One door shuts, Asia opens

Scott Bolles
Plans ... David Thompson.
Plans ... David Thompson. 

Expat Sydney chef David Thompson starts shooting a new TV series focused on Thai street food in January, and has plans for street-food venues in Asia.

Thompson, who shuts the award-winning Nahm restaurant in London on December 15, is part of a food wave with its sights set on the next project. Rozelle's celebrated Il Piave serves its last meal on December 22. Its owners, Vanessa and Robert Martin, are pushing north to Gladesville, where they'll open Mercato e Cucina - a grocer-deli-butcher-wine room-restaurant - at 297 Victoria Road in March.

Thompson, who will continue to operate Nahm in Bangkok, says he intends to open a street-food place or two in Asia with the boys who operate Bali's famous Ku De Ta. Their sights are on Hong Kong and Singapore. The chef believes London was ready for the authentic Thai food Nahm served, but ''EU import restrictions and Thai agricultural regulations weren't''. He argues it was impossible to maintain standards.

''In practice, this meant that we lost some 70 per cent of our ingredients over the past two years and those fruit and vegetables that did come through were depressingly tired and limited … Nahm closes, and there is a tear in the eye, but also a bit of a grin as I recall some of the characters and antics that came and went,'' he says.