It's all about the punchy, handmade fresh flavours
One of the biggest struggles has been keeping up with demand, it takes 2 hours to prepare the chicken before it hits the fryer, so once you’ve sold out that’s it. We make all our sauces from scratch, so it’s those flavours and the handmade which are setting us apart.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
Opening on January 23rd Paula Birch, Matt Lovell and Harry Callinan, owners of Newcastle’s newest fast food outlet, Wu-Cha, have been blown away by the response to their ultra-tasty, and mostly gluten free menu.
“It’s been really awesome, we’re trying to do something quite different in the market and people have really embraced it. They’re especially loving the emphasis we’ve put on our gluten free menu. It’s been a quick learning curve for all of us.” says Matt
The Wu-Cha trio are an interesting bunch with diverse backgrounds, that being Paula (Architecture), Matt (ARIA award winning music producer) and Harry (Award winning Executive Chef), yet each have a common thread, that being their love of food."
“Myself (Harry) and Matt have known one another for about 30 or 40 years, through mutual friend groups back in the late 80’s, but we’re both born and bred from Newcastle.”
Paula, “I am from up the Coast but studied architecture in Newcastle and then came back a few years ago.”
So what is it about Wu-Cha’s juicy Chicken Sandwuchas, Wu-Cha Waffles and those Wu-Cha Waffle Cut Chips that’s got everyone talking , Harry lets us in on some Wu-Cha secrets,
“It’s all about the really punchy flavours and bright colours.
“I’ve been a chef for 30 years, I trained in Newcastle and Sydney, but I’ve spent a long time working in fine dining restaurants, mostly throughout Asia, so the appeal for me was taking it back to basics and what I enjoy cooking."
“We all love street food and my connection to street food began back in my Navy days, some of my fondest memories of Asia was when I was a sailor and the street food, so that was where the seed was planted for me."
“Each time I’ve come home I’ve always reconnected with Matt and we’ve always had a common connection around street food and a love of food, and that’s where it’s all born from.”
Even though on first glance Wu-Cha’s may look like a takeaway chicken joint, the flavours are a long way away from your stock standard fast foods. Harry’s preference of doing everything from scratch, which is no easy task we should add, and fusing together modern cool techniques together with a street fast food environment results in some pretty awesome flavours, but doesn’t come without its challenges.
“One of the biggest struggles has been keeping up with demands, it takes 2 hours just to prepare the chicken before it hits the fryer, so once you’ve sold out that’s it. We make all our sauces from scratch, so it’s those flavours and the handmade which are setting us apart.”
“We’ve been working on the concept for about a year leading up to the launch, and we see it as the future of fast food dining, it challenges the common perception of fast food which you associate mostly with McDonald’s and KFC."
“Our mission is to get the product out quick but still retain the quality, it’s all about getting the balance right of trying to deliver chef crafted food, without all the chefs.”