Merivale’s collaboration with ACME chef Mitch Orr is set to launch on Friday 12 October.

Cambodian eatery Kingdom of Rice will pop up at the Tennyson Hotel for six months, with head chef Lillia McCabe running the kitchen with Orr.

ACME’s front of house manager Sophia Thach is a key part of the pop-up, providing inspiration for the concept.

“We have always been fascinated by South-East Asia and Sophia has cooked so many incredible dishes over the years that really introduced us to Khmer cuisine,” says Orr. “The ingredients used ignite all the senses, not just taste.”

The share-style menu comprises six categories including snacks, skewers, grill, wok, noodles and rice.

Snack options range from dried fish and watermelon to crudities with a dip made with fermented fish paste, pork belly and kreung.

Other menu items include skewers with pickled green papaya salad and baguette, lemongrass beef, kreung-stuffed chicken wings and calamari with pork fat and scallions.

“We want to explore the fundamentals of Cambodian cooking, showcasing classic flavours across wok and grill dishes,” says McCabe. “It is loud, colourful and a lot of fun, and we can’t wait for people to get stuck in.”

South-East Asian fruits will be on show for dessert, including grilled banana, sticky rice and caramel along with pandan coconut waffle and coconut sorbet.

The Tennyson’s self-serve bottle shop remains, with the booze offering revolving around natural wine and Asian beers.

Group bars manager Sam Egerton has designed the cocktail list, taking inspiration from classic Cambodian flavours and drinks. Options include fresh whole coconut rum, pandan piña colada and Hennessy and Jasmine tea.

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