The bright and busy 160-seat restaurant is the fourth branch of the Thai street food phenomenon by Australian-born, Thai-obsessed David Thompson (following Long Chim Singapore, Perth and Sydney). Famous for the blast of chilli heat, the focus is on Thompson’s reinterpretation of Bangkok’s street food, tweaked for the high-profile hospitality context typical of Crown.

Techné Architecture + Interior Design and Schiavello Construction were tasked with transforming the existing space (the site of the former No.8 by John Lawson). Inspired by the patina of Bangkok’s streets, the fit-out has been designed to evolve with use and time. “The restaurant space was imagined as a reflection of the dynamic urban context of Bangkok street food,” says Techné Director, Nick Travers.

In order to achieve this, the pre-existing tenancy was stripped back to reveal its raw and robust qualities. This was complemented by a material palette that incorporates rich textural finishes such as robust mesh, layered grilles and lattices, adding softness to the rugged space. Screens at the entrance are reminiscent of the patterned pavers that line Bangkok’s streets, ushering in guests with a spirited reference to the cuisine’s provenance. Subtle unexpected bursts of colour in furniture, discreet surface treatments and artwork create playful, vibrant moments throughout.

The result is something unexpected, but that’s exactly the point according to Thompson. He’s done fine dining. Now he’s ready to bring diverse, authentic street food to a larger audience. “It needs just another layer of Long Chim-ness thrown onto it, to get the patina of the streets and the scuff of the gutter of Bangkok,” Thompson says.

 

PROJECT DETAILS
Location: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Area: 565m2
Duration: 16 Weeks
Project Type: Interior fit-out
Project Manager: Crown Melbourne
Architect/Designer: Techne Architecture + Interior Design
Engineer: Umow Lai
Completed: December 2016
Value: $3.6m