The industrial wilderness of York Way – between the redeveloping Kings Cross area and Caledonian Road – isn’t where you’d expect to find a fashionable dining room, but for first-time restaurant owner, Damon Bui, it made perfect sense. Housed in a former working man’s pub, the space has been given the overhaul by local design consultancy Kai, who pored over vintage photographs from Bui’s childhood, to tap into his roots as a close-knit Vietnamese family growing up in Australia. ‘We looked at textures from the nature in Australia and also Vietnam,’ says Michaela Reysenn, Managing Director at Kai. ‘We took inspiration from the layers of colours found in a eucalyptus tree bark.’ As a result, sharp, clean lines with a slight industrial edge have been softened with the use of copper and light timbers, while 70s-style airbricks – a material often used in Australia – are smartly used as room dividers. Like the interiors, the food is similarly nostalgic, with a series of traditional Vietnamese dishes with an Australian influence. Expect tasty fried chicken, classic pho options and some killer cocktails based on tea. ‘I see it as a way to honour both my parents, the great life they’ve provided for me and my sisters and the amazing food that mum cooked at home,’ says Bui