Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Celebrated Melbourne-based chef Khanh Nguyen has confirmed he has stepped away from Sunda, Aru, and Antara.

The sudden announcement came on Sunday, where it was revealed the executive chef had worked his last service the previous day.

Nguyen shared the news on Instagram writing: “I’m feeling all sorts of mixed emotions knowing what I’m about to say may come as a shock.

“It is with a heavy heart as I announce my difficult decision to bid farewell to Sunda, Aru and Antara.

“As I close this chapter, I am eager to script the unwritten pages that lie ahead.

The post continued with Nguyen thanking his colleagues both past and present, followed by a quote from Joseph Campbell which reads, ‘Sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to find the life that’s waiting for you’.

There’s no word on why the chef has departed the venue, nor what his next role will be, but The Age reports his departure has been discussed since the beginning of the year.

Nguyen opened South-East Asian fine diner Sunda in 2018 followed by Aru in 2021. Both restaurants are owned by Adipoetra Halim, who also runs The Hotel Windsor.

The chef was also playing a key role at The Windsor Group’s upcoming all-day bakery and brasserie Antara 128, which is set to open later this year.

Aru confirmed current head chef Nico Koevoets has now been appointed executive chef, while it’s reported Marcus Dimabuyo will run the kitchen at Sunda.