Anyone that has worked in a professional kitchen knows that too many cooks can lead to chaos, so when Gibb, Tyler and Lek of Paddington Social started searching for their dream location for their all-in-one neighbourhood hangout, one of the key requirements was space. In what can best be described as a pre-ordained aligning of stars and fortunes, the trio came across the perfect venue early in their search – the former home of Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta on Given Terrace. The tenancy’s previous life as a split concept meant that the venue boasted two kitchens on site – a fortuitous windfall that perfectly suited the trio’s needs. Over a bustling flurry of DIY renovations (which included the removal of Pizzeria Violetta’s sizeable pizza oven), Paddington Social started to take shape. Sichuan Bang Bang’s darker palette was replaced by a more rustic homely and open aesthetic, heroed by the street-facing window seating, white-tiled bar and minimalist furniture inside and out. One kitchen has been repurposed into a bakery, while the other has been given over to the tabled fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Paddington Social’s culinary offering kicks off early with baked treats and pastries fresh from Gibb’s bakery. The cabinet is packed with an assortment of sweet and savoury curiosities made from scratch, ranging from baklava croissants, white chocolate and macadamia muffins and Nutella-filled brioche buns, to truffle chicken and mushroom pies, sandwiches, and fruit tarts. Running concurrently with the bakery is Paddington Social’s breakfast and brunch service, overseen by Tyler. The all-day brekkie menu features some elevated classics such as butterfly pea flower coconut, chia and oat porridge, scotched egg wrapped in chorizo mince, eggs benedict with Ink Gin-cured salmon, and one of Gibb’s freshly baked croissants stuffed with double-smoked bacon, melted provolone cheese, relish and mayo. Later in the day, Tyler’s menu pivots to dish up vegan jackfruit burgers, porchetta with potato puree, lightly crumbed calamari and Black Onyx flank steak. Drinks include coffee from Campos, teas and juices.
The final component of Paddington Social’s comprehensive dining arrangement is Lek’s Pop-up Thai Kitchen, a post-sunset dinner offering that showcases a modernised take on simple, everyday Thai food. Diners are treated to a colourful and fragrant selection of dishes, from wok-fried meals, curries and soups, noodle and rice dishes, salads and vegan-friendly eats. Worth particular mention is Lek’s one-plate wonders – a concise list of five dishes perfect for solo time-poor diners or those curious to try some of Lek’s best-of recipes. The likes of padt paak radht khao (wok-fried vegetables with tofu and mushroom sauce), khao kana mhu grob (crispy pork belly with Chinese kale), and khao grapao gai sup (minced chicken breast with chilli and basil) are well-priced tempters for the indecisive eaters. Paddington Social’s drinks offering also shifts at night, with Singha beer on tap and a clutch of four white and four red wines on offer, each selected to complement Lek’s Thai fare.
Paddington Social is now open to the public. Operating hours and contact details can be found in the Stumble Guide.