Hey Chu: Go pay uncle a visit on Castlereagh Street

We finally made it Hey Chu, the much coveted Asian Street Food eatery that opened earlier this year

A light on the pathway let’s you know Hey Chu is upstairs at 249 Castlereagh Street. You walk past the entry to the backpackers and up a set of stairs to a space hidden, quite literally, behind a curtain. Once inside, the black walls and bright handmade lanterns are designed to take you to a late night in Hanoi wandering the markets and stopping to eat snacks that tantalise and excite. 

Magically, Hey Chu is much the same, without the markets, but instead live music, serenading as you dine, giving the place a chilled, unique feel – to match the menu. 

We started with the Appellation Oyster with Jalapeno Lime ($7) and  Fried Oyster Chicken Fat with Hollandaise Skin ($8). With cooked oysters being a feature in many asian cuisines the delicate nature of the one cooked in chick fat and wrapped in chicken skin is as delicate as it is spectacular. 

The Abalone Roasted Chicken Congee Pot is a must ($28) is a must. Holy abalone, it’s delicious – a crispy, dark puff pastry top covers a roasted chicken congee that is rich with flavour and layered complexity. It’s the  type of dish that you’ll rave about. 

Next up, Rice Cakes Wild Mushrooms with Mapo Sauce ($34). Delicate silky rice cakes with a gorgeous mix of wild mushrooms in a deeply rich Mapo sauce is not only the hero for us on our visit but truly memorable in way that your mouth salivates as you remember it. 

We also enjoyed Sizzling Lamb Breast with Shisito Peppers ($42). The sizzling plate comes with a warning – “these are f*ing hot” referring to either the plate or the chilli. One of the Hey Chu team was dared (by us) to eat one of the chilis. Sure, Chilli Boy said, as he confidently bit into the chilli, only to realise the aforementioned warning was indeed designed for the chilli. Fun had by all! 

The other stand out dish is the Grilled Savoy Cabbage with Kombu Butter Noritos ($22). Cabbage is so underrated and often not well cooked (think Grandma’s cabbage on a Sunday). This is not just a new level, but a new stratosphere of cabbage. We’d eat this at every meal if we could. A boisterous flavour melded with a solid char on the cabbage gives a crunchy texture for a perfect bite that moves across all the tastebuds. 

Embracing true drink culture in night-time Asia – the cocktails are a must. The What The Pho 24 with coriander tequila, Crème De Gingembre, Cointreau, Pho syrup, spiced fish sauce, lime is a fresh, zingy drink – or basically a chilled lightly pho’d alcoholic beverage! It’s a perfect aperitif to match the food.

The only piece that may make it less accessible are the prices for such a chilled space. Overall, though, we enjoyed Hey Chu. It’s got an unfussy vibe with tasty food and the live music gives it an extra edge for a well-rounded evening out.

Hey Chu
Monday – Saturday: 5pm – 12am


About the author

Michelle hails from the UK – but grew up with big flavours and spices thanks to her Singaporean Mum. International cuisine has always been part of Michelle’s life as she explored the world in the pursuit of delicious food and wine – along with a castle or two. Michelle now lives in Sydney after a lengthy stint in Brisbane (a city dear to her heart, which she visits frequently). She is letting her nose and palette be her guide as she discovers and shares exciting and delicious dining experiences. Michelle also loves, in equal measure, fashion, sunshine and puppies.


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