Distinguished by its kaleidoscope of cultures and flavours and its iconic red light beaming brightly onto one of Melbourne’s backstreet laneways, Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar is an essential ingredient that has helped to fashion Melbourne’s coveted food identity since 2014.

Blurring the lines between diverse cuisines, the menu serves up both street and refined, modern Asian food that breaks with tradition and has flavour at its core. Executive Chef and co-owner, Zac Cribbes, advocates both Thai and Chinese flavours, both playing a huge role in the bold and enticing menu. Head Chef, Jenna Louise North, who joins him in the kitchen, steers away from strict food traditions, which allows the pair borrow bits and pieces and marry new flavours into their own unique style of cuisine. Think classic Asian, hot, sour, salty and sweet flavours that fill every dish on the menu.

The Lucy Liu experience was created to be fun, exciting and accessible for all. From office workers enjoying a lunch-time get-together, a special occasion celebrated in the private dining room, an intimate dinner-for-two, or a group of friends sharing a table amongst the buzzing crowd, every experience is honed to meet the occasion. The dining room is constantly buzzing and filled with happy banter, crafty cocktails, thoughtful service and some of the city’s most sought-after dishes – what more could you want from a night out on the town?

During a research trip to Shanghai in 2013, the team wandered from the glitz and glam of the bund, to the back-street markets. They stumbled upon Mr Zhu, an elderly gentleman who had been crafting stamps from jade for the past 40 years. Straightaway they asked him if he could produce a Lucy Liu stamp. Now carved and pressed, both the restaurant name and hand-crafted logo were born.

Lucy Liu’s modern, experimental menu is complemented perfectly by the polished design of the venue. Its elusive red-light entry off Oliver Lane provides an air of mystery and intrigue. However, no shady rooms or ladies of the night lurking inside, instead guests are introduced to Lucy’s stylish, yet minimalist design. Concrete floors, exposed bricks and a ceiling of impressive wooden batons mirror the venue’s Asian influence. Booths and bar-style low communal tables fill the open-plan restaurant, topped with hologram-decorated menus and Japanese Mino ware.

For a quintessential Melbourne experience, look no further than Lucy Liu – this is an encounter you will want to repeat, over and over again.