Restaurant News

Now open in Sydney’s CBD: Mumu, a lively restaurant from Dan Hong

The low-lit spot is open till late (properly late) and has a menu packed with Southeast Asian street food classics inspired by Hong’s travels.

By Callum McDermott
Executive chef Dan Hong. Photo: supplied
A few years ago Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes, executive chef Dan Hong and a team of head chefs from some of the hospitality group's restaurants – including Mr Wong, Ms G's and Queen Chow – went on a one-week whistle-stop tour through Southeast Asia.
"We went to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan," says Hong. "With the sole purpose of eating as much street food as we could."
Mumu, which opened last Friday on George Street, is the product of that 2019 trip.
"The dishes aren't all inspired by those countries that we went to," says Hong. "There's a few Thai dishes, some from Laos and Cambodia and so on – we just wanted to do some tasty dishes inspired by street food, because that's how I love to eat: casually, on the street."
Sweet pork betel leaves Photo: Jiwon Kim
Head chef Oliver Hua's snacky opening menu is geared towards sharing. Highlights include sweet pork betel leaves with dried shrimp, coconut caramel, fresh finger lime and macadamia; sweet potato and school prawn fritters with dill nuoc cham; and grilled half-shell scallops, inspired by Ho Chi Minh City's District 4 area. There's also a "larb" that employs crisp puffed pork skin instead of meat, a Cambodian fried chicken dish, and Singapore-style white pepper mud crab. It's crowd-pleasing; anyone who dines here will find something to like.
The tropical, fresh and fun brief carries through to the cocktails. Fans of Potts Point's Ms. G's will recognise the Famous Yuzu Slushee, which combines yuzu juice, orange bitter and vodka. Other cocktails include the Lost in Bangkok – sloe gin, rum, watermelon and lychee –and the Que Vera Vera: dry gin, aloe vera, verjuice and fizz. There are about 20 wines by the glass, and Hong has curated his own section of the wine list comprised of "Champagnes, burgundies, some killer rieslings and some great dry chenin blancs."
Mumu isn't a place for lovers of quiet conversation. The space, in Merivale's Ivy precinct, in the ground floor premises that used to house Lululemon, is deliberately loud and high-energy. Music blares out of the speakers, seating – at the bar, in a booth or a banquette, or at a lazy Susan-equipped table – is tight and cosy, and the lighting is low with a yellow neon glow. It's fun and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Which is exactly what the Sydney CBD needs right now.
Mumu
330 George Street, Sydney NSW
Open Tue-Sat 1pm–late
merivale.com/venues/mumu