Lucky Kwong is Kylie Kwong's brand new eatery at the new South Eveleigh precinct. Lucky Kwong seats just 25 people, takes no bookings and is only open from Monday to Friday 11am-2:30pm and often requires diners to wait an hour for a table (much like its predecessor Billy Kwong) but that doesn't stop her devotees from dining there.
Lucky Kwong is located in the Locomotive Workshop on 2 Locomotive Street and the restaurant itself is situated in Bay 9 where axels and wheels were once made. The first time I visited South Eveleigh, I became a bit confused as to where to go (I find malls and precincts incredibly confusing). If you arrive by Uber they can drive up right in front of it. Otherwise you can park in the car park which has 45 minutes free but there is 2 hours free parking if dining at the restaurants or shopping at the supermarket (validated in the restaurant).
So far I've been here three times: once with Monica, once for an event and this time for lunch with Ivy. When I arrived at noon I put down my name and was told that the wait was around 45 minutes to an hour. If you're not willing to wait, your best bet is to arrive when they open at 11am to secure a table.
It's not a huge restaurant and there's one main dining area opposite the open kitchen. If you look up you'll see a sculpture made by Kylie's wife, mononymous artist Nell, who hand forged the lighting piece. It is called Ghost Song for Lucky Kwong 2021 and is named after their son who died in stillbirth in 2012. There are hand blown white glass ghosts and the steel branch is designed to develop a patina over time.
Someone asked me if there was fried rice or her duck on the menu at Lucky Kwong and I had to break the bad news to her that they weren't. The menu at Lucky Kwong is short with just over half a dozen items in total plus three daily specials. There's also an emphasis on producers with many of their name producers listed on the menu. There are some reminders of the restaurant Billy Kwong that closed in 2019. When orders are ready, Kylie picks up her pair of clapping sticks made using fallen branches of gum trees and claps them together.
Steamed Prawn Dumplings $16 for 4
The food comes out quickly. The prawn dumplings are fat, tasty numbers in a soy Sichuan chilli dressing. I've had these three times so far and the first time the sauce was more vinegary while the second it was a sweeter sauce. The third time was somewhere in between which was just right. The dumpling skins are made by Jimmy Jang (Kylie's Uncle Jimmy) who makes the wrappers and noodles for them using her flour blend at his factory in Campsie. There are tiny sprigs of Jiwah native bush mint (prostanthera) placed on top of these.
Salad Of Five-Spice Firm Tofu $16
We mainly ordered this as the beef brisket was sold out and Ivy is a semi vegan. I was surprised at how tasty and flavoursome this was. The five spice tofu is cut into thin strips and is paired with pickled carrot, potato, fresh black fungus, Palisa's herbs from Boon Luck Farm and a sweet and savoury tamari and ginger dressing. The crunchy potatoes, carrot and black funghi give this a lovely, bitey texture.
LK Steamed Savoury Pancakes With Raw Yellowfin Tuna and XO $26 for 2
The pancakes are one of my favourite dishes. It's a flour pancake topped with a scrambled egg omelette with crunchy vegetables, Asian herbs and caramel tamari sauce. I'd recommend eating this to eat-in rather than getting this takeaway as the sauce comes separately but it really makes the whole dish (otherwise it will be too dry). It may also fall apart by the time you get to the end. These come with an optional protein topping to the pancakes that changes daily from fish to chicken. We chose the pancakes with sashimi yellow fin tuna and XO sauce which was delicious but by the same token, even without the fish it is also very tasty.
Spanner Crab Prawn Wontons and Noodle Soup $22
With the winds blowing furiously outside it's definitely noodle soup weather. There are four fat spanner crab and prawn wontons wrapped in Uccle Jimmy's wonton wrappers that are pleasingly plump and full of seafood. It comes in a bowl of comforting broth with thin egg noodles and herbs on top. The mint is a touch surprising in this soup which for me, is imbued with sense memories but it's a satisfying soup, especially for this cold snap.
There are no desserts on the menu but if you have a hankering for something sweet, go to the nearby Romeo's IGA where three times a day they're frying up fresh cinnamon sugar donuts-the last batch is made at 3pm!
Speaking of cold snaps, this coming weekend Lucky Kwong is part of the South Eveleigh Solstice Festival where it will be open until late for two nights only (check Kylie Kwong's Instagram for date and time changes).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like short menus? Have you been to South Eveleigh yet?
This meal was independently paid for.
2 Locomotive St, Eveleigh NSW 2015
Open 11am-2:30pm Monday to Friday
Phone: (02) 8377 1878