Jerry Mai is St Cloud Eating House’s new culinary consultant. The powerhouse chef, known in recent years for her fast-casual spot Pho Nom, beer hall Bia Hoi and formerly of Annam, tells Broadsheet she has “a few things up her tattooed sleeves” in store for her new gig.
St Cloud, the Hawthorn East Vietnamese restaurant James Klapanis opened in 2015, has also recently recruited Angie Giannakodakis, who previously worked at The Press Club and co-owns Epocha, as general manager.
While both St Cloud and Mai are known for Vietnamese cuisine, Mai – whose father is Cambodian and whose parents ran restaurants in Cambodia – will also bring Cambodian flavours to the table.
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The food offering is focused on communal meals and the Street Food Vietnam author will bring family recipes like fried whole snapper with green mango salad, grilled rump cap with lettuce wraps, and pork belly with pineapple slaw (which is based on thit kho, a Vietnamese caramelised pork and egg dish) to St Cloud’s tables.
Other menu items Mai is excited about include lamb ribs with tamarind caramel; grilled scallops with a wild onion butter dip and nuoc mam; twice-cooked duck leg with Davidson’s plum caramel fish sauce; and beef cheek green curry.
To accompany Mai’s new menu, which is on offer now, the team has introduced lighter Asian beers from Beerlao, Bia Ha Noi and Saigon Beer. She’s also focusing on classic cocktails with a spiced twist including a makrut lime Margarita and a lemongrass Pina Colada.
As Mai says, “Buckle up!”