For Marten Chu, making fresh and authentic Vietnamese food is second nature. He grew up perfecting traditional dishes at his auntie's Box Hill restaurant, Indochine, and is the brother of Nahji Chu, founder of the popular Misschu chain.
Chumanchu (formerly known as Fumanchu) is spacious, family-friendly and open from breakfast until dinner. Chu designed much of the interior himself and, being a local, was aware of the need for plenty of floor space to accommodate prams and big communal tables to seat families and birthday dinners.
Classic dishes like pho and vermicelli noodles are topped simply with bean shoots, fresh Asian herbs and nuoc cham to pour over the lemongrass chicken or beef, and their large breakfasts are textured with quirky ingredients like enoki mushrooms, Japanese tofu, quail eggs and wasabi mayo, all carefully prepared by head chef Nanette O'Connor and sous chef Nick Cross (both ex-Golden Fields). To sooth the spice and zest, try a cup of single-origin Dukes or a semi-sweet Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.
To spruce your meal up a little, have a go at the Asian-inspired cocktails or a glass of boutique wine from Australia, France and New Zealand.
Each ingredient used at Chumanchu is fresh and aromatic, straight from the market and ready to breathe new life into an otherwise quiet strip – save for neighbours Pearl Oyster – in the inner north. The large indoor space makes Chumanchu a good pick for dining all year round.