Restaurant rises from the ashes and finds new home at pub

INSET: Kristina Nhen and Paul Wu. Main pic of the Mun Tien restaurant on Walker Street. Photos: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Mun Tien reopens on June 17 operating out of the Commercial Hotel.

Kristina Nhen is almost crying as she talks about the support she’s had from the Casino community after a fire destroyed the Mun Tien restaurant on April 29.

The fire started in the early hours of the morning at the laundry and haberdashery next door to the Chinese Restaurant.

By the time Kristina got to Walker Street, firefighters had been battling the blaze for hours.

She was “numb and shocked” to see the restaurant burning, she said.

For Kristina and her partner Paul Wu, the fire ended 22 years of running the popular Chinese restaurant in Casino.

“I really appreciate the whole of the Casino community rallying behind us to get us back on our feet,” Kristina said.

“It brings me to tears. It wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”

After 22 years trading at Walker Street, Mun Tien will move to the Commercial Hotel.

After hitting a few “brick walls” to try and open the restaurant again, Kristina said the Commercial Hotel reached out and offered them the use of the kitchen at the pub.

“We’ll be leasing the kitchen,” Kristina said.

Mun Tien will have its own entrance at the Commercial when they move into the area where there used to be a cafe. They’ll be able to use the large dining room area in the pub next to the cafe.

It will be the same kind of food, Kristina said.

“We’ll pick up where we left off at a different place.”

Kristina is thrilled Casino gets to keep Mun Tien. Before she and Paul bought the restaurant, it was on Barker Street for a long time.

“We raised our kids at the restaurant,” Kristins said.

“The children have all grown up but I still have an 11 year old with me.

“He has kept me company during these trying times.”

The  Commercial Hotel kitchen staff finish tomorrow, Saturday, June 8. The kitchen at the pub will be closed for a week while Kristina and Paul set up a new Mun Tien.

“We’ll be operating the following week,” Kristina said.

Mun Tien will be open for lunch Monday to Friday at 11am–2pm and for dinner Monday to Saturday at 4.30pm–8.30pm. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

Kristina said the 1869 Commercial Hotel is up for sale and she isn’t sure what the future holds for Mun Tien. For now, she is grateful the restaurant will “have a roof over its head.”

“We hope it will be a win-win for our loyal customers and the pub,” she said.

Mun Tien will open the doors at its new home on June 17.

Firefighters putting out the fire at Mun Tien in Walker Street. Photos: Susanna Freymark

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