The streets of Istanbul are vibrant, enchanting and full of the irrepressible forces of life. When Foxy Luu’s owner, Utku, moved to the calm shores of Byron Bay, where everything is ‘sweet’ and hugs are a shared language, he felt it was a big change, but one that he welcomed with open arms.
‘If Istanbul was a speed-dating site with daring pick-up lines and accentuated looks, Byron would be a luscious tantric temple den, sensual and mystic. What’s common is everybody wants their senses to be spoken to’, he says.
Like many of us, Byron’s spiritual pull and beautiful people called him to ‘ground’ here. Utku also owns the Bondi institution Sefa Kitchen, but decided he would break the mould and open a more playful eatery in Byron. An art haven by day with a not-so-seedy red-light district feel by night.
Utku finds that people like to sit back, relax and indulge their senses in all that Foxy Luu’s has to offer. ‘We all want that tantalising feed in a somewhat inspiring, feel-good space, where we can feel welcomed, while preferably spending less than $20 to fill our tummies’, he says.
The restaurant plays host to locals and travellers alike, creating a place where all are welcome. ‘We want to bring the community together; it’s a space where locals can mingle and travellers can refuel with honest food, great vibes and mindful values. Simple pleasures are the best kind and we aim to please.’
You won’t be greeted by the usual whitewashed walls and vanilla Instagram-friendly interiors at Foxy Luu’s. Instead, you’ll find an eclectic mix of Asian inspired décor – red umbrellas line the ceiling and retro Mao Cult propaganda posters line the walls. There are murals by local street-artists and quirky charms in every corner, it’s an evolving space, always changing under the influences of locals’ feedback and staff ideas. It’s colourful, to say the least!
Try Foxy Luu’s irresistible Rainbow Bao Buns or the Gado Gado Salad, fierce in flavour and undeniably addictive. Utku says the food is made to ‘ignite your taste buds and feed your soul’. The perfect combo.
Like many of us, Utku and the team at Foxy’s are doing their part to push for a sustainable future; everything from the free-range meat by Trevor Meads and locally sourced ingredients, to the water filling station and plastic-free environment is part of a well thought out and measured exercise.
‘We’re accountable for every action we take, as a business and as a consumer. So we do whatever we can to ensure we are sustainable. Sometimes that means sacrificing something that was working well for the business, but not sustainable from an environmental perspective’, says Utku. ‘There are always consequences to our actions. We’re happy to play our part in this significant role as a forward-thinking Byron business.’
Find Foxy’s-off-the-beaten track, tucked away amongst a row of casual quirky shopfronts just off Jonson Street, conveniently around the corner from the bottle shop. (Yes, you’ll be pleased to know Foxy Luu’s is BYO).
It’s a small, cosy affair, that surprisingly works really well for intimate parties, events and private functions too. There are even live music sessions from emerging talents on Sundays and a fun Happy Hour every day with the Foxy twist; half-price dumplings from 4–6 pm. There’s never a dull moment at Foxy Luu’s, we can promise you that.
More info: Foxy Luu’s, Shop 4A North Byron (Woolies) Plaza, 90 Jonson St, Byron Bay, next to the bottleshop. Open for lunch and dinner, 7 days.
For catering and functions email [email protected] or call Utku 0405 469 702