It hasn’t even been three months. Despite running a good trade, with an innovative menu and a loyal following, Ms Murray is closing. The building owners are selling the site and the cafe has to move out. “This is just as we were starting to get really excited about what we were doing. We were going to move into dinner service but then we got the news,” says Ms Murray’s co-owner Narada Kudinar. “It’s quite a bruise to your ego. We’ve put a lot of heart and soul into that shop.”
On the last two days of the cafe’s operation (June 25 and 26) it’ll host a five-course degustation-style banquet of some deluxe versions of the cafe’s best dishes, as well as the ideas the team didn’t have time to introduce and some teasers for a future project. “We thought, let’s not just sadly close the shop. Let’s do something special,” says Kudinar. “I know people are shying away from degustations in restaurants, but for me a degustation is the most special meal. In food heaven you’re probably going to have a choice of two meals: a home-style special dish and then some fuck-off degustation so you can have as many flavours as you can.”
The future project the degustation menu will tease is Yan, a Wolli Creek restaurant that Kudinar and business partner Raymond Lim have been working on in secret for six months. “We originally wanted to open a restaurant but we didn’t have the capital. We thought a cafe would be a good stepping stone for us,” says Kudinar. Kudinar says Yan, named after the Chinese word for smoke, will be a casual neighbourhood restaurant that honours his and Lim’s Asian heritage. Lim, who has a restaurant background (ex–Attica and Les Amis), will be in charge of the kitchen. We don’t know what the menu will look like yet but Kudinar hints at smoked char siu and says they want to use smoke as a vessel for cooking.
The final Ms Murray degustations will be $38 for five courses and two drinks. Bookings can be made for 9am to 2pm on June 25 or 26 at firstname.lastname@example.org.