Nahji Chu, the founder and creative director of misschu
Nga Chu, known to everyone as Nahji or Miss Chu and to those who get in her way, as ‘The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls’ is the founder and creative director of misschu.
The enterprise is the fusion of an entire life experience. Everything from the menu, to the interior design and decoration reflects the rich and complex history of Nahji’s life. Her early experiences at school, when she was struggling to learn a new language and culture, have become a central focus of the interior and service design of misschu venues. The venues are tuckshops, the menus resemble school food ordering forms, the language is simple and playful, as heard in schoolyard banter. Nahji is the first to bring this comprehensive school nostalgia to a high-design hospitality experience. The outcome are friendly, chatty, fun and fast spaces.
Born in Luang Prahbang, Laos, in 1970, Nahji and her family escaped the Pathet Laos Regime in 1975. They sustained themselves on the meagre living conditions afforded by the various Thai refugee camps they inhabited over a four year period before the Chu family’s number came up and the Australian government made them one of the first Vietnamese/Laotian refugees to settle in Australia.
A talented filmmaker, she produced a charcoal animation telling her story and that of many other Vietnamese refugees. These skills are still part of the brand, with Nahji hand writing the menus on the blackboards found in the tuckshops. Nahji’s early desire for a career in the arts has been fully handed over to the creative life of misschu - the high-design fast food chain.
The success of misschu is based around Nahji’s instinct that Vietnamese food’s largely gluten free and highly tasty base ingredients would be a hit with contemporary diners.
misschu was founded in 2007 as a catering business in Sydney, supplying venues and events with her sublime Vietnamese-inspired canapés.
The misschu tuckshop in Bourke Street Darlinghurst, opened in 2009 and in 2010 at the new Opera Kitchen at the Opera House; in January 2011 misschu opened in Exhibition Street, Melbourne and November 2011 in Bondi Beach. 2012 saw the opening of her Sydney CBD store and South Yarra store in Melb. misschu opened her first international London store in Nov 2013 and is set to open in Qld, SA and Perth, Australia in 2014.
MissChu tuckshops are the first of their kind anywhere in the world and can be described as a modern day hawker takeaway with high end food at a low price tag. Designed for the modern eater on the go, misschu currently offers home or office delivery in Sydney, Melb CBD and London via electric bicycles.
"You ling we bling" is the slogan used to promote the home delivery service of which misschu is famous for. Like many people who understand and respect the role of humour in society misschu has decided to use the awful slurs she grew up with and still feels lies just beneath the surface of many interactions with White Australia and turn it into comedic commentary. We kindly request that you see this use of language by the misschu brand as a humorous toying with, not a handing over of power to, those who wish to mock Asian accents.
This is the actual Refugee Visa that Nga Chu entered Australia with in 1978. The first image is her father followed by her two brothers. Miss Chu is the last girl on the Visa. Nga's mother and three other siblings travelled on another Visa. .