|Traditional sausages from Laos, but which I found to be on the sweet side, though tasty and wholesome on the bite.|
I must say it got pretty dark, eating inside the Miss Chu joint at Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach one Sunday twilight. Bob and I were pretty happy that we had a table, as it was obvious the place was filling up pretty fast, spilling from inside to the passage areas and more. The semi-darkness became more obvious only when I saw diners literally eating not being able to see their food on the outer tables.
There was however a buzz about the place - perhaps I attribute this most to the demographic patronising Miss Chu there at the corner of Campbell Parade and Curlewis Street, next to the Hotel Bondi. In fact we had crossed over from schooners of Coopers at this pub before we crawled over to what seemed to be Vietnamese street food, but which in reality also offered Laotian delights.
I felt though I was transported back to a street lane in Vietnam. The table we had was designed to have a holder for napkins below the flat surface. I found the napkins were of very poor paper quality. There was no receptacle to hold sauces like in Thailand and the stools were very low rise. The diner had to cope with and settle for compact dimensions. We could not resist having the drip filter coffee ala Vietnam, but no tea spoon was made available for us to stir the condensed milk at the bottom of the small glass. In a ridiculous moment, we had to use flimsy wooden chop sticks to stir this gluey milk to blend with the thick coffee.
Wait staff were few and very busy. I also empathised with the kitchen crew, having to work in rather confined environs where it was easy to rub shoulder with shoulder. The young lady who attended to our table, Caucasian, still kept her bright spirits about her despite it all. She even made sure to ask us if everything was okay with the food just when we approached a small counter to pay for our meal. As the evening drew on, more and more guests came in but the food was served rather efficiently fast. The profile of the typical Miss Chu customer that night fitted the perception of Bondi to a capital B. The males had hunky shaved jaws, surfer tans and gym bodes. The females looked like they grew up elsewhere but adapted to the place fast, worked in jobs of their passion and seemed to be world wise travellers.
I did feel heavy pangs of thirstiness when I reached home two hours later. This may mean additives added to the food or maybe not. I did reflect, on eating the banh mi, or baguette with fillings, that I could get this snack at much less cost in some other suburb. Servings were generally on the smaller scale and as in such Asian joints, guests helped themselves to drinking water from kettle like pots. It had been a magical and enjoyable Bondi evening for us earlier, so all these little things did not bother us much. Miss Chu is found as well at the Regent Place near the George Street Cinemas in down town Sydney, a hub more attuned and adjusted to rough and ready, come and go settings. The Bondi outlet had a good turn over of diners that evening. What made us stand up from our low stools was the fact that the ticket for parking was soon running out of its paid time.
|I was told to try the rice paper wraps and we chose the tiger prawn variety. I found them to be pretty ordinary that evening - or was it because I had higher expectations?|