Bai Long Store is a riddle. Physically and figuratively it’s an abstraction revealed to guests over the course (or courses) of a visit. It’s ambitious, at times theatrical, modish and from good stock. And it issues a challenge to its neighbours along the ailing Hutt Street strip.
Conceived by the minds behind Gin Long Canteen, Concubine and MYTH and raised by Studio –Gram, it’s a restaurant serving modern Asian cuisine. The focus is on Chinese, Korean and Japanese dishes and doors are open from morning until night.
Broadsheet spoke with MYTH, which was on board from early in the conceptual development stage, about the project. “bai long means ‘white dragon’,” we’re told. “We wanted to push an abstraction of this. White is absence of colour – leading us to think conceptually about the idea of an invisible dragon." This dragon motif subtly infiltrates the entire venue – MYTH and Studio –Gram have woven references to it throughout the decor, graphics, even the building itself. Certain design features jump out immediately – timber shingles, a flame motif – while other details are more muted (we’ll leave it to you discover them all).
Head chef Jae Hyun-Park (ex-Bistro K, Nobu) was attracted to Adelaide to head up the kitchen and create a singular vision. The breakfast and brunch menus are primarily vegetarian, with the option to add protein. The inspired mix of East and West includes confit mushroom with poached egg, sesame puree and a soft brick of semolina; roti Benedict with miso eggplant and tom yum hollandaise; and congee with soy egg, green beans and Chinese doughnut.
At dinner there are two completely separate lists; vegetarian and not. You might get eggplant with Guinness batter and Sichuan caramel; or Portabello mushroom with radish, tofu and soy chilli. Protein-focused options include sashimi, octopus, pork belly, crispy chicken and beef tartare.
The drinks list features six teas sourced exclusively by Master Foo, a traditional Taiwanese tea master. One of the partners (who wishes to remain unnamed) met Master Foo through a friend and later travelled to the mountains of Taiwan to study under him, learning the ceremonial service rituals enacted at Bai Long Store.
The “store” element is Bai Long’s homemade and private-label products: tea, dry noodles, granola, takeaway snacks and more. There's also a grab-and-go counter, stocked for lunch service.
Bai Long Store
80 Hutt Street, Adelaide
(08) 8232 5484
Sun to Thu 8am–8pm
Fri & Sat 8am–10pm