Since Mr Liquor's Dirty Italian Disco at the Tennyson Hotel drive-through bottle-o closed in April, the people of Sydney have been waiting and watching for news of the next pop-up. As of today, we – at long last – can bring you good tidings.
Merivale, the hospitality powerhouse that, among many other things, owns the Tennyson, has announced that it'll be teaming up with Rushcutters Bay restaurant ACME to give you Kingdom of Rice: a pop-up dedicated to Cambodian street food.
As of early October, you'll be able to feast on share plates loaded with seafood, meat and vegetables, with traditional flavours, such as kreung (a paste of lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, galangal, garlic and chilli) and prahok (crushed, salted and fermented fish paste). Expect, too, handfuls of fresh herbs, lime and Kampot pepper.
Like last time, you'll be selecting and collecting your own drinks from the Tennyson's bottle-o fridge. But, unlike last time, you can count on a selection of Cambodian and Asian beers, as well as cocktails inspired by Southeast Asia and natural wines.
As anyone who's eaten on the Cambodian streets would testify, the atmosphere is crucial to the experience. With this in mind, the pop-up will take on the feel of a mini-Phnom Penh laneway, with miscellaneous furniture and massive communal tables. "It's a real sensory overload," says ACME co-owner and chef Mitch Orr in a statement. "There's laughter and noise of people everywhere, the smell of food cooked over charcoal, colours of fresh tropical fruits and an amazing sense of community."
Orr will be working with head chef Lillia McCabe, who has just returned from a stint at Singapore's Blackwattle, alongside ACME co-owner and maître d' Cam Fairbairn and head of front-of-house Sophia Thach. Thach is of Cambodian descent and spent time living in working in Phnom Penh, and will be bringing her first-hand experience of the region to the pop-up.
Kingdom of Rice will open in early October at the Tennyson Hotel, 952 Botany Road, Mascot.