All the way from the east coast of America to the Central Coast of Australia, The Lucky Bee has brought some serious culinary buzz to the ‘hood since relocating from New York City to Woy Woy half way through 2018.
The region was clearly in need of some spice with restaurateurs Rupert Noffs and Matty Bennett expanding to offer a second restaurant at Hardys Bay less than a year after launching their first at Frankie’s Rooftop at Woy Woy.
The Central Coast is a long way from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in both kilometres and culinary stakes, but after several years slogging it out in the Big Apple, the couple, whose names you might also recognise from a stint at Longrain in Sydney, were looking for a slower pace and a sea change.
“People ask why we decided to come back from NYC to the Central Coast. The answer is simple: All our family are here, plus this summer was just too good to leave. We fell in love with the Peninsula way before our family relocated here. We have made many trips to the city since being back, however the Central Coast is where we’d like to live and work,” Rupert, the funky front man of the operation, said.
Matty, the chef half of the partnership, added: “When Rupert and I went for a beer, we knew Frankie’s Rooftop was the place to launch The Lucky Bee (in Australia)”.
Their original Lucky Bee, which launched in Manhattan in 2016, quickly became the talk of the town with the house-made curry named one of “The 21 Tastiest Dishes of 2016” by The New York Post and the restaurant frequented by the likes of Sir Salman Rushdie, actress Diane Kruger, Barbra Streisand and Australian Chef Curtis Stone.
The response has been similarly swift here.
The Coast has fallen madly in love with their trademark Southeast Asian street food, joining the likes of Streisand in becoming obsessed with The Lucky Bee’s world famous bao buns.
Both restaurants offer a menu packed full of spicy, bold and authentic flavours straight from the streets of Thailand and Vietnam.
From the crunchy Szechuan salt and pepper chicken wings and fried soft shell crab to the zesty papaya salad, steamed pork dumplings and Peking duck spring rolls, this food is not for the faint-hearted – it’s flavour to the max and will make your mouth sing.
Many of the dishes are designed to be shared family-style with steamed or sticky rice such as colourful bowls of rich red curry, or whole fried Szechuan fish.
It would be hard to find a more interesting way to end a meal than with Matty’s beautiful banana tapioca pudding.
Rupert has also added an ice-cream sundae to the sweet offerings at Hardys Bay, where his dream of an Asian-style lobster roll with hot sauce has also been realised.
In bringing their beloved Bee to the Coast, Rupert said they wanted to inject some culture and colour to the region, with the added bonus of a view, so it’s no surprise that both venues offer a stylish waterfront setting.
At Woy Woy, The Lucky Bee has a prime perch overlooking the sparkling waterfront from the chic digs of Frankie’s Rooftop Bar.
The brand new Hardys Bay restaurant, which took over the space previously occupied by contemporary seafood eatery Yum Yum in March, has assumed its new Asian identity via lashings of zany palms and a coat of pink paint.
The Lucky Bee is open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday and lunch from Friday to Sunday.