We chatted with Jimmy Shu about his new television series on SBS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a chef, restauranteur and passionate foodie based in Darwin, NT. I am the owner of Hanuman, which has two locations in Darwin and in Alice Springs.
Tell us about your restaurant?
Hanuman has tastes inspired by my childhood and is a uniquely Darwin fusion of Thai, Nonya and Tamil cuisines. 25 years after it opened, Hanuman won its first chef’s hat in the 2018 Good Food Guide.
What inspired your passion for cooking?
I was born in Sri Lanka to Chinese parents, and my father had a restaurant for 38 years. Food is in my blood.
What do you like about Darwin food?
The fresh produce is exceptional, among the best in the world. We are so close to Asia that we get the best of their influence, as well as our own amazing Seafood and growers markets.
What do you like to buy when you visit the Darwin markets?
I love seafood, and am always on the hunt for the freshest, newest seafood to cook at my restaurants.
Did you learn anything new while filming the ‘Taste of the Territory’?
I learnt so much filming Taste of the Territory, about food, about the history of Darwin and about the Indigenous people who make the most amazing bush tucker. We have such a diverse, rich culture in the Northern Territory, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of it in this show.
What do you love most about what you do?
I see my restaurants as a way to give back to the wonderful communities of Darwin and Alice Springs, and hopefully inspiring people to try foods they’ve never heard or seen before. I love seeing people enjoy food.
What are three foods you can’t live without?
Fresh seafood, chilli and ginger
Who or what inspires you?
I’m always inspired by Luke Nguyen and Stephanie Alexander.
Where would you like to travel to next?
I have family based in Melbourne, so as soon as travel is permitted again I’m looking forward to travelling there.
Do you have any plans for the future?
My number one goal is to get guests dining in both my restaurants again, as soon as its safe to do so. So my main plan is work!
Jimmy Shu’s Taste of the Territory airs at 8.30 pm, Thursdays on SBS Food. The series will also be available to catch up anywhere, anytime after broadcast on SBS On Demand.
About Jimmy Shu
Jimmy Shu grew up in Sri Lanka to Chinese parents and spent much of his childhood in the kitchen as his father was a chef. He arrived in Australia in 1974 and settled in Melbourne to open his first restaurant. Two pioneering restaurants later – the modern Thai Isthmus of Kra in South Melbourne and Monsoon in Melbourne’s CBD – fate took him to Darwin in 1989 and he’s been there ever since. Jimmy opened the pan Asian restaurant Hanuman in Darwin in 1992 and later another in Alice Springs. With tastes inspired by Jimmy’s childhood, Hanuman is a uniquely Darwin fusion of Thai, Nonya and Tamil cuisines. Twenty-five years after it opened, Hanuman won Jimmy his first chef’s hat in the 2018 Good Food Guide.