Elana Castle goes underground to meet the Queen of Rice Paper Rolls, Najhi Chu, in Sydney’s city centre.
June 28th, 2012
Nahji Chu has added to her portfolio of Vietnamese Misschu eateries with a new subterranean tuckshop on Sydney’s George Street.
“It’s not an obvious location but wanted to challenge the strength of the Miss Chu brand,” explains Chu. “Would people still seek it out?”
Early signs prove that Chu’s risk is already starting to pay off, with city workers flocking to the new location.
The food is good, but there’s more to Misschu than finger-licking rice paper rolls. Chu’s casual, hawker-style eateries have resonated with customers, who are drawn to the unique, street-style atmosphere.
“Despite Misschu Underground’s mall location, we didn’t want to mimic food-court design,” explains Chu. “We wanted to create a sense of place.”
In this case, Chu worked with Misschu designer Kano Hollamby to create a a discreet object within the space.
The rectangular serving station includes a kitchen and servery, strongly referencing the language of the other locations.
The tuckshop-style windows, bamboo shutters, blackboard menus, green-tiled splashbacks, glass louvres, wooden counters, suspended iPhone chargers and low stools are all there as well as the rice-bowl lampshades and fairy-light badminton shuttle-chocks that have become synonymous with the brand.
Further proving her design prowess, Chu demonstrates her latest design, a salvaged ironing board which she has cleverly has transformed into a flexible, plywood-topped table.
Earmarked as a catalyst tenant for the new city mall, Misschu Underground will no doubt inspire its neighbours to assess their own potential impact on the collective space.
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