Mikkayla reviews: Ms Sue — ‘I’m dying to get there in person’
100 Hopkins Street, Footscray
Footscray; you’ve done it again. Another amazing restaurant is flourishing in its home in the inner-west. The small, culturally-diverse pocket – just a hop, skip and a jump from the CBD – has come a long way in a short time. But while you can throw two stones and have them land in complete polar-opposite, socio-economically diverse settings within the 3011 postal area – from the extremely gentrified parts to the grungy, graffitied streets – it’s maintained its reputation as a hub for international cuisine, bars, nightlife and arts which are scattered across the entire suburb.
Ms Sue opened in May 2019 with a small, unfussy street front hiding a cosy, trendy bar-like dining area. The menu is fun, trendy and combines all the best aspects of Asian-Australian culture. Owner-chef Jack Bradley’s passion shines through the fusion dishes, paying homage to his mother and bringing traditional flavours popular across Asia into a contemporary Australian setting.
Located well-within my 5km bubble and offering its own ordering and delivery service during Lockdown #4, the entire experience from perusing the menu to receiving the piping hot food was easy and professional. You could call or text and they arrange payment over the phone, and let you know when the food is on its way and if there are any holdups. However at the time this is published, I’m hoping they will be back to indoor dining and will never have to go back to that again!! Because whilst the packaging and presentation of the meals was extremely impressive even whilst DIY-assembling it, I can only imagine how phenomenal the experience would be in person.
The biggest issue you’re going to have is limiting yourself when it comes to ordering, though they have a very handy and great value ‘Feed Me’ option, which allows you to choose 5 dishes from the menu or allows the chef to make the choice for you. At only $39.50 per person with a two-person minimum, it’s guaranteed to leave you satisfied!
There are a multitude of Asian cuisines represented across the menu – Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, and Vietnamese… with plenty of vegetarian options available. Japanese tacos made up of crispy nori sheets come in salmon ($16.50), lamb ($15.50) or tofu ($14), complete with tomato, red onion, rice, herbs and mayo, and the twice-fried chicken wings ($14) and cumin-glazed lamb ribs ($18.50) are also incredibly popular.
The pork and chilli wontons are slippery, meaty morsels of incredible flavour tossed in a saucy mixture of vinegar, soy, and chilli dressing with chunks of tomato and fresh coriander ($14). You cannot go wrong with them.
My hottest tip though is to make sure you try their house made, fluffy, steamed bao buns stuffed with salad and their mi-goreng battered chicken ($14). Yes, fried chicken… with mi goreng noodles on the outside. Each mouthful was a dream. (Also available with pork ($16), soft shell crab ($15) or eggplant ($14)).
The curry laksa is amongst the best I’ve had in my life ($16.50). Yes, it’ll work up a sweat, and help clear the sinuses, but it’s not overpowering enough to mask the amazing flavours. Creamy coconut broth cuts through a mix of dried chilli, garlic, lemongrass and coriander, with pieces of grilled chicken, fried eggplant and crispy, puffed up pieces of tofu, combing together to pack a flavour punch. The eye-watering bowl of deliciousness is finished with a mix of rice and egg noodles and fresh herbs. Try it with soft shell crab as well! ($18.50)
Ms Sue’s barramundi yellow curry is unlike any curry I’ve had before ($26). The thick, rich, pungent sauce is almost as thick as a stew. With less chilli than your traditional red and green curries, you can taste the influence of cumin, turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and cinnamon. With crisp, fried barramundi fillets on top and finished with a drizzle of coconut cream and herb salad, its lick-the-bowl moreish, and I have never been more grateful for a bowl of rice to soak up the sauce ($3), and their crispy, pan cooked, golden roti bread to mop up the rest ($6).
The rest of the mains menu is full of your traditional favourites with a modern, fusion twist: Mi Goreng, Pad Thai, Massaman curry, larb salad and Tom Yum fried rice is just a small selection from the generous menu, and there are gluten free and vegan options available with any of the options. The drinks menu looks spectacular – another reason I’m dying to get there in person – just to try each of their cocktails including a coconut infused take on a negroni, and their Pandan Whisky Sour! There’s also plenty of non-alcoholic options and a generous range of beers and wines.
Footscray, I have never been more grateful to live so close to you.
Ms Sue is back open for dine-in business, Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm. Their takeaway service was, however, impeccable!