Sydney Travel Tips from a Local: Nahji Chu

Restaurant magnate Nahji Chu.
A Fratelli Paradiso dish.

Nahji Chu, Restaurant Magnate

Known as “The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls,” the founder of Misschu has a cult following from Manly to Melbourne -- and London too.


By Emma Sloley
Photography by Jason Loucas

Favorite Neighborhood
The best parts of cities are where people of all walks of life collide. Ex-prime ministers, entrepreneurs, and Mafia can pass each other by on any given evening in Potts Point, where I live. There are streets with plane trees, grand terrace houses, and views over Sydney Harbour and back to Elizabeth and Rushcutters bays.
Every Visitor to Sydney Should
Experience the city’s intensity, have a night out in town, and then wake up early the next morning and shake off the night before by hiring a sailing yacht at EastSail at d’Albora Marinas in Rushcutters Bay. Ask the skipper to stop at Watsons Bay for lunch at Doyles and then a swim at Spring Cove before heading back into town to see the Opera House at sunset.

Under-the-Radar Restaurant
Blue Angel in Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, is a beautiful piece of 1960s nostalgia that thrusts itself into the present by serving amazing food. Antiquated dishes like steak Diane and crêpes suzette become oh-so-current. I would happily make their lobster carpaccio the last meal of my life!
For a Big Night Out
When I feel like dressing up for a big night out, it’s Porteño in Surry Hills or Rockpool Bar and Grill on Hunter Street for excellent service and the best steaks in town – plus amazing cocktails.
Favorite Brunch Spot
Sean’s Panaroma. It’s by [Bondi] beach, the decor is beach-house-style light and airy, and the food is mostly grown on Sean’s farm in Bilpin.

Local Market I Love
I always go to Eveleigh Market [in the city’s inner west]. George, my dog, comes along. It’s beautiful to see an old industrial building occupied by an old-fashioned food market. When celebrity chef Kylie Kwong is there selling her dumplings and pancakes, the whole experience is super rewarding.
Favorite Casual Café
Fratelli Paradiso on Challis Avenue, Potts Point. I used to work for Enrico and Gianni Paradiso, who are brothers (hence the word fratelli). It’s an Italian restaurant and bakery, and the service is spot on. The boys also handpick organic and bespoke Italian wines.
To Escape the City for a Day
I take a seaplane out to Berowra Waters Inn or to Palm Beach and have lunch at Jonah’s.
Favorite Misschu Location and Dish
Bondi for its design – a mix of high-end street and contemporary – and beach vibe, especially with the store being just across the road from the beach. I can’t pass up the green-papaya salad with seared salmon or the pork bánh cuon (steamed rice crêpes).
Beach or Harbor?
The harbor. I love Sydney’s urban beaches, but more as a spectator than participant. Since I have a boat, I tend to drive it to remote beaches where friends, my dog, and I can swim in total isolation. Castle Rock for swimming off the boat is great!

Get More Sydney Tips:
Art Advisor, Justin Miller
Boutique Owner, Eva Galambos
Hotelier Marc von Arnim

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, July 2014.

Shoppers at Eveleigh Market.