Pho Nom chef Jerry Mai to open Melbourne laneway restaurant

Jerry Mai (right) with Annam business partner, Rani Doyle. Photography: James Morgan

Jerry Mai is gearing up to open her new Vietnamese restaurant and bar, Annam, in the next couple of months on Melbourne's Little Bourke Street.

Joining forces with Mai is friend and business partner Rani Doyle of The National Hotel, Richmond, Mai (Pho Nom Emporium and Collins Street).

Designed by architect Emlyn Olaver, Annam will feature exposed brick walls, large communal tables, reclaimed materials and neon signs to help communicate the fast-pace of a Vietnamese street market.

The venue itself takes its name from the eponymous region in central Vietnam that holds the country's cultural capital, Hue. And staying true to Mai's heritage, Annam will offer diners a energetic interpretation of modern Vietnamese food, with no small help from the onsite, charcoal oven.

Mai arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1984. The Annam menu will reflect her love for fresh, local Australian produce as well as Vietnamese recipes and culture. As with her other eateries establishments, the produce used in the Annam kitchen will come direct from growers and producers.

Annam is scheduled to open in August 2017 on Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.