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Thursday, 19 September 2013

James' Bistro Fairfield Launch Event

At the James' Bistro launch event last night, it was a real buzz to see the corner of The Crescent and Smart Street, Fairfield abuzz.

Fairfield is located 29 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, and locals and those in the know are well aware this suburb - with a population of approximately 190,000 people, covering an area of 104 sq kilometres, and hosting 133 nationalities - is choc-filled of foodie gems.

On Wednesay night, around 700 people celebrated the launch of a newly refurbished locale - James' Bistro - which adjoins The Crescent Hotel (opposite Fairfield railway station - the oldest 'surviving' railway station, built in1856!)

It was BMWs (supplied by Trivett) lined up, and Ferraris and Lambourghinis also parked outside for good measure, throwing the spotlight on this fabulous new eatery with bite.

Says Tona Inthavong, one of the three partners in this new venture: "I want to see the area I grew up in grow even more."

Tona has been intrumental in doing this for the area in spades. At the helm of the hugely popular Green Peppercorn - which won the title of 2013 'Best New Restaurant in the 'Good Food Under $30 guide' - this man know his stuff.

Tona was born in Laos, and at age two he and his family fled the country where they lived in a refugee camp for five years. They were then settled into what is now known as the Villawood Detention Centre for five months, before moving to Cabramatta, squeezing the family of seven into a two bedroom apartment. They later moved to Prairiewood, and later still to Campbelltown.

Of James' Bistro, Tona says: "I want to bring that kinda Newtown and Paddington vibe to Fairfield."

The venue is named after the son of Tona's sister Ketty, who is also a partner in the venture, alongside their business partner 'Coke'.




On launch event night, everyone witnessed the passion Tona and his partners bring to all they do, with the hugely enthusiastic crowd cheering on the team, and Tona's lovely wife Sarah Yousif partnering him on yet another huge journey, as well as Coke's wife Karla.

The menu served to eager guests on the night was beyond impressive, and utterly delicious (and PS: every server was well mannered and obliging, despite the madness of the numbers in the room. But that's so Fairfield).

Six savoury canapés and four desserts were served, and included: smoked ocean trout roulette with crème fraîche and dill cucumber, salt and pepper tofu soy chilli dipping sauce, vide ocean trout with celeriac puree and wasabi fluid gel with flying fish roe, seared steak, caramelised onion puree with beef glaze, and lemon snow mint jelly.

A fabulous mural was created by a local tattoo artist from Fairfield, with Tona planning to adorn the walls of the venue with more emerging-artist work.

And, because Tona and co. do not do things by halves, they also opened Tona's Coffee Shop next door, serving up delicious Toby’s Estate caffeine concoctions. They are planning special coffee tasting nights in the near future.

That venue took - gulp - three days to renovate. These guys are mad! The job they did is impressive (see below). Meanwhile, the renos for James' Bistro was a comparatively leisurely two months' worth of work.





At the launch, Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone spoke, as did local businessman Vince Movizio, and president of the Australian Hotel Association Scott Leach (who donated a hefty amount to the charity of the night, 'Rise Above Dementia', an arm of the brilliant Alzheimer's Australia).

Patrick Tran is the force behind 'Rise Above Dementia', and this young man - also a dementia nurse - is beyond inspiring. That night over $15,000 was raised for his foundation.

MCed by the very fabulous food blogger Thang Ngo from Noodlies, a poignant moment was when Erin - whose mother died from dementia only three weeks ago and was cared for by Patrick - told of the organisation's work.

Other special guests included Jean-Michel Raynaud executive pastry and celebrity chef from Baroque café.
Jean-Michel Raynaud executive pastry and celebrity chef from Baroque café, Tona, and guests


Candles provided a beautiful ambience on entering the event - from Heavenly Scent - and guests went home woth goodie bags, a full belly, and bragging rights to being at one of the best events the city has seen.



Here are more fabulous social photos from the James' Bistro launch evening (all photos from L.E.E. photos):








Photo by Josie's Juice
Yes. That guy. Ashur Shimon (Abdul Azar from 'Swift & Shift Couriers')





Tona and his parents


Little James - after whom the bistro is named (and Tona's nephew)








Tona, his sister Ketty, and family

Erin and Patrick embrace
For more on James' Bistro, and to follow them on Facebook, click here.

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