Lucy Liu's interior features striking blonde wood panelling.
Lucy Liu's interior features striking blond-wood panelling. Photo: Luis Ascui

Roslyn Grundy

Swinging the entrance around from staid Russell Street to bluestone-cobbled Oliver Lane may have added to the building cost but it's undoubtedly boosted the street cred of Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar.

Design firm March Studio (Baker D. Chirico, Carlton, the Press Club) has refitted the pan-Asian diner, previously French bistro PM 24, with loads of Tasmanian oak, tall benches and vintage canteen seats, sparked up with red neon.

The punchy menu, courtesy of Michael Lambie, co-owner of the Smith, hops from Japan (tuna tataki with wasabi-ginger dressing) to China (Peking duck dumplings), with forays to Thailand and Korea for soft-shell crab with nam jim dressing and spicy chicken ribs with Kewpie mayo.

Sticky pork belly dish at Lucy Liu restaurant.
The sticky pork belly dish at Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar. Photo: Luis Ascui/Getty

And the best news? Lucy Liu takes bookings. It's open daily 11am-late.

Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar, 23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne, 9639 5777, lucylius.com.au