AD Have you ever tried authentic Malaysian food? Lucky Lychee is serving up incredible Malay, Thai and Chinese food in the heart of Winchester.
Chefs Nicole and James are the couple that form the dynamic Lucky Lychee duo. Nicole is from Kuala Lumpur and James previously worked there and together they’ve brought authentic Malaysian recipes to Hampshire.
Bao Buns, Sweet and Sour and Malaysian curries packed full of flavour, with the odd fusion dish adding a surprise twist and reinvention to classic dishes. Find out why this needs to be the next place you visit in Winchester…
The Mucky Duck, 84 Hyde St, Winchester SO23 7DW
Lucky Lychee is currently a pop up in the The Mucky Duck, a sports pub on Hyde Street, north of the High Street.
It has a lovely covered outside courtyard, strewn with fairy lights and fantastic comfy chairs indoors. I actually really like the pairing, relaxed dining and the pub weirdly works. Plus being able to get decent food and watch the football, rugby and tennis? What a bonus!
About Lucky Lychee
James and Nicole returned to Winchester from Malaysia and couldn’t find the South East Asian food they enjoy outside of London.
Using family recipes from Penang and Southern China and influences and flavours from their own experiences they mastered the menu now available at Lucky Lychee.
Next they found a home at The Mucky Duck and have built a loyal and regular fan base. And, I can see why after being invited to try the food, which brings me on to the menu.
Lucky Lychee Menu
James and Nicole were absolutely lovely and took such good care of me (translated as spoilt me rotten) and literally brought me out a little bit of a lot of dishes.
This was beyond useful as it gave me a brilliant idea of their repertoire and a really solid experience of the menu.
It has made it so much easier when it comes to this part and giving proper recommendations to you. Although with this menu I don’t think you’re going to go too far wrong with anything you order. It’s a well rounded, well thought out menu and not too large. They have really focused on a select few dishes and doing them really, really well.
When I arrived they brought an assortment of crispy picky bits out. This included vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay and the best prawn toast I’ve ever eaten. Now I’m always dubious when people say ‘the best they’ve ever had’ as it’s totally overused. BUT, not in the case of these prawn toast packed full of flavour. Could I have eaten an entire plate of them? You bet your last pound coin I could!
They also brought out a cheeseburger spring roll. Yes you heard right. American meets South East Asian in a culinary mash up! I didn’t think I would like it but, oh how wrong I was. 😂
Curries and main dishes
Next up was a selection of curries, the great all rounder was the Malaysian chicken and potato curry. I think this dish would appeal to people who want something filling and more traditional without compromising on flavour.
The eight hour beef cheek Rendang is really special. The beef cheeks are braised for eight hours in a special spice paste and coconut milk. The depth of flavour comes from tamarind, toasted coconut and makrut lime leaves. It’s rich, aromatic and hearty.
The dish that really took me by surprise was the sweet and sour chicken which is probably the most instantly recognisable dish on the menu. Now, to be honest, I have to admit that I do not like the sweet and sour your average Chinese serves up – I’m aware this makes me weird by the way.
When James and Nicole said that I needed to try their sweet and sour, as you can imagine I was a little hesitant. But, what I quickly realised is that Lucky Lychee do things right and their version of sweet and sour is like nothing I’ve tried before. It is nothing like the average takeaway dish and certainly not neon orange! The sauce is more of a sticky coating, extremely delicious and it’s topped with pomegranate seeds. It’s a must order.
My favourite dish
Hands down my favourite dish was the bao buns filled with succulent, marinaded, crispy fried chicken, sriracha mayo, crunchy onions and refreshing cucumber.
I mean it’s one of my favourite foods anyway but, they’ve really knocked this out of the park. I’m already planning my next visit just to have these, the buns were so light and the filling out of this world!
Oh and we all eat with our eyes first, right? It’s also worth taking a look at the Lucky Lychee Instagram page because GEE WHIZ, that’s one tasty looking account.
Malaysian Food in Winchester
Wow, you’re going to have such a great meal at Lucky Lychee. It’s immediately shot to the top of my recommendation list and I can’t wait to return with friends and family. Total must visit.
If you liked this, take a look at these other great independents in Hampshire…