We’re talking today with Simon Hall, owner and manager of hatted Collingwood restaurant Easy Tiger, about Tinder, the greatness of pubs, and marriage proposals at Table #3.
You’ve been awarded a number of hats now, the maintenance of that, do you feel the pressure?
Totally, always because you never quite know. Fine dining around here has changed so much, we don’t know how people will perceive us.
Is it evolve or die for you? Do you want to stay on that level? Maintaining what you do stay on that level?
It’s interesting, I mean I don’t evolve, but there are four of us and we have some great conversations as business partners have. I’ve had some wacky ideas about using the backyard, which is covered over and we have a back entry, and it’s where our cool room type thing is and it’s a bit dodgy but you could really have fun having people venture off into the back to the bar
When venue owners stop thinking about crazy ideas like that, is that when they stop?
Yeah, I reckon, I was an actor by training. I went for the secure route going with a restaurant
Possibly the most preposterous thing I have ever heard.
I know, now I’ve realised. But you know, it’s the whole thing about being creative and constantly challenging yourself. We do a thing here every night, because we are closed more than we are open, we do a table display in the window and one of the staff has to do it and change it, it’s the idea that people can walk past at 8am every morning and be entertained by the window and that’s the creativity that hopefully shines through.
I want to ask some stupid questions
Which is the ideal Tinder table?
It’s definitely Table 3, exceptional Tinder table. If I were Tindering I would also be partial to #21 next to the fire under a blossom tree, it’s all kinda pinky, and it’s really romantic.
The art is awesome, how recent is that?
This went up just before we opened. Tai Shaith is an amazing artist, she actually went into labour 8 hrs after standing on the scaffolding painting it, as a result, we didn’t get the rest until a bit later on.
What’s your local like?
My local pub is the North Fitzroy Arms, daggy daggy pub. Percy from Percy’s Bar is there now, it feels like a Melbourne Pub
That’s a Melbourne thing, you take people from Sydney to The Napier, Labour in Vain etc and go where do you go for this experience and they just go, ‘we don’t have this,’ which is a beautiful thing about Melbourne
I’ve noticed that a few things are changing unfortunately. They’re ripping the guts out of beautiful old pubs, they’re doing nice refurbishments but it’s just not the same.
No, it’s not the same, but how would build a venue like that today?
You’d need goldrush money.
Have you got any anecdotes about great/awkward dining stories, I’m looking for a marriage proposal turn down?
We’ve had surprisingly few bad luck stories. I’ve witnessed three proposals actually
Does everyone cheer?
For one guy, amazingly enough, my accountant. He did it at table three, the Tinder table, just over there and it was a done deal.
Biggest selling dish
Coconut Braised BBQ Beef – it gets salted for a day with soy sauce
How would you describe the venue
Celebration dining. Thai in the style of David Thompson, all done by white guys – I wanted to call it Farang!
Where? 96 Smith St, Collingwood.
When? Wed-Thurs 6pm-midnight, Fri-Sat noon-midnight, Sun 6pm-midnight
Deets? 9417 2373, @easytigersmith