Eugene Lee wants to change the way Brisbane diners think about Malaysian cuisine – and he hopes to achieve that with his 100-seat South Bank restaurant, La De Lah.

Here, the Penang-born chef combines Malaysian street food culture with his experience working in restaurants across Asia and Australia. Recently, you would have found him at sophisticated cafe Fika and Restaurant Indriya in Spring Hill, where his multi-sensory chef’s table experience was touted as “gangster cuisine” for its rule-breaking creative flair.

He’s bringing a similar level of innovation to La De Lah. Take the eatery’s mushroom chilli dish. Lee sources whole shimeji mushrooms from local supplier Urban Valley and treats them as if they were crab in a classic chilli crab. The result looks like chilli crab and has the same traditional flavours, but it’s something quite distinct.

Elsewhere there are bao buns filled with bug tail, fennel and house-made green sriracha; fried quail with smoked kecap manis; slow-cooked short rib with wood-ear mushrooms and potato; and a nasi goreng kerabu, stained blue from the accompanying butterfly-pea flowers.

The drinks menu includes a couple of beers on tap, while a concise wine list leans towards organic and minimal-intervention drops. There are also seven cocktails on offer, including a chilli Margarita (made with the team’s own green sriracha), a lychee Martini and a Jungle Bird.

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Updated: December 1st, 2023

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