Boasting fare ranging from succulent short rib spring rolls to heaped bowls of black vinegar and chilli noodles, the newest addition to Nobby Beach dining adds another dimension to the neighbourhood’s Asian fusion cuisine scene.
Ally Chow is the second culinary adventure for head chef and owner Trent Scarr and partner Leisha Novy, who opened Honeyeater Kitchen at Robina Town Centre’s The Kitchens last year. Trent has been at the hands of the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, and thanks his mother for triggering his passion for food and introducing him to the novelty of tastes, journeys and experiences that can be created in a piping hot pan. He is now injecting his passion and experience into Ally Chow.
Wrought iron gates and stained glass doors welcome hungry diners into the moody Ally Chow space, framed by greenery and texture, caged and exposed bulbs drip from the ceiling. Vibrant chow is piled high on mismatched plates from a menu made to share. “This is our second restaurant and we learned a lot about what we wanted our dining experience to be like overall,” muses Leisha over a bowl of steaming bao. “The restaurant’s menu was inspired by our own desire to enjoy healthy, fresh, tasty and reasonably priced food.”
Split into five sections of sharing morsels, the menu encourages diners to dance across its vast array of flavours ranging from Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, to classic Chinese dishes.
We started with the spring rolls, dunking the crisp and plump parcels of flavour into their fiery Gochujang counterpart. The chicken and Gochujang bao closely followed, with melting meat and fermented chilli sauce combining in a spicy sweet melody, accompanied by a sip of a tea infused gin and elderflower tonic cocktail.
The next course was a plate of juicy sous vide chicken breast on a bed of twisting snake beans, dowsed with an assortment of soy, ginger, garlic, chilli and housemade Szeshuan jam — the combination of flavours gets better with every mouthful.
A smooth and silky vanilla bean panna cotta was served to finish, dotted with dragonfruit, plum wine broth, and a cloud of pink floss — flavours which were perfectly balanced atop the jiggling milk jelly.
As head chef, Trent Scarr, who was previously awarded a Chefs Hat for his Modern Australian cuisine, leads the kitchen and crafts the menu, fusing Asian flavours and intricate technique. Leisha says their support team contributes to Ally Chow’s success. “Our sous chef Cameron Jong assisted in the running of his family’s own Chinese Asian restaurant for many years. He brings his knowledge and expertise of Asian cuisine to the team. Our restaurant manager Stan Karvchenko is a long-term player in the management of restaurants and he runs our front of house very effectively ensuring all guests are very well looked after.”
Located on the Gold Coast Highway at Nobby Beach, Ally Chow still bares a gastro newborn status, however this eatery is already serving up a new perspective with its custom fusion fare.