THERE is a bracingly fresh breeze wafting through Claremont and it’s laced with star anise, cinnamon, coriander and ginger.
Its name is Miss Chow and she is confident, edgy, unpretentious and sassy – just the tonic for the high-profile Claremont Quarter site, which housed the ill-fated Beluga and Feast of Flowers pop-up.
Who then is this Miss Chow and why has she got the locals all excitedly scrambling to get a table in her dumpling house?
According to the menu, she is the daughter of Mr Moon Chow, a legendary Chinese immigrant whose dumplings were so scrumptious that when he shared them with a pretty French woman one night, she fell under his spell and they married soon after.
Their daughter inherited his secret recipe and now urges customers to eat the famous dumplings with a swig of French champagne.
But the dumplings are fabulous, even when washed down with plain old Rare Earth Cab Merlot.
So are the pork buns – fluffy little pillows brimming with steaming shreds of pork. Texturally exciting too, is the salt and pepper tofu, often the afterthought in a Chinese banquet.
And then there is the glimmer and gloss of just-wilted Asian greens and satisfyingly sticky steamed white rice.
All of it comes on Miss Chow’s smooth black ceramics and bears an unmistakeable Apple Daily stamp.
Up until last week the chef was Andrew Moore, former maestro at Print Hall’s popular ode to Asian street food.
His mantra of fresh, seasonal produce was very much on show in dishes such as chop chop chicken and steamed barramundi fillet, with black beans, ginger and shallot the perfect sidekick for a succulent, melt-in-the-mouth fillet.
The only disappointment was not meeting the elusive Miss Chow.
Perhaps she was off drinking champagne with Lucky Chan.
Now that would be a marriage made in heaven.