly sweeter tone is a total compliment with the fish.
Freshly shucked oysters with red nam jim - beautiful fresh oysters with the classic Thai dressing. Love the hot, sour and tangy sensation of the nam jim sauce. A delightful substitute of the traditional Tabasco & lemon.
Barramundi & scampi dumplings with chilli, ginger & spring onion - love these seafood "wontons". They are lighter in taste than the meat dumplings. Never say No! to good dumplings, they are part of our diet nowadays.
Rare breed sticky pork belly with palm sugar caramel, young coconut salad & red chilli - this twice-cooked sticky pork belly dish is my all time favourite. The combination of crispy exterior and tender interior plus the utterly amazing caramelised sweet chilli sauce. A must-have dish every single visit!
Wok-fried local calamari with pickled papaya, hot mint salad, red nam jim & peanuts - this papaya salad is definitely with a chilli kick. The classic Thai flavours of salty, hot, tangy & sweet .... a total bang! The texture of the calamari goes so well with the crunchy salad.
Roti bread and stir-fried Asian greens with garlic & chilli - hot fluffy roti bread is so moreish. It goes with any of the SE Asian dishes... tear it up and wrap up the food, so good! Of course, eat your veg when the Chinese gai-lan is cooked nicely with chilli oyster sauce.
Chocolate dulce de leche with orange granita & malt biscuit - the combination of the chocolate caramel, orange granita & malt biscuit... the texture and flavours are just perfect.
Vietnamese coffee ice cream with fried Chinese donut - this is another of my all-time favourite dessert here. This is better than Hong Kong egg waffles with ice cream. Crispy fried savoury Chinese donut topped with Vietnamese coffee ice cream... the concoction of savoury & sweet, crispy & soft all at once... just love it!
The wine list at Lucy Liu has a good selection of wines from different continents. If you are cocktails drinker, certainly won't disappoint with the cocktails list. We chose a rare find... Will Taylor Semillon 2004. Aged perfectly and beautiful to drink.
My favourite savoury - Yellow fin tuna tataki with apple ponzu and wasabi
My favourite dessert - Vietnamese coffee ice cream with fried Chinese donut
If you love modern Asian food, good vibes, attentive staff and some jolly good cocktails then Lucy Liu certainly won't disappoint. It's a lovely place for a dinner date for two just like us or catching up with friends and family. Hope you will enjoy the delicious food as much as we do there.
Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar
23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9639 5777