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Luho Restaurant

Southeast Asian street food and creative cocktails by PS40 combine at this lower north shore spot.
By Marissa Ciampi
May 08, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
May 08, 2019

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.

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