Luke Nyugen had had a prawn cracker of a year. 2015 saw Luke adding to his kitchen, television and writing duties with the birth of twins in October. “Becoming a father this year has been quite an overwhelming experience because there’s two of them! It’s been a fascinating experience and a tiring experience,” Luke says. “I haven’t slept much at all. Professionally, the highlight for 2015 would have to be opening my Grain cooking studio in Saigon, which has been a long term dream for me,” Luke reflects. The school in Vietnam includes 58 cooking stations across two studios as well as a market pantry stocked with the freshest of local ingredients. “I’ve also launched my next cookbook ‘Luke Nguyen’s France’, and I’ve just finished filming a new series called ‘Street Food Asia’, looking at all the best street food in Saigon, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.”
Initially inspired by his parents’ south west Sydney restaurant, Luke has continued with their food legacy to emerge as one of the leading culinary personalities in Australasia. His Sydney Vietnamese restaurant Red Lantern sits alongside Fat Noodle as ideal places to catch up with family and friends. And to celebrate three years since opening its doors, Fat Noodle’s Birthday Banquet offers a whole baby barramundi, Luke’s signature chicken salad and Fat Pho Noodles shared with a bottle of Morgan’s Bay wine. Launching the birthday celebrations, two-for-one bowls of Luke’s signature pho were served at a pop-up market from the Treasury Casino’s steps with Luke also signing copies of his new cookbook. “Meeting fellow lovers of awesome food is one of my favourite things about the job,” Luke remarks.
What sets Luke’s culinary spaces apart is a result of a winning combination using high quality local produce and ingredients with traditional family recipes. Fat Noodle is renowned for its efficient, hospitable service, with chefs delivering fresh, flavoursome dishes from all regions of Asia. As a contemporary noodle bar, a dynamic mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodia, Thai and Malay are paired to an Asian-inspired cocktail menu, with his 20-hour Fat Pho Noodles a signature dish for the restaurant. “I’m so proud of the restaurant and to be able to come and celebrate its third year in this beautiful city,” Luke outlines. “The secret to its success is the passion. You walk in, you’re greeted with our guest service team who are lovely and hospitable and super friendly, and they love the product,” he points out. “The chefs are from all over Asia and the menu reflects this with fantastic, unique dishes.”
Treasury Casino & Hotel, 21 Queen Street, Brisbane City
07 3306 8888
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri – Sat 11.30am-1am, Sun 11.30am-11pm