Pan-Asian dining at LUHO Restaurant
First there was Asian Fusion, and now there is Mod Pan-Asian.
“LUHO IS A FUN, MOD-ASIAN EATERY IN THE HEART OF CROWS NEST BY DENNIS TAN (EX-MAMA’S BUOI), OFFERING EASY-EATING SOUTHEAST ASIAN HAWKER-STYLE DISHES TO SYDNEY’S LOWER NORTH SHORE. OPEN FOR LUNCH AND DINNER, LUHO IS THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR GROUP DINING OR QUIRKY DATE NIGHTS.” - LUHO Restaurant website.
The description says it all - LUHO is the place to go when you feel like a bit of everything. Rather than focusing on one cuisine, or even fusing two, Pan-Asian cuisine consists of many types of Asian cuisines and influences on one menu. It really is like a Singapore Hawkers - Dennis takes the best of each cuisine and has made it his own. All week I was really anticipating to try this menu.
Prawn Wonton Tacos with mango chilli sauce, mayo, coriander.
Love fried Chinese wantons? Love ceviche? Then you will love this combination. These were extremely crispy and creamy, even despite taking time to photograph these, they stayed perfectly crunchy. The waiter said the tacos could have done with citrus, but I think these were delicious as is. YUM.
Duck Pancakes with pineapple, cucumber, mint, honey hoisin.
To be honest I expected crispy duck pancakes, just like how they do in a Chinese restaurant, but then I remembered this place is Pan-Asian. The dish came cooled, and didn’t have the edgy crispy duck skin as a typical Peking Duck. The best resemblance is a cross between that and a Vietnamese rice roll, and tasted like a Thai betel leaf entree.
LUHO Open-faced Crepe with char siu pork, prawn, herbs, coconut cream.
One of LUHO’s signature dishes, and very delicious too. I really enjoyed the tender juicy pieces of pork and prawn, married with the fresh herbs and the richness on coconut cream on a crispy pancake. I could definitely taste the Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese combination. WIN!
Caramelised Pork Curry with pork belly, 5 spice, boiled egg (soy sauced based).
Despite what the ingredients suggests, this dish is not as salty as one would think, and even without rice it still tastes pretty good. I would have liked to tasted more depth in the flavour from vegetables, however I fault my own decision making for not being able to enjoy this properly. On my return I will be ordering this with some fragrant rice with a side of green vegetables.
Cauliflower with burnt butter, eggplant jam, almond crumbs
OMGGGGGG. This dish is by far the STAR of the show. It may not look like much, but looks are certainly deceiving; who would think such a simple dish could be so delicious? It is definitely a combination of richness of flavour, texture, and concept that makes is so good. I highly recommend.
LUHO Mee Goreng with prawn, tomato, garlic chives, hokkien noodles.
Who can turn down the best of Chinese and Malaysian on a plate? I have always been a fan of the soft but dense texture of thick Hokkien noodle, and of course the delicious $1 packet of Mi Goreng as a student on a budget. This dish may sound simple, but it’s delicious - a must-share on the table.
QUANDONG SPRITZ with dry vermouth, quandong, wattle seed, cardamom, citrus
Drinking this was kind of sipping a spiced dark chocolate dessert. The combination of wattleseed (bearing the chocolate notes), the quandong (for bitterness) and cardamon was truly an experience. If there is any cocktail that represents LUHO, this is probably it.
Service: Great, all staff are very friendly and the owners are lovely.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Clean and tidy.
Ease of access: 10 minutes walk from St Leonard’s station, also easy access by bus.
Overall quality compared to similar Pan-Asian restaurants: There aren’t many Pan-Asian restaurants to compare to, but I say this is pretty good.
Price: On the pricier side, however you pay for the experience and expect to be surprised, and I think it’s worth it.