Alex, Tin, Sonny and a bunch of delicious spots


Posted on 31 Oct 2019

Alex and Tin have been calling Sturt Street home for over six years. After what Alex describes as a 20-year process of trawling the city’s cottages, they finally found the one. Alex drew on his skills as a carpenter to rip out the kitchen and bathroom. The cottage then stayed that way for over a year as they threw themselves into a new project.

Sturt street cottages

Instead of moving to be closer to work, the entrepreneurial pair decided to create something of their very own – a stone throw away from home. As their first foray into owning a business, Alex and Tin opened the doors of Vietnamese Laundry to an overwhelming reception, with the name drawing inspiration from 152 Sturt Street’s past life as a laundromat. One of the first hospitality spots in the now rapidly growing area, unbeknownst to Alex and Tin, people had been curiously following the building process.

Vietnamese laundry

“We just went for it with no promotion, and next minute there was a line-up down the street,” said Alex.

In early 2018, Alex and Tin added Hotel Long Time on Grote Street to the family. The Asian-fusion gastropub is a treat for all the senses, with each room sporting its own distinct theme and personality. The duo are soon unveiling another Vietnamese Laundry on Grenfell Street.

Hotel longtime blue bar

Fast forward to present day, the cottage now has a new resident - adorable one-year old Sonny. The family have kept it hyper-local - with childcare, Vietnamese Laundry and home all falling within a five-minute walk. On the ease of raising a child in the city, Alex laughed and said, “once all our friends knew we were having a child, they were like you’ll have to move out of the city. Nah, we’ll be fine.”

Alex tin sonny city living

Alex and Tin do their fair share of cooking and feeding the masses through Vietnamese Laundry and Hotel Long Time, so feeding the fam entails making the most of the delicious surrounds. Mornings are spent at Paddy’s Lantern on Gilbert Street where Sonny is considered a baby-cino connoisseur, and lunch is sorted at Chinatown Café. Sonny’s a baby about town, with Alex and Tin keen for him to be exposed to a breadth of experiences.

Alex sonny paddys lantern

“He’s not shy at all. He's out and about every day. He has coffee with us every morning at the café. He knows and interacts with people everywhere he goes,” said Tin.

Sonny probably has seen more of the city than most, with daily strolls through the streets. Alex and Sonny start off down Gilbert Street before wandering down Rundle Street to Rundle Mall, finishing off through the Adelaide Central Market.

Alex and Tin’s cottage is one of four, with all the residents moving in around the same time and staying put ever since. The street is tight knit, with neighbours consciously keeping an eye out for each other when it comes to all the happenings in the street.

“It’s surprising the community feel that there is in the city. We came from the suburbs in Kingswood, which is a nice suburb, but we didn't know anybody there,” said Alex.

It’s also the small rituals which have seen Alex and Tin form connections and friendships all around the city. Within weeks of moving here, Alex and Tin felt like they knew people from everywhere.

“Lots of locals are probably on foot more and you see people, you recognize people more and it seems natural to reach out or form those connections,” said Alex.