Formerly known as Smith bar, Xuxu has established itself as a killer evening spot in the Britomart precinct.
The fantastically elegant bar, nestled on the corner of Galway and Commerce Streets, initially offered great Vietnamese and Southeast Asian inspired small-plate dishes (similar to its nearby sister, Café Hanoi), though has since jumped on the dumpling band wagon and re-imagined itself to include multiple varieties of the delicious favourite.
Hand crafted by the bars longstanding chef, Xuyen Do Thi, Xuxu's dumplings are the perfect bite-sized morsels, inspired by exploring street side stalls in Hanoi. The menu may be small but it covers all bases; from steamed spinach and cabbage Nepali dumplings ($7), traditional Chinese prawn har gao dumplings ($8), fried chicken and stitake mushroom potstickers ($7), Korean pork dumplings with egg and nori beef broth ($8), and more. Sides include chilli pickled cucumber ($6) and five spice peanuts ($3.5), and the list of Asian-inspired cocktails, wines, boutique beers have all been chosen to complement the food.
Keeping with the Southeast Asian theme, the outdoor decor is particularly luscious, transporting diners to the depths of Mai Chau. While inside, the interior is gracefully decorated in a smart manner, complementing the overall vibe of the bar.
The tiny tables generate an intimate atmosphere, ideal for an after-work or pre-dinner appointment. The service was friendly and particularly useful in keeping us updated, as we were waiting for a table at the popular Café Hanoi, her big sister across the road. Regardless if it was intended as a bar to wait at for its older sibling or not, it worked very efficiently.
And for future reference, it is pronounced "su-su".