Time Out says
Kylie Kwong is back with a casual, lunchtime-only eatery with a roll call of Sydney's finest chefs as her collaborators
After closing the much-lauded Billy Kwong in 2019, beloved restauranteur and chef Kylie Kwong is back with a brand-new, lunchtime-only eatery in Sydney's buzzing South Eveleigh dining precinct. Introducing Lucky Kwong.
“This eatery is a celebration of everything I love in life with care, community, collaboration and delicious, life-giving food at its heart," says Kwong. "This is a big shift for me as a restaurateur."
Too right. While Billy was all upscale elegance, Lucky Kwong is a walk-in-only diner that puts the focus on accessibility. It takes the form of a casual cafeteria with a focus on "true nourishment," according to Kwong. No extensive wine list or $40 mains here – but her focus on making Cantonese-Australian cuisine with sustainably sourced produce is a thread that carries through.
The menu is set to be streamlined and, as with all her cooking, sourced sustainably from small producers: get prawn dumplings in sichuan chilli sauce, wontons in long noodle soup, steamed warrigal greens, Uncle Jimmy’s noodles and more. Native plants plucked from the nearby Jiwah First Nations garden (run by long-time Kwong collaborator and Cudgenburra and Bundjalung man Clarence Slockee) will also feature in many of the eatery's dishes. South Eveleigh is an area that holds deep historical significance for First Nations communities. Jiwah will be managing the grounds of the whole precinct, and Slockee plans to nurture an organic veggie garden for use by Lucky.
There's no shortage of collaborators, in fact, and the list reads like a rollcall of Sydney's most inventive chefs: there's a caramelised pork belly with Davidson plum, tofu and vegetables sourced from Palisa Anderson's Boon Luck Farm and steamed savoury pancakes with toppings like Josh Niland's yellowfin tuna and XO sauce from Fish Butchery.
Wondering what's behind the name? Lucky Kwong is the name of the baby son who Kwong and her wife, the artist Nell, sadly lost in 2012.
"It comes from the idea Lucky has taught me about the preciousness of every single moment and to take every opportunity to live a full, rich and meaningful life," says Kwong. "My new place is an acknowledgement and celebration of this transformational journey and yes, because I now feel genuinely Lucky.”
Lucky Kwong joins a raft of newcomers at South Eveleigh, including Re-, the sustainability-focused bar by Matt Whiley, as well as Eat Fuh, RaRa Chan, and more. The area has long held a draw for Kwong, who is the precinct's ambassador.
Visit Lucky Kwong at 2 Locomotive Street on Mondays to Fridays between 11am-2.30pm from May 25. Walk-ins and takeaway welcome.