t seems Smith Street is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s most evolving food strips. With new bars and restaurants opening up regularly, the newest member, Easy Tiger, is a welcome addition.
Chef and owner, Jarrod Hudson, has cooked at several restaurants previously, including Oceanic Thai in Clovelly and Dragon Fly in Surry Hills (both in NSW), before heading south to Innocent Bystander in Healesville, where he has been executive chef for the past four years. And now he is returning to Asian flavours at his new venture in Melbourne. “The cuisine is a modern interpretation of Thai…like Longrain,” Hudson says.
With opening night pending for Thursday, the restaurant interior has just been completed, seating 36 in the front room, and an outside covered half-deck area seating 40. There is also a private dining room upstairs for 18.
The fit-out includes a banquette in the front window, rope lighting, and soft wood tables and cabinets. To cater for the tight space, there are recess boxes for side plates, and doors into the walls for cutlery so that the waiter’s stations are hidden.
“Tai Snaith has made some art for the walls too. There is currently one piece with more to come. It’s like a full sleeve tattoo, adding pieces to it when she can,” Hudson notes. Starting with a fish, the work includes mystical creatures that also feature on Easy Tiger’s business cards and menus.
96 Smith Street, Collingwood
Fri-Sat (lunch) midday-3pm
Wed-Sun (dinner) 6pm-midnight