PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Once inside the glass-walled entrance of Chu’s restaurant you will find yourself subdued by the tranquil decor. Lime green walls and potted palms create a relaxed atmosphere, even though the latter do have nuances of an office-plant-hire look about them. Spliced along the citrus walls are delightful drawings by a popular Chinese artist; restaurant proprietor Wen Wang personally sourced the works from the artist and the pieces are a blend of traditional and contemporary – much like chef Chu’s cuisine. The tables are set to receive his creations with forks and spoons. No chopsticks are within sight, but surely are not far away if preferred. White linen is layered with Claret-coloured cloths. Wooden chairs on dark timber floorboards may challenge the serenity achieved by the calming decor. If the noise level rises, divert your senses to the chalked-up specials.
An entree of char-grilled octopus tops the list and deservedly so. The baby beasties have their heads politely decapitated and are served on a bed of shredded iceberg with a nest of curled carrot strings alongside. A ramekin of sweet chilli dipping sauce flavours up the proceedings, unlike the superfluous salad items. Seafood lovers are well looked after – I am told anarchy would ensue if the salt and pepper soft-shell crab was crossed off the menu. Red curry fish is another crowd pacifier, along with crispy scallops or prawns spiked with ginger and chilli sauce. Ignore more conservative offerings of lemon or cashew nut chicken and enjoy the bird Vietnamese style with mint leaves, onion, capsicum, celery and chilli. A side of steamed chicken rice seems fitting, while lychees with ice-cream make for a refreshing finish.