An exciting new restaurant was officially launched on Chinese New Year inside Canterbury Hurlstone-Park RSL.
Nu Bambu is now open to club members and visitors offering a sophisticated take on traditional pan-Asian dining which mixes bold, modern flavours with familiar favourites.
At the helm the new restaurant is executive chef Freddie Salim (ex Merivale, Sokyo and Longrain) who brings with him the dishes of his heritage plus a passion for local and seasonal ingredients.
Nu Bambu has a striking decor designed by Paul Kelly who drew his inspiration from the cultures, cuisines and landscapes of South-East Asia along with Freddie’s extensive experience in modern Asian restaurants.
The menu balances a blend of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine alongside Indonesian dishes, inspired by Salim’s mother.
“Mum was a typical Asian mother, always saying ‘a boy shouldn’t spend time in the kitchen at all’, but now I’m in a big open kitchen, serving up recipes based on hers,” Salim says of the menu which features much-loved dishes with a back-to-basics approach.
“We’ve really gone back to the core ingredients, flavours and the idea behind it to balance it all out and make it relevant to a modern diner.
“So, of course, we had to have a mixed entrée, but something like the fresh, green prawns are now singing in the prawn toast.”
Other favourites include green and red curries, whole seasonal fish and crispy duck and braised Cape Grim short rib.
“Plus we’ve raised the stakes with more exotic dishes like Thai-style salmon ceviche, a lemongrass and limeinfused steak tartare and grilled champagne lobster with coconut charcoal and confit sambal butter which is really a good bang of flavours,” Salim said.
The sensory experience is heightened by the open kitchen, with its jungle green tiled splashback, while the dining floor brings together family and friends over a shared meal, a common sight in Asian dining.
The interior also features textured walls, and a 7.5-metre long fabric sculpture above a 24-seater 10m communal table hewn from a single slab of wood.
Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL CEO Dean Thomas could not be prouder of the club’s new dining venue.
“We’ve set ourselves apart from our competitors with a more intimate outlet – we’ve got a great chef, great menu and a beautifully designed, free-flowing restaurant fit-out, with soft natural light,” Thomas said.
“For us, big doesn’t necessarily mean better, it’s really about creating an ambient experience for our diners and offering a flavoursome menu from an exceptionally good chef.”