There's been plenty of whispers and finger-crossing for a while now, but finally it's official: Thai food maverick David Thompson will open Long Chim Sydney in mid-August on Angel Place.
This will be the first time in more than 15 years the Sydney-born chef and restaurateur has had a restaurant in his hometown, and follows on from the success of Long Chim Perth (which opened in January) and Long Chim Singapore, as well as Nahm, his flagship restaurant in Bangkok.
The new eatery, in a former storage basement underneath Martin Place, is big. It will seat 190 people across multiple levels, and feature an open kitchen, communal tables, bar seating and a variety of lounge, cocktail and dining alcoves. "We want to capture all the excitement and tastes of the streets of Bangkok," says Thompson.
The menu will feature many dishes that Thais "miss most when away from home", he says. Judging by the Perth menu, this might include a Chiang Mai-style larp with minced chicken, dried chilli and white and black pepper, or betel-leaf parcels filled with house-dried prawns, ginger and toasted coconut.
Kelly Ross of The Gentry has been charged with the design, and she's calling on both Thai and Australian artists to contribute artworks.
"Long Chim is intended to be fun," says Thompson. "Sanuk, as the Thais say, with food and drinks that everyone loves."
Long Chim, basement, 10-14 Martin Pl (entry Angel Pl), Sydney, NSW