The two-year wait for a new tenant at the former site of Arun Thai in Potts Point is over, with the Chinta Ria crew sliding in.
But this move has created a fresh mystery over the future of the original Chinta at Cockle Bay and its signature giant Buddha.
Chinta Ria owner Simon Goh confirmed he'll open Chinta Always in the Macleay Street site where Arun Thai traded for 18 years.
Goh will renew his working relationship with Wayne Finschi, who lists the Stokehouse in Melbourne on his design CV. The large space will feature a ''laneway'' component and a bar, with a separate operator.
"The crossing out the front of the restaurant reminds me of The Beatles' Abbey Road cover," says Goh. "Potts Point is a wonderful village, we'll cook modern Malaysian comfort food," he says.
However, the future of his original Sydney Chinta at Cockle Bay is uncertain with the lease expiring in October.
"Unless we can come to agreement it looks like I'll have to pack up the Buddha and cage it until I can find somewhere to reopen it," he says.
With the Barangaroo development under construction, the area won't be short of options.