This June, Acme head chef Mitch Orr will plate up his distinct pasta dishes for two nights at East London restaurant Lyle's. Orr is heading over as part of Lyle's Guest Series, a monthly international chef take over that has previously hosted, among others, Pasi Petanen of Sydney's now closed Café Paci pop up and ex-pat Australian chef James Henry of Belon Hong Kong.
"I want to give a real sense of what Acme is like in Sydney, since it'll be the first taste for a lot of people," says Orr.
Londoners and pining ex-pats alike can expect the classics: the pig's head macaroni with egg yolk, the baloney sandwich and the coconut rice-cream with white chocolate, although Orr is planning some new dishes too.
The Guest Series asks chefs to combine London's finest ingredients with something special from home, playing with Lyle's philosophy of using the best of local produce. Orr is set on bringing the South Australian producer LiraH's nebbiolo verjus to add a home-grown acidity to his meals, although the real translation test might be Acme's buzzing, laid-back atmosphere. "Lyle's is more pristine, quiet and precise than Acme," says Orr. "I mean, they're both quite minimal, three-flavours-on-a-plate, let-the-flavours-speak-for-themselves sort of places. No bullshit. But James is a much more mellow and proper dude, a real sensible English gentleman. I'm much more of an idiot, really."
Lyle's polite and formal tone matches their modern British menu, both of which are far removed from Acme's Italo-Asian fusions, blasting beats, and dimly lit tables. But don't expect Orr to curb his style to suit Lyle's quieter, more traditionally respectable mis en scene - it wouldn't be a true Acme takeover without a playlist to match.
"Most of all," Orr says, "I'm looking forward to playing some loud ignorant rap music."
Mitch Orr takes over Lyle's on Monday June 6 and Tuesday June 7. Tickets are on sale Monday May 23 from The Guest Series website.