Southeast Asian street food and creative cocktails by PS40 combine at this lower north shore spot.
Mama's Buoi Crows Nest is no more. In its place is a new Southeast Asian eatery by the brand's former chef Dennis Tan and his wife Serene. And they've enlisted PS40's Peter Seabrook to design the cocktails.
The hawker-style eats combine flavours from Tan's Malaysian heritage with the Vietnamese influence of Mama's Buoi. The share menu spans small plates, curries and wok dishes, along with a dedicated vegetarian menu. Signatures include the prawn and wonton 'tacos' topped with a mango chill sauce ($12); crepes with char siu pork, prawns and coconut cream ($22); and the tiger prawn sambal with eggplant and tomato ($24). If you're not a keen decision maker, you can order the very reasonable $49 banquet, which includes eight of chef's favourite dishes.
The 12-dish strong vego menu goes beyond the wok-tossed Chinese broccoli and stir fried mushrooms ($18–20) to include the likes of cauliflower with burnt butter and eggplant jam ($19) and XO pumpkin with shiitake, tofu, sun dried tomato and black bean paste ($18).
At the bar, the focus is on the well-priced, Asian-inspired cocktail list by PS40. On it, you'll find the Thai Basil Smash for $15 (basil-infused gin, lime and PS40 bush tonic), the Quandong Spritz for $16 (dry vermouth, native Australian peach, wattleseed, cardamom and citrus) and the Pandan Painkiller for $13 (pandan-infused vodka, lemongrass and Coco Lopez). It's supported by a list of local and international beers — Beer Saigon and Young Henrys both appear — and 14 wines available by both the glass and bottle.
Local designer Julie Lien (Jin Studio) has brightly re-imagined the space with teal and red neon accents, blended with beige timber finishes and polished concrete floors. The fit-out and concept certainly take hints from its Mama's Buoi past life, but Luho is sure to be a welcome newcomer to the lower north shore.