Chef Bjorn Shen of Middle Eastern restaurant Artichoke is opening a new restaurant in Ann Siang Road.
Bird Bird House of Thai Chicken opens in November, taking over the space vacated by French seafood restaurant Le Petit Navire.
The new 40-seat restaurant will serve its signature Thai grilled chicken as well as what Shen calls The Schwarzenegger of Som Tum - an oversized platter of green papaya salad with crispy chicken skin, salted eggs, fried anchovies, fermented rice vermicelli and fish crackers.
This new project came out of the Bird Bird pop-ups that Shen had done. It was at the Kranji Countryside Farmers' Market last month as well as at casual food festival Savour in March.
Diners at the restaurant will see some familiar items from the pop- ups, including fried chicken skin sundae and Thai milk tea slushies.
The concept for the place is "sloppy Thai chicken-centric eatery", Shen, 33, says.
"The place will be unapologetically and unstylishly retro. Think of toilet roll on the table and intentional spelling mistakes on the menu.
"You'll have melamine plates that won't break even when they are dropped and chances are, you'll be eating with mismatched chopsticks."
The average bill for lunch will be $10 to $15 a person, while dinner will be more expensive. He estimates about $30 to $40 for food.
With many cocktail bars in the area, he will be serving alcoholic slushies instead.
This year, he also started another brand, called Neh Neh Pop, which sells double-coated ice-cream popsicles. They are sold at Artichoke's take-away kiosk in Middle Road, where his bakery Overdoughs used to be.
While he notes that the hype around the Ann Siang area has quietened recently, the chef says: "I'm targeting the lunch crowd and am filling the gap with something new. I'm confident of bringing in a destination crowd to the area."
Bird Bird House of Thai Chicken opens at 18 Ann Siang Road in November. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/birdbirdsg
This article was first published on July 13, 2015.
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