Thai-inspired Easy Tiger in Collingwood is calling it a day. The hatted restaurant, a shining light on the Smith Street strip since it opened in 2010, will close on June 16.
Simon Hall says since opening, he and fellow owners Jarrod Hudson and Suzanne Tyzack have started families and embarked on other projects (Hall has MajorMajor cafe at 5 Smith Street and Hudson and Tyzack are at Giant Steps in Healesville), which have divided their attention.
"One of the things that's happened on this street is that the finer dining places that were here when we started, like Gigibaba and Huxtable, aren't here any more," he says. "It's become a bit more casual.
"We decided it was time to pull the pin and go out on our own terms."
The good news for locals is that chef Kun Fu, of nearby Bowl Bowl Dumpling, is taking over the business, serving inexpensive laksa, rice noodle and hot pot dishes, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and turning the rear courtyard into a beer garden.
Even better news for Easy Tiger fans is that until it closes, the kitchen will serve up the greatest hits of the past six years.
That heralds the return of fiery jungle curry of chicken with Thai eggplant and snake beans, peanut-heavy Penang vegetable curry and ma hor, sticky bite-sized pork and prawn balls on pineapple plinths.