Be careful what you wish for. For the past year, chef Jerry Mai has been juggling a couple of potential projects when both suddenly took shape.
She's teamed up with front-of-house veteran Peter Capurso (MoVida, Taxi Dining Room, Mr Wolf) on eatery Susie Wong, which they hope to open in the next couple of weeks.
Daniel Sullivan (Red Spice Road, Dan Hong's Lotus and Miss G) will head the kitchen, serving up a mixture of dumplings, curries, grills and noodles based on good ingredients.
In mid-April, Mai plans to open Pho Nom with brother David in Lonsdale Street's Emporium development. It's a project close to Mai's heart – she'll be cooking three kinds of pho (beef, chicken and vegetarian) using the family recipes and ingredients such as Warialda beef, and expects her mum to come in occasionally to poke her head in the stockpots.
"She still tells me I'm not cutting things up properly," says Mai, who has worked alongside David Thompson at Nahm in London, and at places like Dandelion, Gingerboy and Hanoi Hannah.
Also on the Pho Nom menu will be rice-paper rolls with traditional but seldom-seen fillings and banh mi with house-made mayo and rustic Vietnamese-style pâté.
Susie Wong, 12 Chapel Street, Windsor