Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar
94%Overall Score
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I’ve heard about Lucy Liu from a few different people and all mentioned that it was worth a visit. Since it is only a few months old, tables are quite hard to come by and bookings generally happen far in advance. I crossed my fingers and called on a Saturday morning to see if I could get a table that night for two. Surprising they had a cancellation and we were able to get the last table that evening!


In addition to bookings, they also welcome walk ins (if you are brave enough to try and get a table last minute!). This hidden gem is just that, hidden! Located down the cobble stoned Oliver Lane, around a corner, through a small narrow tunnel and you reach a brightly lit red neon sign.

IMG_8083We walked inside and were quickly greeted by the hostess and brought to our table. The restaurant was bigger than anticipated with small tables close together, a fully open kitchen and high exposed ceilings. We arrived at 7:30pm and the place was buzzing with a upbeat vibe and friendly staff.

The space screams modern sophistication with a trendy theme of red and black throughout. A mix of bamboo scaffolding, concrete features and light timber all create a mix that works well for the type of restaurant we were in the midst of.


Once seated, our laminated place mats were flipped over, showcasing the menu on the opposite side. The menu was quickly explained and the drinks list was handed to us. The waitress did let us know that if we needed any help with the wines, their on hand sommelier would be able to assist.

We opted to go with a variety of small and large shared plates so we would be able to try a range of different dishes.


Two small dishes, a large dish and two sides were ordered. We thought we would see how we went with this and order more if needed. The first to come out was the ‘Eggplant & Pork Tempura’ with purple shiso, plum & ponzu dressing. A light crunch to the batter followed by a beautiful soft filling which worked beautifully with the sauce. Definitely a great start to the night!


Quick to follow was the ‘Crispy Fried Quail’ served with shichimi pepper & a spicy plum dressing. Again nothing to fault here. The quail was crispy with juicy, tender meat on the inside. The spicy plum sauce wasn’t overly spicy and was more sweet, however worked well with the quail.


We couldn’t hold back and quickly consumed the entrees faster than they had arrived. We were in anticipation on what was to follow as the first two were complete knock outs. Our shared main was the ‘Crispy Fried Szechuan Duck’ served with a watercress salad and tamarind sesame dressing. Where to begin with this dish… It was a true representation of what Lucy Liu does. Asian and Western flavours mixed together to create a beautifully well put together dish. The duck was juicy and cooked to perfection with a light sesame dressing to finish.


Our sides were seamed jasmine rice to go with the juice from the duck and you can’t go to an Asian restaurant without having stirred fried Asian greens.

IMG_8080After my first experience at Lucy Liu, it has left me wanting more. This has to be one of the better Asian inspired restaurants in Melbourne, and dare I say it’s better than Chin Chin? 

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