The core menu items will remain. Heck, they'll even stay in the same suburb. So as popular Fortitude Valley restaurant Longtime prepares to relocate to the Ada Lane dining precinct and give it a new name – Same Same – its owners are confident the street-food good times of their South-East Asian restaurant will live on.
"There's lots of diversity on Ada Lane and we're so happy with owners Cal and Michael Malouf's vision for the precinct," says Tyron Simon, who co-owns Same Same with Frank Li. "We're proud to be included."
Ada Lane, which forms part of The Calile Hotel's sprawling complex, is already home to Gelato Messina and bakery Jocelyn's Provisions. A wood-fire grill restaurant, and a new offering from the Hellenika at The Calile, are due to move in by the year's end.
Same Same will feel lighter and brighter than its moodily lit predecessor. Renders show a warm-neutral colour scheme with touches of American oak. Longtime's head chef Ben Bertei will lead the open kitchen: signatures such as the lobster curry will resurface, and a new charcoal fire pit means old favourites may pick up a lick of smoke. "The chicken in the banana blossom salad, for example, will be marinated in coconut milk then grilled to give it extra depth of flavour," says Simon. "We want to include those smoky Thai flavours throughout the menu."
New stuff? There may be sour barbecued pork with sweet tamarind and green mango, say, or cold-smoked ocean trout, or perhaps grilled chicken with nam jim jaew, a spicy and sour dipping sauce from Thailand's Isaan region. And unlike Longtime, the restaurant will be open for lunch.
Bonus – there'll be no more back-alley queuing for a table. Diners-in-waiting can retreat upstairs to Los (it stands for "Land of Smiles"), a 45-seater bar that's open until midnight, four nights a week. Expect Thai-inspired cocktails and a wine list that's big on bright, acidic drops. "We'll be working with sustainable growers – 80 per cent of our list is biological or organic wines," says Simon.
It's full speed ahead for Simon and Li. Longtime will hold its final service on 2 November before relaunching as a function space. And the much-delayed opening of 22 Agnes, the pair's project with former Gerard's Bistro executive chef Ben Williamson, is now scheduled for a February 2020 reveal.
"We're taking on a lot at a busy time," says Simon. "But we love the team we're working with and we're so excited."
Same Same is slated to open on November 6 at Shop AM3, Ada Lane, The Calile Hotel, FortitudeValley, Qld, (07) 3160 3123. Open Tue–Sun from 5.30pm for dinner, and Fri–Sun from 12pm for lunch (lunch service commences on Fri 15 Nov).
Los is slated to open on Tue 5 November. After that, it will be open from Thu–Sun, 3pm–midnight.