Who is Lucky Chan?

Lucky Chan is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Wrapped in a dumpling then deep-fried. A self-described ‘international man of mystery’, Lucky Chan is the polyester suit-wearing mover and shaker of William Street laundries. No one really knows where he came from – or where he’s going. 
These are the words that greet you on the Lucky Chans website and they’re ones that leave a lingering impression. You may have heard the name whispered, spoken with a great deal of curiosity. I have to admit, I’m loving the tactical guerrilla marketing campaign that the team have employed to get the word out about this restaurant that will open next year. 

The brainchild of the team behind Cocktail Gastronomy and The Classroom, Lucky Chans will be a funky Asian restaurant bar that seeks to prove that you don’t need to be Asian to pay homage to traditional dishes like ramen and dumplings. 

In order to get this venture off the ground, the team are currently seeking donations via their website, hoping to raise the first $100,000 to help them make this dream a reality. I’m so pleased to see they’re already at $50,000 with one month to go. There’s varying levels of donations you can sign up for – something as simple as having your name on their wall for $5, pre-purchasing their signature noodles for 2 with a house drink for $55 all the way up to a donation level of $20,000. Whatever you pick, you won’t walk away empty handed! I opted for the $40 option which is close to my heart, getting to play a part in their marketing campaign to let people in Perth know #whoisluckychan. 
Not long after I donated I actually received an email from The Boss (Lucky Chan) inviting me to a behind the scene tour with other bloggers and social media personalities. Having watched from afar, I was there with bells on. 

Arriving at Old Shanghai on a Thursday after work, there were plenty of familiar and not so familiar faces waiting patiently for things to kick off. Immediately I spied Perth Eats, The Foodie Hub, Oyster & Pearl, The Skinny, Travelling Corkscrew and many others so there was lots of chatter and happy greetings. Once the entire team had arrived, we were off on foot, walking to the Lucky Chans destination.

When it comes to being a blogger, it’s something I really love doing. And while it requires some hard work, there’s definitely some perks sometimes. Obviously there’s the invites to events, the complimentary meals and trying new venues or menus. But the best part for me, is getting to meet the faces behind a restaurant. The owners, the chefs, the people who put their blood, sweat and tears into it. 
Immediately as we sat down in the stripped back bones of what will be Lucky Chans, I knew this was that kind of evening. There’s three couples that are partners in their different ventures, all hands on in managing, marketing and even cooking. After chatting to us about this new place, we’re told we’ll get to try the ramen recipe they’ve been working on for four months and then get the opportunity to chat to the chefs and rest of the team. 

Sitting back to relax and chat amongst ourselves, we start things off with a smokey cocktail in a lucky bottle. I’m not sure what was in it, but I definitely could taste yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit) and really enjoyed the smokiness which added a new dimension of flavour. A tasty and very different cocktail to anything I’ve had before. 

We were also treated to bottles of Asahi Black which I hadn’t tried before. I’ve had normal Asahi, but this one is darker and quite rich – a really enjoyable beer. 

Watching the team set about preparing our dinner, I have to admit I was really excited. I’ve never had ramen before, much to most people’s surprise! I have been meaning to try it for so long, in particular after chatting to fellow blogger Ministry of Gluttony who has a bit of a love affair going on with this famous Japanese noodle dish. Judging the smells alone was enough to make my mouth water!

Soon enough it came time for me to finally taste test the goods so I sat down with foodstagrammer Perth Eats (who also was a ramen virgin) and after adding some condiments, we dug in. 

The stock made to create the broth is a lengthy process – starting with kombusha then shiitake mushrooms and finally pork and chicken fat. A good stock is so important in Asian cuisine. As a child I used to watch my mum create vats of flavoursome stock by soaking varying bones of different animals. Powdered stock has nothing on this kind of taste. And it’s particularly satisfying seeing the little pools of oil skimming along the surface of the liquid. Remember, fat is flavour. A motto I seem to live my life by.

The flavour is not as porky as I would have thought given the stock description, but the taste is still really enjoyable. Their noodles are handmade by a local supplier and I’m told they’re slightly thicker than traditional ramen noodles are. I can imagine having a thinner noodle would mean the broth would play a more important part, sticking to the smaller surface area and becoming a prominent flavour.

Making my way through the ramen dish I’m pleased to see little surprises of flavour though out. There’s tender slices of pork, with just the right amount of fat. Crunchy slivers of spring onion. But best of all is the wobbly barely cooked egg that bursts forth delicious gooey yolk as my spoon cuts through the surface like butter. Oh how I love egg!

So how was meeting Lucky Chan? I had a blast! Noodles – handmade in particular – always are the key to my heart and while I have to admit I was a bit reserved in whether non-Asian chefs could pull off a well balanced flavoursome ramen dish, I was pleasantly surprised.

Best of all was having the opportunity to sit down with the chefs and bend their ear on travel, eats and recipes. I’ve walked away with some tips to improve my gnocchi and even steak! Love it!

We’re so lucky living in Perth right now, with the food scene on the up and up. There’s so many exciting restaurants and bars around, and I think having a place that is crowd funded like Lucky Chans is the next step for us all. It’s an intention that unites, that brings us all together for a common purpose. Get on their website now and do your part, or spread the word to get others involved #whoisluckychan

Lucky Chan's Laundry + Noodlebar on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply
    Dumpling Love (@cscc28)
    14 October 2014 at 6:25 am

    I was so surprised when I read you hadn't had ramen before this occasion! You must try Nao in the city! I find it a bit salty and slightly oily at times, but I have very low thresholds for both those things so it's probably normal for most people. My brother and I head to Nao for our ramen fix =P

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    14 October 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I know I actually can't believe it myself! I always get suckered in by other dishes when I go out for Japanese. I heard Nao was excellent, so I'm definitely going to pay it a visit soon 🙂

  • Reply
    17 October 2014 at 12:32 am

    Wow thanks for sharing this — what a cool concept to start a restaurant!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    18 October 2014 at 10:43 am

    No problem! Make sure you check out their website to get involved 🙂

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