Billy Chow: Bao, beach views and the birthday boy


76 Musgrave St, Coolangatta QLD 4225


HOURS: Open from 11:30am daily

There’s a price to pay for being a shift worker, and that means sometimes (actually a lot of the time) working on important days.

Our calendars are planned out months, even years in advance, and we’re always eagerly checking whether we’ll be together for days like Christmas, Easter, and especially birthdays.

So, we knew well in advance that Shane would be working night shift on his birthday. Night shifts are my least favourite shift, because the nights are lonely, and the days I’m left with a zombie for a husband who is just not his usual cheery self, which isn’t a great way to feel on his birthday. (And while I dislike this shift, he happens to like it – so go figure!).

I planned ahead and booked a new eatery in town, Billy Chow, for lunch so that we could fit in a little birthday celebration somewhere between sleeping and working.

Located right across from my favourite beach, Kirra Beach, I was surprised to learn that Billy Chow opened in late 2023, and we hadn’t even noticed, despite driving past almost on the daily (we’re obviously looking at the beach, not the restaurants!). Billy Chow is the younger brother to popular restaurant Ally Chow located up the coast on Nobby Beach.

With a deliciously peachy decor, and stylish, Insta-worthy tables and settees, we arrived early and had the restaurant to ourselves for a while, making it perfect for some photo-taking.

The menu is heavily Asian influenced with bao, dumplings, and curries, with all day eating for those that want to crawl in from the beach, or arrive for cocktails later at night. We asked the waitress, dressed in crisp white linen, what the most popular items were and quickly ordered one of each, adding on Ally Chow’s fried rice and two serves of dumplings.

The Kingfish ceviche arrived at our table first, and felt like art on a plate, with delicately placed Kingfish, topped with a crispy garnish of fried taro and micro herbs, paired with some of the most delicious sauce I ever tasted (it looks like an exclamation mark, which feels apt with just how delicious it was).

Despite the restaurant being almost empty, the food flowed slowly, so our tummies grumbled, and the clock ticked closer to school pick up time. I guess the general crowd is holiday makers, and people enjoy lazy Friday lunches, we were trying to fit in a lunch before school pick up, and between naps for Shane, so felt the pace was slower than we liked.

Our next meals were the bao, which was pillow-y soft and handmade, filled with tempura Moreton Bay Bug, which was a hands down winner, and best of the day. Next time we visit we’ll be getting ALL the bao, and sticking on that part of the menu. They do it so well, and it was super delicious.

Next we had Spanner Crab rice paper rolls, which we opted for crispy as per the waitress’ suggestion (you can have them fresh), and we wrapped them in the lettuce leaves and herbs and dipped them in the accompanying sauce. They were light, and refreshing with the party of herbs teamed with them.

We finished off our feast with dumplings, both Hargow (prawn dumplings), as well as soup dumplings. Lacey loved the Hargow (her dumpling of choice) we felt the soup dumplings weren’t our favourites, and probably wouldn’t order again.

The fried rice was a triumphant end to a long meal, a flavour bomb of delicious, comforting flavours that I’d happily order time and time again, next time I’d get a curry to go with it.

With it’s stunning decor, and Asian-inspired menu, it’s exciting to have Billy Chow in the neighbourhood, especially as somewhere to have cocktails with the girls at the end of a busy week (or to celebrate tired birthday boys!).


The Bill

Sashimi of kingfish, taro, spiced coconut, kalkalla, shiso: $23

Spanner crab rice paper rolls, nuoc cham, baby gem: $23

Bao, tempura moreton bay bug, XO kewpie, cauliflower leaf kimchi, dill (2 serves): $32

Har gow dumplings, mooloolaba prawns, pork, black vinegar, soy, chilli: $19

Pork soup dumplings, red vinegar: $12

Allys’ special fried rice, charsui pork, egg, shallot: $19

Hand made roti: $7

Total Cost: $135

We paid for all our own meals and drinks during our visit.