This year's MasterChef champion Sashi Cheliah may have been a prison officer in Adelaide before he entered the MasterChef kitchen, but it looks like he's leaving his work in corrections behind as the winner is set to open Gaja by Sashi, a pop-up restaurant in Melbourne's HWKR.
The restaurant is set to launch on Friday, August 17 at the hawker market-inspired space in the CBD. The menu at Gaja will draw on Sashi's Singaporean background, focusing on the kind of Malaysian, Chinese and Singaporean home-style dishes that Sashi became known for in his time as a MasterChef contestant. He's already confirmed that diners will be able to look forward to trying his take on the classic beef rendang, Malaysian rojak, lamb biryani, ayam masak merah (red braised chicken) and Kerala chicken.
HWKR has become an unofficial launching pad for ex-MasterChef contestants to work on their restaurant concepts. When the space opened earlier this year, the 2017 champion Diana Chan and a 2015 contestant Reynold Poernomo opened a Malaysian canteen and dessert bar respectively.
Sashi will be running Gaja for three months, so if you've ever wanted to get a taste of what the MasterChef judges have been sampling all season, this is your chance.