IN FIVE short weeks Ethan Lim has transformed the space where popular restaurant La Vida once stood into an Asian inspired wonderland.
IN FIVE short weeks Ethan Lim has transformed the space where popular restaurant La Vida once stood into an Asian inspired wonderland.

TRANSFORMED: Asian restaurant opens in new location

IN FIVE short weeks, Ethan Lim has transformed the former La Vida restaurant space into an Asian-inspired wonderland.

The owner of Uncle Lim Asian Fusion closed the doors of his Wyrallah Rd restaurant at the end of October because they weren't getting enough lunch traffic.

"This space is much bigger, and it was perfect," Mr Lim said.

"We just happened to find this vacant shop and our lease was finishing."

After moving over from Malaysia 14 years ago, the restaurateur said he grew fond of the area during his time owning a Hungry Jacks store in Lismore about six years ago.

"I decided to relocate my family here from the Gold Coast about two years ago - we were living there because I had another Hungry Jacks there," he said.

"I like Lismore because it's chill.

"Now my whole family is here… it's a family run restaurant."

Influenced by his mother's cooking, Mr Lim said when he arrived in Australia he put himself straight into cooking school.

The new restaurant boasts a new menu, which according to Mr Lim is "very fusion".

"There is a lot of Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and into Cantonese cooking," he said.

"Cantonese cuisine is different because we use a lot of spice and there is a lot of mixtures to make one sauce. We do that from scratch.

"I like Cantonese cooking because it's complicated."

There's a kids menu, salads, entrees, "old school", rice and noodle dishes, omelettes and vegan options.

In the mains sections you can choose dishes like Nyonya chicken curry, twice cooked pork belly and a coconut roasted beef rendang.

There are also gluten-free options and, if you don't know what to have, there is even a "can't decide menu".

"Customers would love everything on the menu," Mr Lim said.

The restaurant can seat up to 140 people and comes with a full bar where you can try cocktails such as a Vietnamese Martini, Asian slipper and Nutty Uncle.

There is also a function room attached to the restaurant which Mr Lim would like to use for different events, such as fashion parades, live bands and stand up comedy nights.

"The environment is special, people will feel comfortable," he said.

"We put a lot into the decor and people should come down because we are something different.

"I would like to get my name out there and build a good reputation.

"I always want things to be perfect, I want to make sure all customers enjoy. I prefer negative feedback than positive feedback, that's just me."

Find Uncle Lim Asian Fusion at 3/178 Keen Street in Lismore (next to Lincraft) from Tuesday to Sunday and dinner from 5pm-9.15pm. 

Lunch will trade at the restaurant next year.

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