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 South-East 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 Vietnam-South East Asian theme, the outdoor décor is particularly 'luscious': emphasising the latter of the term 'concrete jungle' - transporting you to the depths of Mai Chau throughout the orders of cocktails. While inside, the interior is gracefully decorated in a smart manner, complementing the overall chic of the bar.
The tiny tables generate an intimate atmosphere, ideal for an after-work or pre-dinner appointment. The service was very 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".
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