For as long as he can remember, Jimmy Shu has had a love affair with good food.

Jimmy grew up in Sri Lanka. Some of his earliest memories are of going with his father to the local markets in Colombo to buy fresh produce for the family's Chinese restaurant. The power of those memories still conjure up excitement; the smells, the noises, the variety, the colours ... the vibrancy of Asian food markets.

In 1974, loaded with enthusiasm but not much money, Jimmy migrated to Australia. He settled in Melbourne where he worked hard and in 1980, he had eventually saved enough to become a partner in Shakahari restaurant. He went on to establish two more landmark Melbourne Restaurants – The Isthmus of Kra and Monsoon. All three are consistent award winners that firmly established Jimmy’s reputation for quality and innovation and continue to operate today.

Jimmy also opened Kuala Lumpur’s first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant ‘Edo Sushi’ on Jalan Sultan Ismail in 1994, followed by an elegant Italian and Thai bistro, ‘Zigis’ in Jalan Kapong Pandan, in 1995.

In 1991 Jimmy came to Darwin on a search for the elusive Barramundi. He wasn't trying to catch one, but rather to find a supplier of better quality barramundi for The Isthmus of Kra.

While in town he was delighted to find a small but expanding network of producers of all manner of South East Asian fruits, herbs and vegetables. Better still, a quick survey of the "competition" revealed a golden opportunity. Jimmy was hooked and within 3 months had decided to sell his interests in Melbourne and Malaysia to concentrate on business in the Northern Territory. Hanuman Darwin opened its doors for the first time in March 1992. This was later followed by Hanuman Alice Springs in 2001.

Today, when he's in Darwin, Jimmy can still be found at Rapid Creek markets first thing on a Sunday morning. He's prodding, sniffing, tasting and chatting with the stallholders. Jimmy's on a mission - freshness and quality! His support has played its part in the development of the Asian market garden scene in the Top End. He is always there to advise and encourage producers, and to promote their produce.

Hanuman dishes reflect Jimmy's love of Thai, Nonya and Tamil flavours. He travels extensively through Thailand, Malaysia and other countries in south and east Asia. He finds inspiration for all aspects of his restaurants on these travels - new tastes, different ingredients, antique decor items, colour schemes ... the list goes on. His travels are crucial to his striving for authenticity. Master chefs from India, Thailand and Malaysia work in the restaurants with Jimmy's sponsorship and support.

Jimmy's strive for authentic flavours has in no way dampened his enthusiasm for new ideas. His innovative Asian food and wine-matching program has drawn praise from all quarters.

He continues a hands-on mentoring, cooking and hosting role in his restaurants and is constantly in demand as the guest for master class programs and hospitality colleges all over the world.