Indian-born chef and restaurateur, Jessi Singh, is returning to Melbourne after a successful 3 ½ year stint in the USA to relaunch his former restaurant Horn Please in Fitzroy North.
Singh was responsible for three highly acclaimed Melbourne restaurants, Dhaba at the Mill, Horn Please and Babu Ji before selling up and taking his playful signature approach to Indian dining over to New York in December 2014. He opened Babu Ji NYC in the East Village which quickly became known for its eclectic Indian cuisine, hip atmosphere and inexpensive menu, receiving high praise from The New York Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Infatuation and Zagat Guide amongst others. Most recently, Singh opened the doors to his new restaurant, wine bar and bottle shop, Bibi Ji in Santa Barbara, California in partnership with wine expert and sommelier Rajat Parr in early 2018.
“We were always committed to coming back home to Australia,” says Singh on his decision to relocate to Melbourne. “My kids were born in Melbourne and this is where I started my restaurant career. Even though we’ve had high success and a thrilling experience in the USA, we miss home and the Australian style of hospitality.”
Now back on Australian soil, Singh is breathing new life into his old restaurant, Horn Please as the restaurant’s new Executive Chef following a full refurbishment and menu refresh. Horn Please, which was sold to Amar and Raj Singh in 2015 following Singh’s move to New York, will officially reopen on Monday 9 July after a one week transformation.
The Indian canteen’s decor will maintain the fun and bubbly atmosphere of Singh’s other restaurants, while bringing to life the concept behind the restaurant’s name, Horn Please. A local artist will replace the current light walls and Indian studio portraits with brightly coloured murals that showcase the popular hand painted Horn Please slogans that decorate the back of vehicles across India.
Singh will put his fresh stamp on the menu, choosing to focus on the style of Indian street food which has proved incredibly popular at the restaurant to date. Hero dishes will include a famous chilli chicken that can be found at truck stops around India, an Indian and Chinese style dim sum, blue swimmer crab croquettes with mint & coriander chutney, and an onion or cauliflower kulcha naan pizza.
Similar to Singh’s signature style, the menu will continue to celebrate fresh and classic Indian flavours and ingredients with a unique and approachable twist. “I’m looking forward to working with great Australian producers and visiting my local markets again,” says Singh. “I have butcher, fishmonger and vegetable guys that I’ve worked with from day one of opening my first restaurant in Melbourne. I’ve missed that direct contact and the family connections a lot while in the USA.”
This will be the first of many ventures for Singh who is currently exploring new opportunities within the Sydney and Melbourne markets, to be announced soon.
167 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North VIC 3068
(03) 9497 8101
Dinner 7 Nights
Sun to Wed: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Thu to Sat: 6:00pm to Late
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About Jessi Singh:
Jessi Singh was born in a humble village in India, and spent his formative years living the original farm-to-table experience. As Jessi describes it, “While growing up, everything we ate was made fresh. You have to remember, most of us were without electricity. You milked the buffalo, drank its fresh milk, made the yogurt, you churned the butter. Bread was made not just fresh daily but fresh for every meal. It’s our way of eating.” Despite his country's customs, where women traditionally take on the cooking roles, Jessi spent much of his childhood in the kitchen mastering the classic dishes his family enjoyed. Although he continued to cook at home throughout his adolescent life, the desire to cook for diners stayed seeded until meeting Jennifer, his future wife and business partner in 2004. The couple soon settled in Melbourne Australia and opened up Dhaba at the Mill in Kyneton, Horn Please & Babu Ji Melbourne - eventually opening up a location in New York City that won Restaurant of the Year & Dish of the Year in New York City by multiple newspapers, magazines & online publications. Earlier this year, Jessi partnered with famed sommelier Rajat Parr to open Bibi Ji — a wine bar, restaurant and bottle shop in Santa Barbara that has been awarded best wine shop and best wine list in USA and best new restaurant in Santa Barbara by multiple news & online publications.