In addition to my anticipation over the upcoming release of Lucky Peach, the iPad app and print journal from chef David Chang and writer Peter Meehan, I’m excited to read more about Chang’s first expansion projects outside of New York. After skyrocketing to recognition with his five signature restaurants in Manhattan, the award-winning chef is in the planning stages for new locations in both Sydney and Toronto over the next two years.
The first location set to open will be a 30-seat eatery Down Under, named Seiobo, which will be located at the at Sydney’s Star City casino. In an article last fall, the Sydney Morning Herald noted that while Chang was looking at initially opening his next location in Los Angeles (and there were quite a lot of rumors about Las Vegas as well), he became enthralled with the Sydney food scene.
”I’ve just fallen in love with Australia. I’m just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne… People are excited about food in Australia. It’s fresh and it’s energetic.”
According to Wednesday’s article in the Toronto Star, the chef’s second expansion will be to the north, with two restaurants and a bar in Toronto, Canada, where chefs like Scott Conant have already started to set up shop. The early details note that the new Momofuku location will be housed next to the Shangri-La Toronto hotel, with the first floor “some type of rendition of Noodle Bar”, a bar on the second floor, and another restaurant – Momofuku Daisho – on the third floor.
It seems a change of city scenery may be exactly what the well-respected chef was looking for.
“In New York, we’re always confined with spaces,” explained Chang. “Our restaurants are difficult to navigate as cooks and to operate. We fight against the buildings we run in New York.”
“I’m really excited about growing into this space…And I want to be very respectful to the food community that’s already there.”
The new Sydney location is scheduled to open this fall, with the Toronto spaces launching in early 2012.
*Photo credit: Jennifer Heigl / Daily Blender