Merivale is partnering with chef Mitch Orr and the team behind Sydney inner-East eatery, ACME, to launch a new pop-up concept at the Tennyson Hotel in Mascot, Sydney.
Located in the drive-in bottle shop that was recently home to Dirty Italian Disco, Kingdom of Rice will launch in October, serving Cambodian street food for a six-month spell.
Already known for their Italian cuisine with Asian influences, chef Mitch Orr and frontman Cam Fairbarin will bring Cambodia’s Khmer cuisine to the Tennyson. Working closely with head chef Lillia McCabe (from Singapore’s Blackwattle) and Sophia Thach, leading the front of house team. The concept has been inspired by Thach’s Khmer heritage.
Featuring the flavours of kreung (a paste made with lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, galangal, garlic and chilli), prahok (crushed, salted and fermented fish paste), fresh herbs, lime and Kampot pepper, the kitchen will serve sharing-plates seafood, meat and vegetables cooked over charcoal or wok-fried.
“The Tennyson drive-in provides the perfect setting to share our passion for Cambodian food and culture to the hungry people”, says Orr. “We’re excited to have the opportunity with Merivale to serve this style of cuisine, introducing diners to food that is unique, yet approachable and something they had no idea they craved until now”.
The interior will feature mismatched furniture, big communal tables and open roller doors to mimic the street side shop fronts of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
The self-serve bottle shop will remain but include more Cambodian and Asian beers, natural wines and Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails. Guests will still be able to buy their own alcohol from the walk-in fridge, before dining in the drive-way eatery.
Kingdom of Rice is Merivale’s second collaboration at the Tennyson Hotel, following the American-style Italian eatery, Dirty Italian Disco, with Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman. Merivale acquired The Tennyson Hotel in December 2016. The pub itself will continue to operate as normal with no immediate plans for a major refurbishment.