The collapse of MissChu and eventual loss of her business hit Nahji Chu hard. In 2017, Chu wrote a piece for the Herald reflecting on the "torrent of shame; the knots in my stomach, insomnia and depression".
Unflinchingly honest, the entrepreneurial Chu was even then – during her darkest times – mulling over her next move: "Sometimes I feel like a one-hit wonder, so a comeback is really important to me." Well, the comeback has arrived at Roslyn Street, Potts Point.
On the weekend Chu swung open the doors on Lady Chu. With just 20 seats, it's a gentle return of serve without Chu's usual modus operandi. She doesn't dream of a chain or something grander, it's her endgame in her own neighbourhood.
That's not to say it's without her eye for detail. It'll have fried rice on the menu made with super grains, and she's fussing over the quality of the serviettes: "You're better with one really good one."
There'll also be "Vietnamese coffee on the stove", Chu's staples and a Vietnamese breakfast.
"The menu will run through, but we'll do a dish each night for dinner, it could be steamed barra wrapped in banana leaf."
"There's something about this street I love," says Chu, who slid Lady Chu into the former home of a Greek street food eatery, next door to the onetime home of Gastro Park.
The love of the street is a view shared by David Spanton from Australia Bartender, who is rebooting the historic Piccolo Bar site on the same strip.
Spanton, who will hang photos of pioneering venues on the walls and wants to salute long-lost stalwarts of the area by serving their signature cocktails, says Piccolo Bar will be ready to open after lockdown, possibly even earlier for takeaway. And like Lady Chu, it'll seat 20.
Open Thu-Tue 11am-8.30pm and Sun 11am-3pm, 3 Rosalind Street, Potts Point