The head chef of Leonard’s, Prakasit Sammasit (AKA Noon), is about to take over the kitchen to bring you Hi Noon Thai Cafe—a home-style Thai menu straight outta the House of Love for one night only.
The idea for Hi Noon has been floating around for a while now, with co-owner Nick Stanton and Noon waiting for the right opportunity to switch things up in the kitchen. And while Leonard’s fans can relish in this one-off menu, Hi Noon also looks to raise awareness for the imperative role temporary visa holders—like Noon—play in Melbourne’s hospitality scene.
“We have Aussie’s, Thai, Vietnamese, Philippino’s, New Zealander's. A lot of the team are Temporary Visa holders so have no access to Job Keeper or Job Seeker Government support. If we aren't open and they can’t work then things can become pretty dicey pretty quick. We have been able to tread water during lockdown so have been able to support the guys as much as possible, but it hasn’t been easy” says Stanton.
Noon has been with the southside favourite since day dot, so you’ll no doubt be familiar with his work if you’ve ever eaten at Leonard’s. And while the cuisine changes track for the night, you can expect the dishes to be just as unapologetically tasty and comforting.
On the menu, you can expect a mix of classics along with Noon’s favourites; pork larb, green curry and egg noodles with crispy roast pork all make an appearance, and should all be considered for your order.
“I just love cooking Thai food,” says Noon. “The dream is to one day open my own place and do simple home-style Thai food, the kind I grew up with,'' says Noon.
While you wait for Noon to fulfil that dream, place your orders from Hi Noon Cafe on Wednesday 9 September. Orders can be made from 5pm, for pick up or delivery within 5km of South Yarra.