“Although we respect authenticity when necessary, we just hold loyalty to taste and flavour”: Chef Seb Holmes on his new project, Thima

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

“Although we respect authenticity when necessary, we just hold loyalty to taste and flavour”: Chef Seb Holmes on his new project, Thima
Chef Seb Holmes is gearing up to launch his new concept, Thima, at Simon Anderson’s Fulham Market Halls. The new wave Thai chef, who has previously headed up the kitchen at both Smoking Goat and Begging Bowl, spoke to BigHospitality about where the concept came from, and what to expect when it launches.

Who’s involved with Thima?
The project comes from the team at Farang, our other restaurant, in Highbury. The operation is headed up by myself with sous chefs Dan Turner and Rob Ducks backing me up. We intend for all our chefs to go through thorough training at Farang  to understand what we're all about, before coming and joining us at Thima as part of the family.

How long has it been in the pipeline?
Farang has only just become permanent so we have been concentrating a lot of our energy on that recently. Thima was originally designed to be our street food name as we were gearing ourselves up to go to a lot of festivals this year. After a lunch with Simon at Pitt Cue ago it didn't take him long to convince me to come to Market Halls. We have now held back on all festivals and are throwing everything that we have into smashing Thima.

What will the dishes be?
Our small plates will include curried hand-dived grilled scallop with green peppercorns and Thai sweet basil, served in the shell. There will also be ‘gai prik’, which is crispy boneless chicken pieces coated in sweet scotch bonnet and fish sauce glaze with lime and herbs. Our larger plates will include a duck leg confit massaman curry, with grilled peach, pineapple, peanuts and seasonal vegetables with jasmine rice. We will still be offering our feasting options as well, so diners can get a deal when ordering a range of things from the menu.

One of Thima's unreleased dishes

What about drinks? 
Alcoholic drinks will all come from the Market Halls bar, but Thima’s offering will include sustainable young Thai coconuts, hammered open to order, as well as pomelo, ginger and mint juice.

What does Thima mean?
Thima translates as ‘Origin’ in Thai, to show that although we respect authenticity when necessary, we do not hold any loyalty to it, just to taste and flavour.

"At the end of the day we are mostly white guys cooking Thai food because we love it, the names of our restaurants aim to show this whilst having a bit of a laugh"

What will be the differences between it and Farang?
The key difference between the two sites is the size and offering. At Farang we offer our feasting menu's including a taster of the whole menu alongside our home-made cocktails and drinks with our own service style and experience. Thima offers a taster of our food, alongside many others whilst Market Halls take control of the booze and the hospitality. 

Will Thima be branching out to anywhere else or just Fulham?
Currently we are putting all of our focus into Farang and the new Thima site, we know Market Halls have some big plans, so we will have to wait and see.

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