Restaurant News

Coming soon: Kylie Kwong’s new lunch-only eatery to open in Sydney next week

It’s a new chapter for the chef-restaurateur with the much-anticipated opening of Lucky Kwong, named in honour of her late son.

By Jordan Kretchmer
Sydney chef-restaurateur Kylie Kwong. Photo: Mark Pokorny.
There are few chefs who could say they've emerged from the past year with a renewed sense of energy, and Kylie Kwong feels fortunate to count herself as one of them. "I know I am on the best path for this next chapter because everything just feels right and I feel completely reinvigorated," says Kwong.
This next chapter is – finally – opening Lucky Kwong, an Australian-Cantonese cafeteria-style eatery located within Sydney's South Eveleigh precinct that was originally slated to début in late 2020. In many ways, it looks very different from her seminal restaurant Billy Kwong, which closed in 2019: Lucky Kwong will be a lunch-only, walk-in, no-bookings setup, with a small menu and daily specials. Kwong describes it as "super-casual, fast, open, warm, welcoming, energetic – it will feel like you are in [my] home for a meal".
But like its predecessor, it will deliver Kwong's creativity, care, and Australian-Cantonese flavours that are the hallmarks of her cooking. Think delicate steamed prawn dumplings with Sichuan chilli dressing and native bush mint; Cantonese-style fried rice with sticky pork belly and chilli; or steamed savoury pancakes – the ones that attracted queues at her Carriageworks Farmers Market stall – with fried egg, vegetables, red-braised caramelised beef brisket, black bean and sweet Thai basil.
Steamed savoury pancakes with raw Hiramasa kingfish, chilli and Jiwah sea parsley. Photo: Supplied
Native plants that underpin many of the dishes will be sourced from the nearby Jiwah Indigenous garden, managed by long-time collaborator, friend and Cudgenburra and Bundjalung man Clarence Slockee. Slockee and his team at Jiwah will also help establish an organic vegetable and herb garden nearby to supply the Lucky Kwong kitchen.
"For a chef to be in such close contact with their food producer, is very exciting," says Kwong. The restaurant will also collaborate with food producers and chefs including Palisa Anderson of Boon Luck Farm and Josh Niland of Fish Butchery.
Prawn wonton and long noodle soup w Palisa's Asian herbs. Photo: Supplied
While Lucky Kwong may move at a faster, more casual pace, the vision for it is detailed and Kwong's drive is inherently personal, informed by her Buddhist spirituality, connection to the wider South Eveleigh precinct, and the historical and Indigenous significance of the site. "I want Lucky Kwong to nourish and feed people's spirits, to be a force for good," says Kwong. "It's a simple and humble offering that is very clear in its intention and motivation to positively contribute to society."
For Kwong, "Lucky" isn't just a feeling, but also the name she and her wife Nell gave to their baby son who they lost to stillbirth in 2012. "Since this life-changing event, I have been on the most extraordinary personal journey which has really prompted me to re-focus, re-evaluate and re-assess every aspect of my life," says Kwong. "I have called my new place after our child, as an acknowledgement of this transformational journey; of what he has brought to my life and yes, because I now feel, genuinely lucky."
Lucky Kwong is set to open on 25 May, 2021.
2 Locomotive Street, Eveleigh, NSW
Ph: 02 8377 1878
Open Mon–Friday lunchtime for walk-ins and takeaway