Cue tears of joy: Sydney is about to be reunited with Moon Park's fried chicken. After closing their esteemed modern Korean restaurant in September last year, Moon Park co-owners Ned Brooks, Ben Sears and Eun Hee An are getting the gang back together. And this time, they'll be open all day. That's right, folks: Moon Park is back under a new name - and it's back with breakfast.
Paper Bird is an all-day, east Asian eatery that will take over the Bourke Street Bakery site in Potts Point in July.
Brooks says the menu will be similar to Moon Park's, "except the geographic catchment has been widened to include aspects of Japanese and Chinese cuisine, rather than strictly Korean flavours".
Chefs Sears and Hee An are back in the kitchen, and Brooks will resume his role on the floor. You can expect around 10 options at breakfast: avocado and furikake on toast, say, or steamed breakfast bao with ham and egg, and sides such as Singapore-style barbecue-bacon and maple-glazed eel with your eggs, along with Single O batch brew and fresh juices.
After midday, the menu doubles in size and will run until close. There'll be tofu and enoki soup with sesame, raw kingfish with crab and miso, and a dolsot bap with rice, clams, zucchini, nori and chives. "It's a hot earthenware bowl," says Brooks. "Everything is cooked in there together until the rice gets a bit sticky and burnt."
Paper Bird will seat 60 inside, and another 15 outside. Minimal changes will be made to the fit-out: the bakery's timber banquette and mirrors in the back room will stay, while the two zinc cabinets, currently filled with pastries, will transform into a bar that seats eight. "We like a nice room and it has to be comfortable, but the food and the drink are what's most important to us," says Brooks.
Wine will play a crucial role, just as it did at Moon Park. Brooks, who also wholesales wine with Brooks & Amos, has put together an "eclectic but thoughtful" list running to around 85 labels (with close to 20 available by the glass) that favours natural whites and light- to medium-bodied reds. "We'll have around a dozen sakes and, of course, the ubiquitous OB lager, too," he says.
The team want Paper Bird to be relaxed and informal. "Originally, Moon Park was intended to be a casual neighbourhood restaurant, but it became a different beast," says Brooks. "We want to go back to what our original intentions were - accessible and friendly, the kind of place where people can go three times a week."
With an eight-year lease signed in Potts Point, the chance of return visits is high. "The name of the game is hospitality and I think that message gets forgotten sometimes," says Brooks. "We're here for the long run."
Paper Bird, 46a Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW; breakfast Mon-Fri 7am-11.45am, Sat 8am-2pm; all-day menu Mon-Sat midday-11pm, Sun 8am-3pm