The Pandemic Could End the Age of Midpriced Dining

Internet Travel 2020-07-28 22:44:56

MELBOURNE, Australia — When Victor Liong reopened his restaurant on AC/DC Lane in Melbourne’s city center in June, after months of a coronavirus shutdown order, he carefully considered his options.

Since its opening in 2013, Lee Ho Fook had been a restaurant that could cater to just about any occasion. You could stop in at the small bar tucked into the ground floor for chicken cracklings and a cocktail. Or you could head upstairs to the dining room, where your options ran from modern Chinese small plates to a grand feast of a whole roast duck served with a star anise and cinnamon sauce.

But with government distancing restrictions and a precarious financial situation, the calculation of doing business was not the same as it had been before the pandemic. In fact, the closing compelled Mr. Liong to reassess everything.

What he landed on was totally different from the casual excellence for which he’d been known. While still offering a robust to-go menu of fan-favorite dishes, Lee Ho Fook became a tasting-menu restaurant where the price of admission is $160 per person.

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